SINCE the 1970s, Hello Kitty has been a permanent fixture across the globe. Namely in Asia and among teenaged girls.
Hello Kitty has served as a political figure, a child’s best playmate, a special tourism ambassador for the United Nations and has formed partnerships with just about every brand, from sodas to clothing lines, and ice cream makers to McDonald’s.
Now, Hello Kitty is collaborating with Japan Railways (JR) to bring commuters and travellers a colourful journey on the Shinkansen, also known Japan’s iconic bullet train.
The Japanese train operator JR West has announced it will be working with the beloved Sanrio character on eight trains that connect the western cities of Osaka and Fukuoka.
JR West is aiming to revitalise connections between the regions with its new pink-coated bullet train, dubbed the “Hello Kitty Shinkansen”.
The trains can reach a top speed of 320 kilometres per hour and with the new pink design adorning the sides, the new train is set to be quite the spectacle flying through the Japanese countryside.
The Hello Kitty Shinkansen is set to hit the track running this summer for a limited time only.
But the Sanrio-inspired theme isn’t just an aesthetic. Travelers will be able to admire the cute feline-inspired character in every coach throughout the journey.
The entire first carriage won’t have any seats and will instead be dedicated to providing passengers with glimpses of what they can expect from their intended destinations, such as specialty food.
Riding the bullet train will cost an average of US$120, but it might be worth it for the fully immersive Hello Kitty experience.
This article originally appeared on our sister website Travel Wire Asia.