1. Hello Kitty Resort
    Photo: SanrioHello Kitty Smile
  2. Hello Kitty Resort
    Photo: SanrioHello Kitty Show Box

Best things to do at the Hello Kitty island resort

Awaji Island in Hyogo has a resort dedicated to Sanrio’s famous feline, with art exhibits, themed hotel rooms and more

Youka Nagase
Written by
Youka Nagase
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Hello Kitty fans flock to Tokyo’s Sanrio Puroland to spend an entire day surrounded by Sanrio characters and to meet the cat herself for a photo-op. But that’s not the only place you can encounter the famous feline. Down in the south of Japan, there’s a hidden Hello Kitty resort where you can enjoy digital Hello Kitty artwork, catch lunch and a show, stay at a Hello Kitty-themed hotel and more.

Awaji Island in Hyogo prefecture sits in the Seto Inland Sea, just across the bay from Osaka. It’s just a two-hour trip from the city and is known for its beautiful beaches and temperate climate. The island home to Godzilla and Naruto theme parks, but it’s also got three separate spots dedicated to the world's favourite white feline. Hello Kitty Smile is home to a digital art exhibit and four themed restaurants, Hello Kitty Show Box is the place to meet Kitty in person, and the Grand Chariot Hotel has Hello Kitty themed rooms. Here are the best things to do at Awaji Island’s Hello Kitty resort.

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Aloha Kitty

Check out the digital artworks at Hello Kitty Smile

First off, head to the northeast of the island, where you’ll spot a white building stretching 120 metres along the coast. The massive Hello Kitty head in the centre will confirm you’re in the right place. This cartoonish building is Hello Kitty Smile, a space dedicated to Sanrio’s favourite cat. 

The facility is home to an underwater Hello Kitty princess-themed digital art exhibition (adults ¥1,500, children four years old up to primary school students ¥500) with multiple interactive activities and a light show. Aside from immersive projection mapping, a mirror maze and a kaleidoscope room, there’s also a Hello Kitty’s room where you’ll get to meet the world-famous feline herself.

There are also two shops selling exclusive merchandise, including rare designer handbags and phone cases featuring Hello Kitty in various styles and designs.

Get a luxurious Hello Kitty themed meal

Hello Kitty Smile has two restaurants. The Garden Terrace, which overlooks the Seto Inland Sea, serves an Asian buffet while Tamatebako is a Chinese fusion restaurant highlighting local produce sourced from around Awaji island. Most dishes are served in exclusive Hello Kitty plates, glasses and bowls. Some even feature Hello Kitty-shaped food to complete your experience. 

 

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Catch Kitty on stage at the Hello Kitty Show Box

Just a nine-minute bus ride (or a 30-minute walk) from Hello Kitty Smile is the Hello Kitty Show Box. The building, shaped like Kitty’s head, is the perfect place to catch Hello Kitty in person. The main attraction here is the live musical performance – you can watch Hello Kitty sing and dance with her friends and enjoy a gourmet lunch at the same time. 

Visit the world’s largest apple-shaped building

The Hello Kitty Apple House, right next to the Hello Kitty Show Box, is where you’ll get a panoramic view of Awaji Island from the observation deck. This unique red building was officially recognised by the Guinness World Records in June 2022 as the world’s ‘largest building in the shape of an apple’. Head inside to catch a 360-degree projection mapping show of Hello Kitty and friends. 

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Stay the night at the Grand Chariot Hotel

To have the full Hello Kitty experience, spend a night at the island’s Grand Chariot Hotel, which has three Hello Kitty rooms, each decorated in a different theme. The ’70s room is decked out with illustrations of Hello Kitty in her original blue overalls. The Natural Forest room, on the other hand, features watercolour-like illustrations of Hello Kitty and animals. Each of these rooms can accommodate two people.

Each room is in its own individual wooden cottage and every piece of furniture including the wallpaper, cushions, nightstand and curtains have Hello Kitty all over them. Plus, staying here gets you exclusive Hello Kitty merchandise and an entry ticket to Hello Kitty Smile. Prices start at ¥55,055 per person per night.

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