Hello Kitty Watch - Spring 2015
Japan cat stuff
hello kitty seaweed
hello kitty insurance company

Still extremely popular some four decades after her launch, the ubiquitous cartoon feline seems to be popping up more than ever recently, and in some very unexpected places. Is Sanrio pursuing their licensing policy more aggressively, or are we just noticing it more?

Of course we've grown used to seeing HK running rampant through toy stores and candy shops, and decorating everyday items like purses, umbrellas, socks, teacups, toothbrushes and snack food packaging. Some recent sightings go beyond these ordinary categories though - in some surprising directions.

fire extinguishers
Hello Kitty fire extinguishers
Spotted in a store window near Shinagawa Aquarium - not one but at least three different Hello Kitty-themed fire extinguishers. We're guessing these were designed to cater to the needs of emergency kits for elementary schools, but we could be way off.
beats by dre x hello kitty
Beats by Dre x Hello Kitty
Not the first Dr. Dre tie-in that comes to mind, but somehow it doesn't seem that odd. Spotted at a Softbank mobile phone store in Harajuku.
at the dentist
Hello Kitty at the dentist
Given Hello Kitty's lack of a visible mouth, this seemed like an odd choice to us, but whatever works to promote dental hygiene among youngsters is all for the best we suppose. Seen near Nishi-Ojima station in Koto-ku.
seaweed chips
Hello Kitty seaweed chips
Hello Kitty-themed candy and cookies aren't uncommon, but we didn't expect it from centuries-old tea and dried seaweed shop Yamamotoya in Nihonbashi.
hk helmet
Hello Kitty construction helmets
Originally reported on in the design column of our sister site Shinkansen.com, these are still a head-scratcher - do construction workers actually wear these? Or are they intended for ten-year-old girls to wear on the occasions when they visit building sites?

Spotted at Mannen-ya, a clothing shop catering to construction workers, in Nishi-Shinjuku. (Photo credit: Meiwa Corporation.)
hk insurance company show
Hello Kitty at the insurance company
Tokyo's Fukoku Life Insurance Company has gone all out, with an exhibition of 62 different versions of Hello Kitty to represent their 62 regional offices around Japan. Read all about it here on AnimalCafes.com.

Seen at Fukoku's headquarters building in Uchisaiwaicho, Tokyo.