Hello Kitty Smile
Hello Kitty’s Marvelous Sea World in Awaji
Hello Kitty Smile is a recreation complex dedicated to Kitty-chan, on the north-western side of Awaji Island in Hyogo prefecture. Amateurs will be thrilled to meet Sanrio’s flagship character transformed in a Japanese sea princess, through mapping projections, artistic displays, and several themed restaurants.
Opened in 2018 and completed refurbished in 2020, Hello Kitty Smile on Awaji-shima is a must-see for all fans of the Sanrio brand. The facility provides restaurant, café, souvenir shop and digital art exhibition, with multiple activities available for the delight of children and adults.
Echoing the mythological heritage of the island that is one of the most ancient lands of Japan and renowned for its fish-bearing waters, the sea and the preservation of the environment are the main themes of the place. Visitors are thus invited in the marvelous world of the sea floor guided by Hello Kitty in the role of Otohime Princess (the Japanese mythology’s goddess of the sea) and her friends the turtles, exotic fishes and corals of all colors.
Discover a cute and colorful sea world
The digital art exhibition, named Otohime Dragon Palace, offers a thorough immersion with video mapping projection on the walls, the floor and the stairs. Moving in this enchanting setting is pleasant and the sound volume stays at reasonable levels. However, don’t be fazed by the children shouting out in awe! Several successive rooms display digital animations and a collection of various objects (such as a pair of Louboutin shoes covered in strass):
- A wall covered in Hello Kitty soft toys, ideal for pictures to post on the social networks,
- A Mercedes car 🚙 bearing Otohime’s colors,
- The 200° digital show in the spherical part of the building, shaped as the head of the little kitten,
- A giant, yet lovely kaleidoscope,
- An interactive wall very popular with children; and,
- Kitty-chan’s private room (for those in the know), where she comes back regularly to take pictures with visitors.
The healthy and convivial Awaji cuisine
The gastronomy part of the complex is more oriented toward adults, families or groups of friends, with four indoor and outdoor spaces, always with a panoramic view of the Seto Inland Sea. Of Chinese and Japanese inspiration, the cooking is eastern, partly made with fresh products of the area. It is possible to personaly choose the fish or seafood that will be cooked, some of which being fished in Awaji’s surroundings.
Summertime is the best to enjoy the terraces and the convivial concept of buffet and barbecue. In winter, a local nabe hot-pot, delicious and healthy, will warm you up. The cafe is located on the second floor and provides the usual choice of sweets and savory snacks, with a vegan-friendly section, for a tea break to enjoy with friends.
Hello Kitty’s official merchandising
You will not leave Hello Kitty Smile empty handed thanks to the two shops of the complex. As any Sanrio official site, you will find a collection of items, bags and accessories bearing the image of Hello Kitty, including some that are only purchasable here. The price range is wide enough to allow anyone to buy something, even though there still is a specific high-end choice. Lastly, the complex is also sheltering a creative space with several workshops, where you can, for example, paint a Hello Kitty figurine to your taste.
Those who would like to immerse a bit longer in the kawaii atmosphere can continue their pilgrimage at the Hello Kitty Show Box theater-restaurant, located less than three kilometers in the north of Awaji Island.