Hello Kitty Smile: Awaji Island Resort and Attraction that grown-up fans will love

Top image: ©2022 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPROVAL NO. L621898
Top image: ©2022 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPROVAL NO. L621898

Hello Kitty Smile: Awaji Island Resort and Attraction that grown-up fans will love

by Tamami Kunimatsu
Live Japan

Ever wanted to meet the world-famous Hello Kitty? Visit Hello Kitty Smile on Awaji Island in western Japan's Hyogo Prefecture, where you can!

Opened in 2018, Hello Kitty Smile is the only attraction where you can meet Princess Hello Kitty as Otohime, a princess from a popular folktale, and visit her undersea home of Ryugu Castle.

In this magical place, you can take photos with Hello Kitty, enjoy a delicious meal at one of four restaurants, and enjoy all kinds of fun Hello Kitty-themed activities while gazing out at sea.


© 2022 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPROVAL NO. L621898

Awaji Island is Japan's largest island in the Seto Inland Sea between Honshu and Shikoku.

Hello Kitty Smile lies on the west coast of Awaji Island, established in April 2018. This popular spot is chock full of adorable Hello Kitty attractions that fans of all ages will love!

It even upgraded in April 2020 after undergoing a media, art, and restaurant renewal, with the new theme being 'Hello Kitty at sea.'

Ryugu Castle is a mythical undersea palace and the setting of Otohime, a famous Japanese folk tale. Teeming with colorful corals and all kinds of fish, Hello Kitty as Otohime now welcomes you into her home!

Map of Hello Kitty Smile (Photo courtesy of HELLO KITTY SMILE / ©2022 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPROVAL NO. L621898)

The venue is an elongated two-story building that faces the sea. The theme of the first floor is 'a world under the sea', where Hello Kitty greets visitors from an open car and a giant kaleidoscope.

On the second floor, you'll find Hello Kitty's Room, where you can meet and greet Hello Kitty face to face! There's also a dome-shaped theater called Palace Theater Time, and a projection mapping attraction called Time After Party.

Tickets & Access: Getting to Hello Kitty Smile

© 2022 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPROVAL NO. L621898

From Osaka, take the highway bus to Kobe Awaji Naruto Expressway/Awaji IC. From there, it's about 10 minutes via free shuttle bus.

A new toll bus, launched in December 2021, departs from Sannomiya, located in central Kobe, and goes around the west coast of Awaji, stopping at Hello Kitty Smile. Take this bus directly to the venue to avoid transferring trains at Awaji IC. A parking lot is also available for those who choose to go by car.

Purchase your admission ticket at the ticket booth at the entrance or online. Tickets are available for adults, children (4 years+), junior/senior high school students, and senior citizens (65+), as well as parent-child specials.

Book Online ▶ Media Art and Restaurant "Hello Kitty Smile" Ticket in Awaji Island

You don't have to understand Japanese to enjoy Hello Kitty! The hall staff will be happy to assist with any questions you may have. Unfortunately, pamphlets are currently only available in Japanese, although foreign language pamphlets are in the works for the future!

Onward Toward Otohime Ryugu Castle!

© 2022 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPROVAL NO. L621898

Hello Kitty Smile is the only place in Japan where we can meet Hello Kitty as Princess Otohime.

Beautiful corals abound, and colorful fish swim swiftly through the blue underwater world as a friendly sea turtle guides parents and children through, passing rocky caves, a flashy convertible, and Hello Kitty wherever you go!

Hello Kitty going for a drive in the undersea cave (Cave). While you can't hop in with her, you can still get a fantastic photo! (© 2022 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPROVAL NO. L621898)

Don't miss this wall-to-wall Hello Kitty room! This super-popular photo spot lies at the Palace Entrance, the entrance to Ryugu Castle! (Photo courtesy of HELLO KITTY SMILE / ©2022 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPROVAL NO. L621898)

When you cross the bridge to Otohime Ryugu Castle, you'll see Hello Kitty once again, this time glittering in a kaleidoscope against a bright, starry background.

Up the stairs is a dome-shaped theater about 14 meters in diameter, where you'll be entertained by a spectacular sound and light performance featuring Hello Kitty as the princess!

This performance can only be seen here on Awaji Island. Get excited as you lose yourself in the rhythm and the movements!

The Palace Theater dome is filled with dazzling lights and music. Truly an experience to remember! (Photo courtesy of HELLO KITTY SMILE / ©2022 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPROVAL NO. L621898)

Under Palace's huge light-up Hello Kitty kaleidoscope. (© 2022 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPROVAL NO. L621898)

This must-see glittering Hello Kitty at Under Palace is entirely made of Swarovski! (© 2022 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPROVAL NO. L621898)

After checking out Hello Kitty by history in the Mirror Maze, enjoy one last projection mapping display of Otohime Ryugu Castle. When you touch the stars, the lights dance, and Hello Kitty appears in her princess dress!

