JR West has announced that a special Hello Kitty version of the Shinkansen bullet train will be in operation this summer.
Sanrio’s immensely popular cat character will decorate a 500 Series Shinkansen train. So far only concept art images are available but, needless to say, it adheres to the usual Kitty-chan kawaii theme colors of pink and white (with some gold, too), and includes motifs of Hello Kitty herself and her signature bow.
The new Hello Kitty train will run a return service on the Sanyo Line between Shin-Osaka and Hakata stations once a day, though the detailed schedule will be announced at a later date. Unfortunately, we don’t think that Hello Kitty herself will on board, though surely some merchandise and custom food dishes will.
This is not the first time that the JR Group has teamed up with Sanrio and other franchises to promote its passenger services. JR West previously had a Hello Kitty train in Wakayama, though it was not a Shinkansen. Another collaboration includes the Evangelion bullet train on the Sanyo Line, which started in 2015 and ends this May. JR East also previously created the Genbi Shinkansen, a high-speed train featuring its own art gallery.