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Hello Kitty Celebrates Her Big 5-0 in Taiwan

Hello Kitty and her Sanrio family spread their love in Taiwan with a two-story exhibition in the heart of Zhongzheng and fun collaborations with Metro Taipei.



Sanrio Taiwan
Hello Kitty poses in front of a Sanrio-themed Metro Taipei train. (Provided by Metro Taipei)

Hello Kitty is on a special trip to Taiwan, commemorating her 50th anniversary in a jubilant celebration with fans and Sanrio friends.

From an exhibition at the vibrant Huashan 1914 Creative Park to delightful encounters aboard Metro Taipei, these iconic characters have been spreading joy to locals and visitors alike since the end of 2023.

JAPAN Forward visited Taiwan from February 2–5 to discover some of the exciting events that Sanrio had in store for fans.

50th Anniversary Exhibition

Nestled in Taipei's Zhongzheng District, the Huashan 1914 Creative Park stands as an iconic hub for artists, writers, and other creatives to showcase their talents.

Here, Hello Kitty shares her story through seven creative areas, including multimedia exhibitions featuring projection mapping, Insta-worthy photo spots, and interactive games. Spanning two floors, the exhibition takes visitors on a journey of wonder as they explore Hello Kitty's past, present, and future.

Sanrio Taiwan
A couple from Taipei takes a snapshot with Hello Kitty. (©JAPAN Forward)

People of all ages were spotted at the exhibition, bringing along their families, friends, and partners. At a photo area, a local couple posed with Hello Kitty in her famous blue overalls. "She's truly a part of our childhood memories," remarked James. "Even though I didn't own any Hello Kitty items, I remember all the girls around me did."

"She's just so cute," added his girlfriend, grabbing a floaty matching the color of Hello Kitty's signature bow. "I'd love to visit Sanrio Puroland one day."

Sanrio Puroland is one of the company's popular theme parks located in the Tokyo suburb of Tama City.

Sanrio Taiwan
A display showing a range of merchandise, both old and new, and some culture-specific items like Chinese red packets. (©JAPAN Forward)

A Global Fanbase

Talking to the visitors, it was clear that the affection and nostalgia for Sanrio's characters transcend international boundaries.

Anabelle, a student from the United Kingdom, believes that Hello Kitty's worldwide appeal stems from her character. "She can be many things to many people because she's so easy to relate to," she explained.

Anabelle also mentioned the CUTE exhibition, currently running in London in partnership with Sanrio until April 14. There, visitors can experience a "fully immersive space" dedicated to Hello Kitty in celebration of her anniversary.

Sanrio Taiwan
Hello Kitty throughout the ages, seen in a colorful display of tiles. (©JAPAN Forward)

Her friend Jolene from Canada, recalling her childhood, said, "The Hello Kitty stationery was really big in Canada. We bought them at Japanese stationery shops, and they were a big deal. I remember the cute erasers, and of course, the plushies."

Sanrio Taiwan
Jolene and Anabelle pose with Hello Kitty. (©JAPAN Forward)

But Hello Kitty's timeless appeal extends beyond her cuteness or the products bearing her image.

"I think it's also her values," said Jolene. "Even from what I read in the exhibition, she shares values that you'd want your children to have. Friendship is her favorite — things like that."

Technology and Art

At the exhibition, interactive booths provide an immersive experience for all visitors, particularly captivating children. Visitors of all ages can enjoy learning about Hello Kitty's family and friends, as well as the variety of activities offered at the event.

Sanrio Taiwan
Children dance and walk around the designs to make them move. (©JAPAN Forward)
Sanrio Taiwan
Looking for Hello Kitty and her friends. (Provided by Mediasphere Communications)

Additionally, innovative technology allows visitors to interact with Hello Kitty in playful ways. For example, in one section using digital art, they are invited to awaken Hello Kitty by clapping and speaking into microphones. With enough prompting, Hello Kitty wakes up, fluttering her lashes and sending hearts through a projection on the wall.

Sanrio Taiwan
An iridescent display featuring Hello Kitty and some of her favorite things, inviting visitors into a dreamy world. (©JAPAN Forward)
A felted Hello Kitty surrounded by sweet and happy thoughts. (Provided by Mediasphere Communications)

The displays and photo areas feature visually stunning or whimsical backdrops, complete with an assortment of props. Visitors were seen giggling away as they tried on the Hello Kitty "faces" with their many expressions.

