A new iPhone application called “Visit Japan with Hello Kitty” is trying to help tourism to the Asian country thanks to the huge popularity of the cartoon character.
The application was developed by Tokyo-based Japan Tourism Agency in cooperation with Sanrio, the creator of Hello Kitty.
“Hello Kitty has a strong association with Japan; it’s globally known and eye-catching,” explained Nori Akashi, PR manager for the Japan National Tourist Organization.
The app features 53 different versions of the Hello Kitty character, in different costumes representing each of Japan’s 47 prefectures. Multiple characters were created for Hokkaido, Tokyo, Kanagawa, Osaka and Kyoto.
For each destination, Hello Kitty pops up as a tour guide to local landmarks and can also appear on photos taken by users.
The GPS system installed in the phone finds where the user is located in Japan and displays the appropriate character. The application can only be used in Japan.