Hello Kitty Shinkansen – Your Ultimate Guide

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Hello Kitty Shinkansen – Your Ultimate Guide

Hello Kitty fans rejoice! The kawaii Hello Kitty Shinkansen by JR West is up and running on the Sanyo Shinkansen line, connecting Osaka to Fukuoka!

It started its service on June 30, 2018 and will only run for a limited time.

The train makes one round trip daily between Shin-Osaka and Hakata (Fukuoka) stations. It stops at all the stations along the way, including popular destinations like Himeji and Hiroshima.

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Hello Kitty Shinkansen Route

The super cute train runs on the Sanyo Shinkansen line, which connects Shin-Osaka to Fukuoka. It will make stops at each station between Shin-Osaka and Hakata Station, including popular spots like Kobe, Okayama, and Hiroshima.

Hello Kitty Shinkansen Route
Hello Kitty Shinkansen Route
Photo courtesy of jrailpass

The exterior of the train is fully covered with Hello Kitty prints, and cars one and two on the Shinkansen has additional special decorations inside that you’re sure to love!

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Features

Hello! Plaza

Hello! Plaza on the Hello Kitty Shinkansen
Hello! Plaza
Photo courtesy of jr-hellokittyshinkansen

The first car, Hello! Plaza, doesn’t have any passenger seats. Instead, it has a unique souvenir store and cafe. It showcases local specialities, delicacies, and souvenirs from the different regions along the JR West line that passengers can purchase.

Hello! Plaza will feature eight exclusive Hello Kitty products that will be on sale to the public. Each product represents the eight regions that the Hello Kitty Shinkansen travels through. There’s a Strawberry Hello Kitty representing Fukuoka and an Orange Hello Kitty representing Tottori. These Hello Kitties symbolise the regions’ local products.

The eight regions of exclusive Hello Kitty products are: Osaka, Hyogo, Okayama, Tottori, Hiroshima, Shimane, Yamaguchi, and Fukuoka.

Kawaii! Room

Kawaii! Room - Hello Kitty photo opportunity
Kawaii! Room – Hello Kitty photo opportunity
Photo courtesy of jr-hellokittyshinkansen

The second car, Kawaii! Room, is a passenger car (with unreserved seating) covered all over with Hello Kitty and her friends.

Look out for the floor of the train which has been covered in pink bubbles the shape of Hello Kitty’s head, the seat headrests, side of the armrests, and the window blinds.

At the end of the Kawaii! Room is a large Hello Kitty doll wearing the Shinkansen train conductor’s uniform – it’s a great spot for photo opportunities!

Passenger seats in Kawaii! Room
Passenger seats in the Kawaii! Room
Photo courtesy of jr-hellokittyshinkansen
Pink bubbles on the floor in the Kawaii! Room
Pink bubbles on the floor in the Kawaii! Room
Photo courtesy of jr-hellokittyshinkansen

Instead of the usual Shinkansen jingle that sounds when the train approaches the stations, the train will ring the original Hello Kitty theme song!

Overview of the train
Photo courtesy of jr-hellokittyshinkansen
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Hello Kitty Shinkansen Cafe at Hakata Station

The Hello Kitty madness doesn’t just end there! There are more places to enjoy the Hello Kitty craze at Hakata Station, the terminal station in Fukuoka! The first is the Hello Kitty Shinkansen Cafe which has a Hello Kitty menu and decorated with Hello Kitty.

Hello Kitty Shinkansen Cafe
Hello Kitty Shinkansen Cafe
Photo courtesy of japan-guide
Hello Kitty Shinkansen cafe coffee
Coffee from the special Hello Kitty menu
Photo courtesy of japan-guide

Hello Kitty Shinkansen Marche at Hakata Station

The other place to enjoy the Hello Kitty craze is the Hello Kitty souvenir shop at Hakata station! It sells exclusive merchandise related to the the train, and is located near the ticketing gates.

Hello Kitty Shinkansen Marche
Souvenir shop located near the ticketing gates
Photo courtesy of japan-guide
Hello Kitty Shinkansen merchandise
Exclusive Hello Kitty merchandise from the souvenir shop
Photo courtesy of japan-guide
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How to Ride the Shinkansen

After reading all that, you must be thinking “so how do I ride on it?” The answer is simple – it’s included in your JR Pass, so you can ride it just like any other Shinkansen service!

We strongly recommend you to reserve your seat because chances are high that it will be packed almost all the time!

If you’d like to ride in the Kawaii! Room, remember to reserve your seat at any JR Office. The train numbers are: Kodama 730 (Hakata to Shin-Osaka) and Kodama 741 (Shin-Osaka to Hakata).

You can board the trains with a JR West rail pass and a Nationwide (Ordinary/Green) pass.

Non-reserved seating passes (limited to specific areas):

Kansai Wide Area Pass
Kansai-Hiroshima Area Pass
Hiroshima-Yamaguchi Area Pass
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

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Operation Days

Operation Calendar
Operation Calendar
Photo courtesy of jr-hellokittyshinkansen

Service Timetable

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The official website can be found here.

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