Depending on where you sit on the Hello Kitty spectrum of kawaii-ness, this new shinkansen is either your high-speed train to heaven or hell. Earlier this year in March, news began to circulate, along with a bit of imagery, that Japan would be rolling out a Hello Kitty shinkansen.
Initially, the concept artwork suggested that Sanrio’s popular cat character, a symbol of Japanese cuteness, would adorn the exterior in pink and white. Now, not only do we have a launch date but also a look inside, which reveals more Hello Kitty cuteness than we could have imagined.
The new train, operated by the West Japan Railway Company, will begin traversing Japan on June 30, 2018. Once a day it will carry passengers between Hakata and Shin-Osaka, making stops along the way. In addition to the exterior, which is decked out in pink ribbons, the company recently released rendering of the inside as well, which will feature the Hello Kitty motif extended throughout floors, walls, ceiling and even seating. There’s even a Kawaii! Room where you can take pictures with Hello Kitty beside a map of Japan for the perfect memento.