Hello Kitty

Hello Kitty hot spring lets you fill two spots at once on your Japan bingo card

For most travelers in Japan, the highlight of a trip to the hot springs is the rotenburo, or open-air bath. The idea of an alfresco dip is so appealing that drawing visitors to your hot spring inn or hotel becomes several degrees harder if you don’t have outdoor tubs.

But you shouldn’t write off indoor hot springs entirely, as they boast a couple of advantages. Having a roof over your head makes them a good choice for a rainy day, and being climate controlled means less shivering once you step out of the water. Plus, if you’re heading to Gunma Prefecture, soon one indoor hot spring will give you the chance to soak in the company of Hello Kitty.

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McDonald’s Korea now serving up Hello Kitty in cute Sanrio costumes

Hello Kitty has been quite the busy cat celebrating her 40th birthday. Earlier this year, she was making rounds at theatres in Japan dressed as characters from Rurouni Kenshin, and now she has crossed the ocean to make an appearance at McDonald’s in Korea. This time, she’s cosplaying as some of her fellow Sanrio mates. Check out the cute kitty after the jump!

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Hello Kitty now makes 90% of her money abroad

After 40 years of hard work, Japan’s precious Hello Kitty character (affectionately known as Kitty-chan in Japan), has brought Japanese “kawaii” to all corners of the globe. It hasn’t been all fun and games for her though; she has had to work really hard to keep her parent company, Sanrio, afloat.

But now, thanks to Kitty-chan’s popularity overseas and her success branching into other markets, Sanrio isn’t just floating, it’s positively surfing on waves of international profit.

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“Hello Kitty Park” in China is set to open on New Year’s Day!

The various Disney-operated theme parks scattered throughout the world have brought joy to children (and grown-ups!) for decades. Disney’s major character contribution is none other than Mickey Mouse, who has grown to become one of the most recognizable cultural icons on the world scene. But how about a famous cultural export from Japan? Why, that would be Hello Kitty, of course!

Sanrio’s darling may be celebrating her 40th birthday this month, but she’s showing no signs of slowing down. In fact, her birthday celebration comes along with a recent announcement that a new “Hello Kitty Park” will open in China early next year! Along with plans for the upcoming Shanghai Disneyland, China sure seems to be on a roll these days making children’s dreams come true. More details about the park after the jump.

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Turn into Hello Kitty with these adorable face masks!

In celebration of Hello Kitty’s 40th birthday, a set of Hello Kitty face masks has been released. Turning you into your favorite feline while moisturizing your skin all at the same time, we foresee these masks being a big hit with Hello Kitty’s large female following all over the world.

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First Hello Kitty cafe to open in California!

North American fans of the mouth-less Sanrio feline can now rejoice as the first ever Hello Kitty Cafe will finally land on their continent!

Announced in the form of a bright pink food truck at the Hello Kitty Convention held in Los Angeles, fans were elated to learn that Hello Kitty will finally get her own cafe in California! Judging by the extreme cuteness of the pictures released so far, it seems like this cafe will take kawaii to a whole new level!

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Looking for the best kabe-don in Japan? Head to Puroland and find Daniel!

Between turning 40 and a host of confusion of what exactly she is, Hello Kitty has had quite a year. But we have news for the gijinka that’s going to make it a lot worse: Her boyfriend (catfriend? ginjinkafriend?) is out kabe-donning it up with any random stranger that walks by!

That’s right the once-lovable Daniel can now be found at Sanrio’s Puroland assuming the kabe-don position for anyone to waltz over and lock eyes with. This is the kind of betrayal that we doubt Hello Kitty will take in stride. And it’s not like she doesn’t know a crap ton of superpowered badasses!

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Here’s wishing you a Happy 40th, Hello Kitty!!

Exactly 40 years ago today, on November 1, a very special mascot character was born. The cat with an adorable oversized head, named Hello Kitty, has since been an excellent ambassador for the Japanese “Kawaii” culture, and as we all know, has come to be loved around the world. And in honor of what can arguably be called Japan’s most famous export ever, we wanted to wish Hello Kitty a heartfelt Happy Birthday on this special day. Plus, we even have a delightful little video from Sanrio to share with you that takes you through 40 years of Hello Kitty’s history! 

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Impractical yet adorable Hello Kitty school uniform set for spring debut

In many countries around the world, mandatory school uniforms are the bane of students’ lives, with their unflattering shape and drab color scheme. Their purpose seems to be to help pupils blend into a homogeneous mass of unfashionable conformity, and are often enforced under the logic that they “promote modesty” and “prevent distractions from learning”.

In Japan, however, it’s completely different. The Japanese tend to put a lot of stock in uniforms of all kinds, and school uniforms, which signify the wearer’s youth, are considered a prime status symbol. Now everyone’s favorite mute cat, Hello Kitty, is getting in on the action with her special snowy-white sailor suit for spring!

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Create your very own edible Hello Kitty this Christmas with this “Face Cake” set!

Christmas cakes (yes, it’s already time to start thinking about the holidays) come in all shapes and sizes, so it’s not surprising at all to see our favorite feline character and international celebrity Hello Kitty turn herself into one. But this “Hello Kitty Face Cake” requires just a little bit more artistic creativity from you than the average cake. You see, the cake doesn’t come looking like the picture above — you actually have to make it into its Hello Kitty form!