The Mirror Maze is full of Hello Kitty drawings by year. Why not find out which Hello Kitty drawing matches your birth year? (© 2022 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPROVAL NO. L621898)

Even grown-ups will feel like excited children when they see Hello Kitty in the Time After Party! (Photo courtesy of HELLO KITTY SMILE / © 2022 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPROVAL NO. L621898)

With photo ops in just about every inch of the hall, you won't want to put your camera down!

At Otohime Ryugu Castle, there are more than just projection mapping attractions. You can also take on missions from Hello Kitty! If you complete your mission, you can even receive an original gift and a discount on your next admission fee.

Create Hello Kitty Arts & Crafts in the Event Space!

© 2022 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPROVAL NO. L621898

In the center of the first floor is an event space where you can enjoy hands-on crafting experiences such as sand art and vinyl crafts. Events are open to adults and children, and many families join together!

Our top recommendation is the 'suyaki,' or unglazed painting experience, where you can paint an unglazed Hello Kitty tile however you like! Awaji Island is famous for 'Awaji tiles,' one of Japan's three most common roofing tiles, made popular for their high-quality clay.

Painting your own magical memories with this Hello Kitty art experience! The price for the unglazed painting experience is 1,300 yen, while the sand and vinyl crafts are 500 yen.

Use the prepared colorful sand and a paper mount to create an adorable sand painting! (© 2022 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPROVAL NO. L621898)

Up Close & Personal Meet-and-Greets With Hello Kitty!

Restaurant meet and greet at Garden Terrace. Have your photo taken with Hello Kitty as you eat! Don't forget to pick it up on your way home! (Photo courtesy of HELLO KITTY SMILE / ©2022 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPROVAL NO. L621898)

At Hello Kitty Smile, Hello Kitty herself will pop up here and there, giving you the chance to meet her in person yourself! Hello Kitty Smile also holds 'Smile Greetings,' 'Restaurant Greetings,' and 'Smile Shows' on the weekends.

So if you don't get to experience this meet and greet, don't worry! You'll surely have a chance to meet Hello Kitty somewhere else!

During the Restaurant Greeting, Hello Kitty pays a visit to each restaurant and goes around to each table. Crack a smile while you eat, and have your photo taken together with your family, friends, and Hello Kitty herself!

In Hello Kitty's Room, Hello Kitty welcomes each visitor individually. Strike a matching pose, and smile for another photo! (Photo courtesy of HELLO KITTY SMILE / ©2022 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPROVAL NO. L621898)

Smile Greetings from Hello Kitty. While nobody knows where she might appear on any given day, everyone should definitely check out Hello Kitty's Room on the second floor!

Here, Hello Kitty dressed as Otohime welcomes everyone into her brightly decorated room furnished with a red sofa and fancy chandelier. Pose with Hello Kitty, and smile for the camera - and for the memory of a lifetime!

Enjoy High Tea With Hello Kitty At A Classy Cafe

Inside the Party Balcony (Photo courtesy of HELLO KITTY SMILE / ©2022 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPROVAL NO. L621898)

There are four restaurants on-site. The Garden Terrace on the first floor serves authentic Chinese food such as handmade dim sum, while the Party Terrace specializes in grilled seafood.

On the second floor is Restaurant Tamatebako, where you can enjoy a delicious hot pot of local Awaji Island ingredients. Finally, there's the Party Balcony, which is the place we will introduce here.

Party Balcony is an elegant space for adults, with counters and tables lining both sides of the elongated, glass-enclosed shop. However, if you look closely, you'll still see traces of Hello Kitty's cute, childlike charm, from the Hello Kitty paintings on the ceilings to the small stuffed dolls on the table.

Here you can enjoy drinks such as Hello Kitty Smile's limited latte art and exquisite high tea.

Even adults will squeal in delight at the cuteness of this Hello Kitty High Tea set! (© 2022 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPROVAL NO. L621898)

The Three-Tiered Elegant High Tea (2,500 yen). Ingredients vary by season. For an additional 300 yen, you can include a drink. (© 2022 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPROVAL NO. L621898)

Our recommended pick from the Party Balcony menu is the Elegant High Tea. This luxurious menu item combines sweets and light meals served in three layers, just like afternoon tea.

Today's menu features a Western-style Hello Kitty Daifuku with white cream bean paste filling, mango pudding, orange cheesecake, and a pistachio and raspberry sponge cake.

The middle row contains vanilla ice cream, spinach corn, chocolate cupcakes, fromage, and matcha macaroons.

The bottom layer includes the creamed corn Hello Kitty Croquette with caponata (stuffed with seasonal vegetables), crackers with prosciutto, and pickles.

The Hello Kitty Daifuku and Hello Kitty Croquette are always included.

