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Tuesday 29 January 2019

Take the new Hello Kitty airport train

Japanese people are obsessed with the Hello Kitty theme.

On a trip to Japan in December, I was asked in all seriousness by Japan Railways West marketers, if a Hello Kitty airport train would appeal to Australian businessmen.

I had to advise that I thought not. Cue much shaking of surprised heads. My admission that it would appeal to younger travellers only slightly eased the awkwardness.

Now, months after Japan's first Hello Kitty Shinkansen bullet train ran for a limited time, a new Sanrio-themed train begins service this week.

The Haruka Shinkansen train runs to and from Japan's Kansai International Airport, outside Osaka, and the city of Kyoto, which is the former imperial capital of the country.

The train's exterior features Hello Kitty dressed in traditional Japan attire and colourful flower designs.

The Hello Kitty theme is limited to just one of the Haruka Direct Express Trains, which will be driven on a different schedule each day (and not every day). 

The trip will take about 80 minutes in total and will stop at Tennoji and Shin Osaka along the way.

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