Oct 7, 2019

All aboard the HELLO KITTY Shinkansen

Love trains and Hello Kitty? Then you’re in for a treat when you step onboard the Hello Kitty Shinkansen, run by West Japan Railway Company, or JR West. The service plies the Sanyo Shinkansen route, between Shin-Osaka and Hakata stations, and only one return trip is available daily.

Get ready to take some really great shots because there are so many Instagrammable spots on board the train. Look out for numerous decorations featuring the popular Sanrio character and her friends, such as headrest covers and pink and purple seats.

MIMO4234 (1)
MIMO4217 (1)

The first car on this 10-car pink and white train has been transformed into Hello! Plaza, selling Hello Kitty souvenirs and local specialities. The second car is the Kawaii! Room, featuring a life-size Hello Kitty dressed in a shinkansen uniform, and a display area with the character introducing different areas of interest within west Japan. The favourite feline holds a local delicacy from each area: A strawberry from Fukuoka and a pear from Tottori Prefecture.

MIMO4207 (1)
MIMO4167 (1)

The good news is, it won’t cost you extra to take the Hello Kitty shinkansen if you have the special JR-West Rail Pass, such as the Setouchi Area Pass or the Sanyo-San’in Area Pass. The pass gives you unlimited access on designated trains (including non-reserved seats on the shinkansen), as well as selected buses and ferries within the region. And you can use it for five or seven whole days.

MIMO4178 (1)
MIMO4162 (1)

For example, foreigners can buy the Setouchi Area Pass for five days within and outside Japan. After purchasing the pass online or through a travel agent, you will be given a voucher, which you can then exchange for a physical ticket at any JR ticket office. After that, you’re all set to explore gorgeous west Japan!

MIMO4121 (1)
MIMO4180 (1)

For more information, please go to