Everyone knows Hello Kitty. She’s that cute little white cat with a bow in her hair and no mouth. Although she is a world wide sensation people often immediately associate her with kawaii Japan culture and Japan enthusiasts can’t get enough of her.
Unlike other things marketed as “Japanese” in the US, Hello Kitty is just as popular here in Japan as the Japan enthusiasts think she is. Hello Kitty merchandise is everywhere. From clothing for all ages including men to pasta at the grocery store there is really no escaping this little mouthless kitty. The merchandise is not any more expensive then other merchandise either. You can even purchase actual Sanrio licensed Hello Kitty products from your local 100 yen store as well.
Aside from being a super cute little cat Hello Kitty or Kitty Chan as she is known here in Japan is very much a fan of dressing as popular culture icons. Above she is depicted as a member of a vocal group known as AAA but she has also been seen dressed up as Elmo, Gachapin, AKB48, and that’s just naming a few. She can also be found in various outfits such as traditional Japanese outfits to cute Christmas dresses. In fact she almost reminds me of Barbie who can be anything and everything although I have yet to see Business Woman Kitty Chan. . . . I wouldn’t put it past her though.
Whether you love her or hate her there’s one thing that’s for sure: you can’t avoid her while in Japan.