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"Hello Kitty" bullet train to debut in Japan this week

Rail travel is taking an adorable turn as a bullet train decked out in "Hello Kitty" motif starts a three-month run between the western Japanese cities of Osaka and Fukuoka on Saturday, the West Japan Railway said in a news release.

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Exterior of "Hello Kitty" high-speed bullet train. West Japan Railway Company/Sanrio Co. Ltd.

The special shinkansen, or bullet train, will be decked out with the mouthless character that has morphed into a multi-billion-dollar industry since its introduction by Sanrio in 1974.

The Hello Kitty branding features cover the outside and interior of the train, covering its seats, floors and windows. 

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Interior of bullet train featuring marketing phenomenon "Hello Kitty" West Japan Railway Company/Sanrio Co. Ltd.

The aim is to revitalize regional communities in western Japan, the railway said. And the country's tourism industry is also looking for a boost from the world famous cartoon character, which has spread around the globe since its creation by Yuko Shimizu more than four decades ago.

Say hello to the Hello Kitty bullet train! The train will enter service on June 30th and will make daily round trips...

Posted by Visit Japan on Tuesday, May 29, 2018