Japan’s Bullet Train Decks Out in Hello Kitty
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Japan’s bullet trains are known for their high-speed rides and on-time arrivals — so much so that the West Japan Railway Company (also known as JR West) issued a public apology last week for a train departing a mere 25 seconds early. Now, the Japanese railway company will soon be known for not just its punctuality, but also for its Hello Kitty-themed trains.
This summer, JR West’s 500-series bullet train will feature exclusive Hello Kitty design on both its interior and exterior. The train will have an image of Hello Kitty wearing a uniform at the leading car and a pink ribbon.
While the details of the interior have not been revealed, JR West promised that the train will have two carriages with “plenty of playfulness” of Hello Kitty world. The first carriage will be called “Hello! Plaza!” and it will feature a gift shop and an exhibition space.
The second carriage is the “Kawaii! Room,” and it will be the main leisure area for passengers. Passengers can also stop for a photo op with a Hello Kitty doll.
JR West isn’t the first travel company to go all in on a Hello Kitty decor. Taiwan’s EVA Air has a Boeing 777-300ER completely decked out in Hello Kitty livery — plus everything from the seat covers to the boarding passes, in-flight snacks and luggage tags feature a Hello Kitty theme. The plane is so popular that EVA just added an extra route from Taipei (TPE) to Los Angeles (LAX) earlier this year.
The new Hello Kitty train makeover comes after JR West launched the Neon Genesis Evangelion-themed bullet train. The Evangelion-themed train was a design inspired by the popular Japanese animation series. Service for that train started in November 2015 and was discontinued in May 2018. The company has not yet stated how long the Hello Kitty edition train will be running.