SINGAPORE - The much-anticipated Hello Kitty shinkansen (bullet train) launched on June 30 in Japan, drawing hundreds of excited fans to its opening in Fukuoka.
Now, Japanese commuters have something else to look forward to - a Hello Kitty shinkansen-themed cafe.
The cafe is located behind the fare gates at Hakata Station in Fukuoka. Hardcore Hello Kitty fanatics can buy platform tickets for 140 yen (S$1.70), the basic train fare, to get into the area for two hours. Children's tickets are available at half the price.
A Hello Kitty cut-out dressed in a rail attendant uniform stands on a replica shinkansen platform outside the cafe entrance.
In the cafe, decorated in the signature pink and cream shades of most Hello Kitty cafes, the star of the decor is a miniature Hello Kitty shinkansen model displayed in the centre. The limited edition train is also featured on the table placemats.
As for the food, the dish that will have the most fans screaming "kawaii" (cute) is probably the Hello Kitty Curry, featuring the character moulded in rice, complete with edible train attendant hat and pink bow.
At 1,500 yen, the dish is also the most expensive on the menu.
For dessert, try the Hello Kitty Cream Daifuku Set (700 yen). The traditional japanese rice cake confection is shaped in the likeness of - no prizes for guessing correctly - Hello Kitty, and comes with a hot beverage.
Address: Basement 1, Hakata Station, Hakata Ward, Fukuoka City
Opening hours: 7am to 9pm daily. Last orders are at 8.30pm.