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Rurouni Kitty! Sanrio’s beloved cat cosplays as anime’s iconic swordsman in plushie form

Japanese movie-goers are currently enjoying the third live-action Rurouni Kenshin film. The franchise is now a certified two-decade hit, debuting as a manga in 1994 before its 1996 anime adaptation and recent film trilogy, and it owes much of its success to the popularity of main character Himura Kenshin.

What makes Kenshin so compelling is that despite his formidable swordsmanship, he’s portrayed as consistently kindhearted and good-natured. In certain scenes, he comes off as downright cute, but Kenshin has never been quite as adorable as this stuffed animal of Hello Kitty cosplaying as the scarred warrior.

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Sanrio launches Hello Kitty Men, wants to break stereotypes

Sanrio aims to break this stereotype with the introduction of the HELLO KITTY MEN Project, a new venture that will tell guys that it’s okay for them to like Hello Kitty, too. Their tag line? “Sorry to keep you waiting, boys.”

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LA hotel gets ready for Hello Kitty expo with themed hotel rooms, food

Now that the whole debacle over Hello Kitty’s identity is settled, fans can get back to other things, like preparing for the first ever Hello Kitty convention, set to take place from October 30 to November 2 in Los Angeles.

And, at least in that small corner of town, everyone is ready. The Line, the official hotel of the convention, is trotting out special Hello Kitty-themed rooms, and a Hello Kitty Spam musubi by chef Roy Choi.

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Crotchless Hello Kitty panties coming soon…for smartphones?!?

As technology continues to advance and influence the way we communicate, it’s important for rules of etiquette to evolve along with the devices we use to keep in touch with each other. For example, by now most of us know not to type our emails in all caps and to turn off our cell phones inside movie theaters.

So why is it that we’ve learned to mind our manners in those situations, yet continue to commit the social faux pas of not making our iPhones wear proper underwear? That seems to be the question Bandai asked, and now we have the answer in the form of Hello Kitty panties for smartphones.

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Hello Kitty isn’t a cat!? We called Sanrio to find out!

By now you’ve probably read the earth-shattering, heart-rending news that Hello Kitty’s own copyright holder Sanrio recently alleged that the world’s most famous bow-sporting feline isn’t actually a cat. If, like me, you’re a huge fan of Japan’s unofficial mascot, you probably already started going through the five stages of grief, too.

I, however, never got past denial. Instead, I picked up the phone and called Sanrio’s PR department in Japan. My findings will bring your suffering heart some relief.

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Sanrio says, “Hello Kitty is not a cat.” Whaaa?

Hello Kitty is one of the most iconic Japanese characters, aside from Pikachu. She screams cute, finds herself in a variety of interesting costumes, and has those adorable pointed cat ears. So with a name like “Hello Kitty” and a face that is decidedly that of a feline, it’s only natural to assume she’s a cat…but you could be wrong.

Ladies and gentlemen of the RocketNews nation, get ready to have your mind blown: someone at Sanrio has just revealed that Hello Kitty is actually a human girl.

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Hello Kitty as we’ve never seen her before: Drawn by Osamu Tezuka, The God of Manga

Revered as “The God of Manga,” the late Osamu Tezuka is simultaneously Japan’s most revered and prolific comic artist. More than 700 manga series sprang from the mind of the tireless Tezuka, but even with that busy schedule, he still found time to draw his version of Japan’s most famous cat, Hello Kitty, combining her with one of his most-used characters.

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Hello Kitty will deliver your messages as part of a special campaign…from space!

Sanrio’s beloved character has embarked on a special mission this year–all the way to space!  

The “Let’s Send a Message from Space! Campaign” (「宇宙からメッセージを送ろう!」キャンペーン) is part of the festivities to celebrate Hello Kitty’s 40th anniversary in 2014. Our favorite feline friend was even launched into space back in June, and her makers are now taking applications from anyone in the world to display messages on the digital display board inside her satellite. Wouldn’t it be cool to see your very own message delivered from space?

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Hello Kitty takes to the stage for the Sanrio musical【Photos】

We recently paid a visit to Sanrio Puroland, the Tokyo amusement park dedicated to the characters created by the company that gave the world Hello Kitty. After arriving, our first order of business was grabbing an adorable Kitty-chan burger and My Melody stack of pancakes.

But cute character-based food is only half of the recipe for a successful theme park in Japan. The other is live shows, so we grabbed a seat for the park’s Hello Kitty musical, where we snapped pictures and even recorded a couple videos.

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We visit the Hello Kitty theme park to eat an adorable Sanrio meal

Even though it doesn’t boast the kind of attendance numbers that Tokyo Disneyland gets, Hello Kitty actually has her own theme park in Japan. Located in Tokyo’s northwestern Tama New Town district, Sanrio Puroland is dedicated to the beloved feline and her Sanrio brethren.

Puroland has the rides and shows you’d expect from an amusement park that was created to help fans spend the day with their favorite fictional characters. This being Japan, though, you also need special munchies to draw people to a destination, which Puroland has with its lineup of cute, colorful Sanrio foods.

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