ARGUABLY one of the most “committed” group of fans must be those devoted to Hello Kitty! If you are one of them, this will be real good news: it’s now possible to have the feline as your virtual tour guide when you visit Japan.
The “Visit Japan with HELLO KITTY” application is now available at visitjapanapp.jp for iPhone users (downloadable till March 31, 2013).
Once you’ve got it on your device, the kawaii (cute) feline – in a collection of more than 50 regional Hello Kitty in different themes, costumes or backgrounds – will guide you around Japan. As the application is also equipped with camera functions, visitors can take photos “with her” at the various places of attractions.
Designed in association with famous landmarks and products from across the country (a locally themed Hello Kitty icon will appear on the screen), “On-Site Kitty” provides information on each destination through 53, carefully-selected mascot characters that represent the prefectures and administrative divisions of Japan.
If users start up the camera while in Japan, the GPS system will be activated, and it will determine the nearest tourist destination. The “On-Site Kitty” character representing that location will appear on the screen for users to take a commemorative photo with.
Furthermore, users will receive background wallpaper presents of the “On-Site Kitty” characters that they take photos with.
This is part of the Visit Japan project in 2012, where the Japan Tourism Agency (JTA) and the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) will cooperate with Japanese companies that offer products/services overseas to further promote Japan to visitors who like Japanese brands.
For the first phase, JTA decided on Sanrio Co Ltd and their Hello Kitty character, which is highly popular overseas in all age groups ranging from children to adults.
Is this the catnip for you?