The flowers are edible, too! Don't leave them behind! (© 2022 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPROVAL NO. L621898)

With Hello Kitty staring at you so sweetly, it may be hard to bite into this adorable Hello Kitty Daifuku. However, digging in is a risk you'll have to take! The chewy outer rice cake and the creamy bean paste inside perfectly represent Hello Kitty's soft, gentle nature.

It's cute even after you bite into it! Each item on all three plates is carefully crafted one by one, and together are so filling, you'll feel satisfied once you are done.

© 2022 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPROVAL NO. L621898

With your favorite hot or cold drink, you can order this picture-perfect latte art (800 yen). Choose from six flavors and nine latte art designs. More latte art designs become available during holidays such as Christmas so that you can enjoy a different Hello Kitty in your cup each time!

Popular, Limited-Edition Hello Kitty Merch You'll Only Find Here!

A chandelier hangs over the second floor shop. Here you'll find plenty of goods that even adults will enjoy! (© 2022 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPROVAL NO. L621898)

Hello Kitty Smile has souvenir shops on the first and second floors. The second floor is geared towards more grown-up guests, featuring collaboration goods with various popular brands.

Most of the souvenirs at Hello Kitty Smile are limited original goods that you'll only find here. The most popular items are the plush dolls, especially the limited-edition Hello Kitty Otohime Plush (only available here). Another fan favorite is the Hello Kitty Mermaid Plush (2,750 yen).

Hello Kitty Otohime Plush, available on the 2nd floor (4,180 yen). She's the perfect size to sit on your lap and enjoy the ride home with you! (© 2022 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPROVAL NO. L621898)

On the first floor, you'll find bags, pouches, stationery, and sweets that also make perfect souvenirs. The following recommended items are all limited original goods.

Bags and pouches of all styles and sizes, available on the first floor. There's sure to be a bag for everyone! (© 2022 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPROVAL NO. L621898)

The popular towel handkerchief is of the brand Imabari, known for its high water absorbency. This high-quality item makes it perfect for daily use.

High-quality towel handkerchiefs featuring Hello Kitty as Otohime (1,100 yen each). Available in 5 colors: pink, blue, yellow, purple, and black. (© 2022 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPROVAL NO. L621898)

Exciting Shows and Meals at Hello Kitty Show Box!

A wild Hello Kitty appears in the field! (Photo courtesy of HELLO KITTY SMILE / ©2022 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPROVAL NO. L621898)

About three minutes away from Hello Kitty Smile by free shuttle bus is their sister location, Hello Kitty Show Box. This theater restaurant offers not only meals but live Hello Kitty shows, too!

Hello Kitty sings and dances for you at this super-real, live performance! (Photo courtesy of HELLO KITTY SMILE / ©2022 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPROVAL NO. L621898)

Feast your eyes on this exciting dance and music show, featuring music, dance, performers, and Hello Kitty herself! Then feast on the meal - a vegan burger completely free of meat, fish, dairy, eggs, and honey. Of course, you can take a photo with Hello Kitty afterward, too!

The show includes a meet and greet with Hello Kitty and lunch. You won't believe that this burger is meat-free! You'll just have to try it for yourself! (Photo courtesy of HELLO KITTY SMILE / ©2022 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPROVAL NO. L621898)

The popular Hello Kitty Cake (2,530 yen, limited quantities), only available here. For an additional 330 yen, you can throw in your favorite drink! (Photo courtesy of HELLO KITTY SMILE / ©2022 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPROVAL NO. L621898)

If you've ever wanted to spend an entire day of fun with Hello Kitty, then Hello Kitty Smile is the perfect place!

Hello Kitty Smile is a charming spot on the west coast of Awaji Island facing the sea. Enjoy the gentle sea breeze during the day, and watch the beautiful sunset over the Seto Inland Sea at night, as you spend a wonderful time immersing yourself in the world of Hello Kitty.

Whether child or adult, anyone can make magical memories when they visit Hello Kitty Smile and Hello Kitty Show Box!

(*All prices in text include tax.)

Health & Safety Measures

Disinfection, sterilization, and cleaning of shop and facilities - Sanitizer installed - Disinfected after each guest leaves - Ventilation measures in place - Coin trays used - Plastic partitions installed - Staff wear masks, gargle, wash hands regularly, and monitor body temperature - Limited capacity/increased space between seats - Entry declined to anyone who is feeling unwell - Masks required/temperature check enforced

Address: 985 Nojimahikinoura, Awaji City, Hyogo 656-1721

Book Online ▶ Tickets for Hello Kitty Smile (Awaji Island)

HELLO KITTY SHOW BOX ハローキティショーボックス
Address: 177-5 Nojimahirabayashi, Awaji City, Hyogo 656-1724
Phone Number: 0799-70-9022

*Information in article of January 2022. Please see official websites for latest updates.

Translated by: Krys Suzuki


Via Live Japan

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