Hello Kitty Bullet Train (Shinkansen)

Japan's bullet trains, also known as shinkansen, continue to delight foreign tourists with their convenience and comfort. Albeit less frequently than conventional trains, they also come in special versions. For example, the Genbi Shinkansen, containing an art gallery in a modified E3-700 series running on the Joetsu Shinkansen connecting Tokyo and Niigata, or the "Evangelion Shinkansen" (officially called the "500 Type Eva"), a 500 Series (V2 set) decorated in colors thematically tied to the anime Neon Genesis Evangelion, and running on the Sanyo Shinkansen connecting Shin-Osaka in Osaka with Hakata Station in Fukuoka.

When Does The Hello Kitty Shinkansen Begin?

Now, in a move certain to delight Hello Kitty fans visiting West Japan this summer, Sanrio Co., Ltd. and West Japan Railway Company have come together to produce a 500 Series bullet train featuring the internationally famous kitty. The train will begin operations on June 30th.

To build up excitement, they created a slick promotional video with a kawaii/cool EDM soundtrack announcing the campaign:

Other videos can be viewed on their website

Project Details

  • The concept of the limited-period campaign is that Hello Kitty will serve as a guide, focusing on specific areas in West Japan.
  • Hello Kitty has worked her magic to change the interior of the bullet train.
  • The Hello Kitty bullet train will have two special carriages, carriage #1 and carriage #2
  • Carriage No. 1, called HELLO!PLAZA, will allow passengers to experience the charms of various regions. With a specially decorated interior, TV monitors displaying information, and retail space to buy specialty foods and goods, it will surely be a popular feature.
  • Carriage No. 2, called KAWAII!ROOM, will be a Hello Kitty-themed room decorated in a cute and fashionable way for everyone's enjoyment. According to the press release, "you'll feel as if you're traveling together with Hello Kitty." There's even a photo opportunity spot where you can take a picture together with Hello Kitty, your travel guide.
  • The Hello Kitty bullet train will begin with the "San'in Destination Campaign," the San'in Region being Shimane and Tottori Prefectures in the Southwest of Honshu Island. Later, it will also feature Osaka, Hyogo, Okayama, Hiroshima, Yamaguchi and Fukuoka Prefectures.

HELLO!PLAZA (Carriage No. 1)

KAWAII!ROOM (Carriage No. 2)

Seating Area


External decoration for the Hello Kitty Bullet Train (designs may change)

Regional Hello Kitty logos

For each region featured in Train No. 1, there will be special Hello Kitty logos (designs may change). Here are the ones planned for Tottori and Shimane Prefectures. In the future, other logos will be revealed for Osaka, Hyogo, Okayama, Hiroshima, Yamaguchi and Fukuoka Prefectures.

To find out more details and a train schedule, be sure to check the official Hello Kitty Shinkansen website here.

By - Ben K.