Cartoon or anime inspired trains have long been a common sight across Japan’s entire network, but as the Evangelion 500 series themed Shinkansen is soon to retire, get ready to say ‘Hello’ (or ハロー/Harro in Japanese) to Hello Kitty’s new 500 series of speeding bullets on rails.
Introduced by JR West, this bundle of rapid-fire cuteness will serve the Sanyo Shinkansen lines between Shin-Osaka to Hakata (Fukuoka). Decked out in an overly kawaii JR uniform and her signature pink bow, Kitty is the new mascot heading the high-speed service lined in pink ribbon. The ribbon’s underlying significance is how it connects and brings people to the surrounding regions of the Sanyo line.
Plans include special displays in the first and second carriages featuring the instantly recognisable pink colour theme. The first carriage will carry unique displays to help to promote the main areas serviced by the Sanyo line, including Shimane, Kansai, Hyogo, Hiroshima and Fukuoka. The second carriage will be outfitted in all of Kitty’s adorable pink and ribbon colour scheme with matching decor, however, there are still no specific details about the look and feel.
With the retirement of the Evangelion series planned for May, Kitty fans are probably predicting a June/July launch as JR West confirms the newly themed service will begin in Summer this year. For the full announcement, you can check out the video below or the official website.