Hello all! Today I’m sharing with you the cutest bullet train in the world – Hello Kitty Shinkansen!
I knew about this themed Shinkansen run by JR West last year, but I hardly get a chance to visit west Japan area (I’m always in Tokyo!) so I was really sad when missed the campaign period as I saw some review website saying that it is running until Oct 2018 only.
But that was not true! It is still happily running every single day between Hakata and Osaka! 😀
It does rest for a few days for maintenance services so be sure to check out its calendar to make sure you don’t miss it the day you wanna board the train!
First of all, check out their promotional video!
How can you resist that omg T___T
I love the project story behind it too. Hello Kitty had a dream and she realized her mission was to connect people from different places and bring smiles to all of them. Here are the 8 prefecture-themed Kitty connected by the Shinkansen! ^^
Before riding the pinkish feline Shinkansen, first I’d like to share another Hello Kitty themed attraction, and that is Hello Kitty Shinkansen Cafe!
Hello Kitty Shinkansen Cafe, Hakata Station
I arrived at Hakata Station before my #CheesieConquersWestJapan journey, and caught the super huge LCD screen in front of Chikushi Gate about Hello Kitty Shinkansen. It’s popularity has taken over west Japan by storm!
And… here’s the cafe! It is located after the entrance gate so make sure you have a ticket to enter. If you are not traveling out of Hakata, you can cheat by just buying the cheapest ticket (JPY140) to get into the area.
Spot a complete miniature of the actual shinkansen displayed outside the cafe. Pink overload omg.
Hello Kitty Train Master Curry Rice.
Enjoy your Hello Kitty-themed meal!
After that you can also shop at souvenir stores nearby and buy all your Hello Kitty Shinkansen merchandise ^^
Here are some I got for Sakura ^^
Cute right? ^^
Hello Kitty Shinkansen
Ok let’s 进入正题了. This is what we are here for – Hello Kitty Shinkansen!
As I have mentioned it runs to and fro Hakata – Osaka and stops at a total of 19 stations, so there are various stations you could board this uber kawaii train. Many followers have told me that they have trouble catching this elusive ride because it only runs once a day to and fro, but as long as you follow its calendar and schedule, you are not going to miss it, don’t worry!!
Like I said, if it says it will arrive at 11:29am, it will.
That’s my ride!! Kodama 730 ^^
Pro tip 1:
I know we all want to take as many pictures as we can especially with the outlook of the pink ribbon-wrapped bullet train, but please make sure you don’t miss getting on it! Sometimes it will have a longer stop time between stations so it’s your chance to get down for some quick shots.
I actually caught it at Hiroshima Station at 8:13am bound for Mihara (to the rabbit island), so I only have about 40 minutes for the ride. But the train will shop at Higashi-Hiroshima Station for about 13 minutes, and it’s a rather quiet station so I had ample time to get down the train and take some nice photos ^^. So please don’t rush for photos until you miss the departure!
Pro tip 2
It’s a rather long bullet train with 8 separated cars, and the themed attractions are at Car 1 and Car 2, so make sure you wait near Car 1’s platform. This is Car 2 called “KAWAII! ROOM“, where it has a huge Hello Kitty display you can take nice photos at.
An area where you can store your luggages too.
Now we are at Car 1 “HELLO! PLAZA”, where you can find lots of Hello Kitty Shinkansen related goods, tidbits and small souvenir. A pretty staff dressed in Kitty uniform will help you out if you have any questions.^^
You can order some drinks and light snacks here too.
Hello Kitty Shinkansen Bottled Water. It’s expensive but what the hell, it’s Hello Kitty Shinkansen!
Pick your favorite!
Well, basically everything pink and kawaii and Hello Kitty.
Photo chance at every corner. There’s also a signboard indicating the date for a memorial shot! ^^
Watch travel tips with Hello Kitty!
Pro Tip 3
Check out the toilet and dressing room too! It is decorated all in pink to match the theme.
Pro Tip 4
If you wanna sit on a special themed seat, buy a non-reserved seat ticket instead of reserved seat (and save some money!!) as there’s only one themed car which is car 2.
The rest of the cars have usual seat designs, I guess it is for businessman and people who are allergic to pink lolol.
Pro Tip 5
Go all the way to Car 8 if you wanna try being a train master for a while.
Make sure you come back in time to retrieve your luggage if you bring one.
Pro Tip 6
You can ride Hello Shinkansen with your JR-West Rail Pass FOR FREE!
Here are the tickets valid for the rides:
- Nonreserved seating passes (limited to specific areas)
- – Kansai Wide Area Pass
- – Kansai-Hiroshima Area Pass
- – Hiroshima-Yamaguchi Area Pass
- – Okayama-Hiroshima-Yamaguchi Area Pass
- – Setouchi Area Pass
- – Kansai-Hokuriku Area Pass
- Reserved Seating Passes
- – Sanyo-San’in Area Pass
- – Sanyo-San’in-Northern Kyushu Pass
Anyway if your ride is short I guess you won’t even sit down at all haha cuz I was so busy checking out all the different installations in the train!
The bullet train’s schedule until June this year. Does it fit your trip? ^^
Find out more from Hello Kitty Shinkansen’s Webpage!