Even adults can't contain their excitement at the fun props. (Provided by Mediasphere Communications)

A Souvenir of Smiles

To round off the memorable experience, a gift shop near the exit offers a diverse selection of items. Some patrons purchase mementos for themselves, while others choose gifts for loved ones to share the joy. Such a send-off is characteristic of Sanrio, whose vision is "One World, Connecting Smiles."   

Sanrio Taiwan
A fun-filled souvenir shop near the exit keeps visitors entertained until the very end. (©JAPAN Forward)

"We have received warm feedback from visitors," says Asa Liu of Sanrio Taiwan. "They have expressed how moved they were to see Hello Kitty showcased in so many different designs. Others were delighted that Hello Kitty, who had supported them since childhood, was honored with a special exhibition."

The 50th-anniversary event was organized by Mediasphere Communications. The company's Deputy Manager Leo Chen says, "Sanrio characters have been with fans throughout their lives. That is why they are loved and supported by fans of all ages."

He invites visitors to experience "the wonderful journey of Hello Kitty over the past 50 years" and also take a look at "nearly 150 limited edition items" at the gift shop. The exhibition will be held until April 7.

The gift shop offers many 50th anniversary products. (Provided by Mediasphere Communications)

All Aboard the Sanrio Express

Metro Taipei, the rapid transit system serving the capital, is also celebrating Hello Kitty's 50th anniversary with a special treat for fans. A train with a Sanrio-themed wrap is currently in operation along the Tamsui-Xinyi Line until December 2024. To catch a ride on this train, passengers can easily track its current location using the "Go! Taipei Metro" smartphone app.

Sanrio Taiwan
A train wrapped in a Sanrio-themed design, featuring Hello Kitty, Gudetama, Pompompurin, Cinnamoroll, and Bad Badtz-maru. (Provided by Metro Taipei)

"The Tamsui Xinyi Line connects Tamsui, a famous sunset viewing spot, and Xinyi, where Taipei 101 is located, so it's popular with inbound tourists, too," explains Kimi Liao of Sanrio Taiwan.

In addition to the wrapped train, the railway provider has infused Sanrio's charm by decorating the family areas of 59 trains with Sanrio characters, creating a cozy ambiance. These trains operate on several lines, including the Tamsui-Xinyi Line and the Songshan-Xindian Line.


Cute images around the family area, accompanied by simple words in English and Chinese, offer a quick learning experience for children in transit.

Sanrio Taiwan
Hello Kitty presents cute illustrations in a train's family area. (Provided by Metro Taipei)

Metro Taipei Uniforms

To add to the celebration, collaborative products are now available at Metro Taipei's online shop and stores located in key stations such as Taipei, Nanjing Fuxing, and Zhongshan. A Sanrio pop-up store also made its debut in Nanjing Fuxing station on November 1.

Sanrio Taiwan
Hello Kitty presents cute illustrations in a train's family area. (Provided by Metro Taipei)

In a nod to this special occasion, the beloved Sanrio characters are honored to wear Metro Taipei uniforms. Hello Kitty exudes sophistication in her navy suit, while Cinnamoroll seems ready to dive into work in a little white helmet. Even Gudetama looks professional with a headset!

Liao says her favorite character is Hello Kitty. "I've loved her since I was a child, and she looks absolutely adorable in the stationmaster uniform," she shares.

Sanrio Taiwan
Sanrio characters greet passengers at the gates of Nanjing Fuxing station. (©JAPAN Forward)
Sanrio Taiwan
A pop-up photo area in Nanjing Fuxing station, featuring Bad Badtz-maru, Pompompurin, Hello Kitty, My Melody, Gudetama, and Cinnamoroll. (Provided by Metro Taipei)

"The theme for Hello Kitty's 50th anniversary is 'Friend the Future,'" Liao says. "We want to continue working with Hello Kitty so that together with our fans, we can make friends with the future."

She adds enthusiastically, "We are planning more goods and events featuring Hello Kitty and her cute Sanrio friends, so stay tuned to Sanrio Taiwan's social media!"

This article is published in cooperation with Sanrio Company Ltd.


Author: Miruka Adachi