My Hello Kitty Bucket List
My loved ones and long-time blog subscribers would know that when it comes to cartoon characters, it’s Snoopy and the Peanuts gang for me. But when was a kid, I was a classic Hello Kitty girl. That iconic cat (or little girl, if you remember the hullabaloo that ensued in 2014) has grown into a massive business empire since she debuted over 40 years ago. It’s now easy to get a legal license to use her image, so you’ll see Hello Kitty’s face plastered on almost everything.
For Kitty-philes and kawaii lovers like myself, here’s a list of Hello Kitty-themed food joints and destinations to add to your travel list.
1. Hello Kitty Airplanes, Eva Air
The ultimate Hello Kitty fan will find reasons to travel from Taipei to 10 select destinations (Osaka, Bali, Houston, Singapore, Paris, Tokyo, Sapporo, Fukuoka, Seoul, and Guam) just to get a chance to ride one of Eva Air’s seven Hello Kitty-themed jets. Each flight comes with Sanrio amenities, down to the wet wipes and safety instructions card. The Hello Kitty meal boxes are too cute to eat!
2. Hello Kitty Theme Park, China
The world’s largest Hello Kitty theme park opened in Anji County, Zhejiang Province, China in July last year. Awash with color, this 9.5-hectare park had a rough start. After the partial opening in November 2014, it had bad reviews so developers tweaked and improved many of the attractions and daily programs. For those who are in Japan, there’s Harmonyland in Oita.
3. Hello Kitty Hotel Room, Tokyo
Tokyo’s Keio Plaza Hotel offers two Hello Kitty-themed rooms for guests. The breakfast room service features a Hello Kitty sandwich, omelet, and salad. You’re free to take home the Hello Kitty amenities, which include letter writing sets, a Hello Kitty doll, ribbon-shaped water bottles, pen, plastic bag, and skin care set. If you still can’t enough of Hello Kitty, Sanrio Puroland is just a five-minute walk from the hotel.
4. Sanrio Puroland, Japan
This indoor theme park opened in the early ’90s and remains one of the most popular theme parks in Japan. Things to do in Puroland: watch musicals, interact with the mascots, enjoy the kid-friendly rides, wine and dine, and of course, shop for Sanrio items.
5. Hello Kitty Chinese Cuisine, Hong Kong
The world’s first Hello Kitty-themed dim sum restaurant opened last year and is located on Canton Road, Yau Ma Tei, Hong Kong. The menu features over 40 savory and sweet Chinese favorites with edible Hello Kitty facial features—including her iconic bow—carefully placed on each dim sum.
6. Hello Kitty Beauty Spa, Dubai
Located at Town Center, Jumeirah Road in Dubai, this pink spa caters to both kids and adults. Services include hair treatments, facials, and Turkish hammam baths. For kids, they use only organic products.
7. Hello Kitty Island, Korea
Also known as Jeju Hello Kitty Museum, this three-floor building has gift shops, galleries, exhibition halls, and a café that sells—you guessed it—sweets and latte art with Hello Kitty’s face on it.
8. Hello Kitty Convention
The last Hello Kitty Con was in held in 2014 in Los Angeles and it featured four days of booths, workshops, art, freebies, and other activities. All I could do was envy all the Instagram and Facebook photos my US-based friends uploaded. No word yet on the next convention, but Hello Kitty fans are waiting with bated breath.
9. Sanrioworld Ginza, Tokyo
Among all the Sanrio shops worldwide, this flagship store sells the largest selection of Sanrio goods. Located at the second floor of Tokyo’s Nishi-Ginza Department Store, this place is a wonderland. A Hello Kitty statue greets customers, and the store is divided into five shopping zones with seven categories.
10. Hello Kitty Cafés
There are many Hello Kitty cafés sprouting around the world. There’s one in Korea, Bangkok, Hawaii, Brazil, and Istanbul. In Manila, two pop-up Hello Kitty Cafés were launched in preparation for the big reveal. The one at SM Mall of Asia ran from December 15, 2015-January 6, 2016, while the one at Duty Free Philippines ran until January 31st. According to the grapevine, the main Hello Kitty Café will be unveiled in Bonifacio Global City this March.
Photos from evaair.com (Hello Kitty Jet), Facebook (Duty Free Philippines Hello Kitty Café, Hello Kitty Beauty Spa, Hello Kitty Cuisine, and Sanrio Puroland), Flickr (Sanrioworld Ginza), hellokittyisland.co.kr, hellokittypark.cn, and sanrio.com (Hello Kitty Con and featured photo).
February 2, 2016