FUKUOKA - West Japan Railway Co. showed a shinkansen bullet train featuring Hello Kitty to the media on Monday before its debut later this week.
The special eight-car train, whose white body is decorated with drawn pink ribbons to mimic the look of the popular character of Sanrio Co., was unveiled at the operator's facility in Fukuoka Prefecture.
It will begin service Saturday on daily-round trips between Shin-Osaka Station in Osaka Prefecture and Hakata Station in Fukuoka, the company, commonly known as JR West, said.
Its interiors also feature images of the cartoon character, with Hello Kitty wearing a crew uniform or carrying local specialty products depicted on the walls, seats and curtains.
The train's first car, dubbed "Hello! Plaza," will introduce to passengers local attractions and specialty goods in western Japan areas for a limited period after the debut.
In the second car, named "Kawaii! Room," passengers will have the chance to pose for photos with a big Hello Kitty doll.
"We want Japanese and overseas people of wider generations to enjoy this shinkansen," said Takehiro Zai, a JR West sales director.