It doesn’t matter who you are, or where you’re based, the chances are you’ve heard of Japan’s most popular mascot – Hello Kitty.The cat-girl is recognized all over the world by her white coat, red bow and friendly demeanor.
Invented in 1974 by illustrator Yuko Shimizu and Japanese character design company Sanrio, the pop culture icon has since been featured on a wide variety of merchandise ranging from keychains and wallets to kei cars (Daihatsu Mira Moderno 1998) and even bullet trains.
Now almost five decades on, the character is set to open the world’s largest apple-shaped observation deck “Hello Kitty Apple House” at Kansai’s Awaji Island.
Set to open on April 29, the venue will feature themes of all things Hello Kitty, and is designed to make guests feel as though they’ve stepped inside a world of kawaii.
Together with theme entertainment restaurants Hello Kitty Smile and Hello Kitty Show Box, the all new Hello Kitty Apple House will form part of Awaji’s Hello Kitty Awaji Apple Land.
Inside, guests will be immersed into the dream world of Hello Kitty through projection mapping. These animations show the character as she prepares for performances, which guests can experience at Hello Kitty Show Box.
At the top of the building, a 360° observation deck of 15 meters in height overlooks the sea of the Akashi Strait, which also happens to be listed as one of Japan’s top 100 sunset spots. Taking a look around guests will be able to spot the roof of Hello Kitty Show Box which is fashioned after the face of the adorable character.
Hello Kitty Apple House will be serving up an original dish inspired by the apple-shaped building. In addition a number of limited time goods commemorating the opening of the new facility will be available to purchase from the shops at neighboring Hello Kitty Show Box.
In addition, the opening of the new venue will be accompanied by the introduction of a special “tour ticket” that will allow guests to visit all three venues within Hello Kitty Awaji Apple Land.
Hello Kitty Apple House will be open to the public from April 29. The venue will have room for 100 visiting cars, and will be open everyday par Wednesday from 11 a.m. – to 5 p.m. (last entrance 4:30pm).
Admission (adults 13 years +, children 4-12 years)
Hello Kitty Awaji Apple Land: Adults 7,400 yen, Children 3,300 yen
Hello Kitty Apple House: Adults 1,200 yen, Children 500 yen
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