JR West to Start "Hello Kitty Shinkansen" Service in Summer


Osaka, March 15 (Jiji Press)—West Japan Railway Co., better known as JR West, will launch a "Hello Kitty Shinkansen" bullet train service on its San'yō Shinkansen Line this summer in collaboration with Sanrio Co., the railway operator has announced.

Promotional imagery for the JR West Hello Kitty train, set to begin service this summer. (Courtesy JR West)

A Hello Kitty train featuring Sanrio's popular kitten character will consist of eight 500 series cars and provide a Kodama Shinkansen service on the line, which connects the western cities of Osaka and Fukuoka.

Its design was inspired by Hello Kitty's trademark red ribbon, which well describes JR West's desire for enhancing ties between regions in western Japan with Shinkansen services, the company said.

One of the train's unique features will be the absence of passenger seats in car 1, which will be dedicated to sales of local specialties, JR West said, adding that car 2 will have a complete set of Hello Kitty decorations.

The planned livery for the Hello Kitty Shinkansen. (Courtesy JR West)

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