Business

Media get peek at Hello Kitty bullet train ahead of debut

Kyodo

West Japan Railway Co. (JR West) showed a Hello Kitty-themed bullet train to the media Monday before its debut later this week.

The white eight-car train, which is decorated with drawings of pink ribbons to mimic the look of the popular character created by Sanrio Co., was unveiled at a JR West facility in Fukuoka Prefecture.

It will enter service Saturday on daily round trip runs between Shin-Osaka Station in Osaka Prefecture and JR Hakata Station in Fukuoka, the company said.

The car interiors of the special shinkansen also feature images of the feline, such as Hello Kitty wearing a crew uniform or carrying local specialties, on the walls, seats and curtains.

The train’s first car, dubbed “Hello! Plaza,” will introduce passengers to attractions and specialty goods from western Japan for a limited time after the train debuts.

In the second car, named the Kawaii! Room, passengers will get the chance to pose for photos with a big Hello Kitty doll.

“We want Japanese and overseas people from a wide range of generations to enjoy this shinkansen,” said Takehiro Zai, a JR West sales director.