The world-famous Sanrio character wants to welcome you onboard her very own high-speed train.

It was a sad day when the West Japan Railway company reminded us recently that their limited-edition 500 Series Evangelion Shinkansen would be ceasing operation this May. The specially wrapped train, which took its styling cues from the anime Neon Genesis Evangelion, had been shuttling passengers to stations along the Sanyo Shinkansen line from Osaka to Fukuoka since November 2015, becoming a fixture in the landscape of the region.

It’s time to wipe away those tears now, though, as JR West has just announced there’ll be a new animated character tie-up in store for their 500 Series Shinkansen. This time, they’re adding a whole lot of kawaii cuteness to the high-speed model, with Sanrio’s Hello Kitty leading the charge for their next cool train project.

The new bullet train, which will run on the Sanyo Shinkansen line from Osaka’s Shin-Osaka Station to Hakata Station in Fukuoka, will be wrapped in a pink-and-white colour scheme, with Hello Kitty’s signature bow showcased along the length of a pastel ribbon, which is said to signify how the train “ties and binds customers to the region“.

Like the Evangelion Shinkansen which came before it, this special Hello Kitty model will have exclusive design features in its first and second carriages. In the first carriage, there will be a display set up to promote the appeal of various regions in western Japan, starting first with the “San’in Destination Campaign“, which showcases the prefectures of Shimane and Tottori in the San’in region. This will be followed by a display dedicated to Osaka, Hyogo, Okayama, Hiroshima, Yamaguchi and Fukuoka prefectures.

▼ Hello Kitty will serve as your guide to the best sites and local specialties
in West Japan’s prefectures.

The second carriage will be decorated with cute and stylish interiors, transformed by the magic of Hello Kitty herself. While details of the interiors are yet to be revealed, the rail company has released a promotional video showing more of their collaborative design ideas, including an adorable Hello Kitty train conductor.

Take a look at the video below:

The Hello Kitty Shinkansen is set to make its debut in Japan this summer. To keep up to date with developments, and news of limited-edition tie-up goods, stop by the official website for more details.

And while you wait to ride the train, Puma has you sorted with this collection of Hello Kitty shoes and sportswear so you can match your outfit to the Shinkansen when it runs!

Source, images: West Japan Railway Company / © Sanrio Co., Ltd.