Two-year-old Chase Carlberg flops onto the plush Hello Kitty pizza at the Dec. 7 opening of the Hello Kitty Friends Around the World Tour Pop-Up in Bellevue. Madison Miller/staff photo

Two-year-old Chase Carlberg flops onto the plush Hello Kitty pizza at the Dec. 7 opening of the Hello Kitty Friends Around the World Tour Pop-Up in Bellevue. Madison Miller/staff photo

Hello Kitty celebrates 45 years with interactive pop-up

The Hello Kitty Friends Around the World Tour pop-up runs from Dec. 7-29.

A colorful, fun and familiar face has come to Bellevue.

Hello Kitty is celebrating its 45th anniversary. Since the character’s debut in Japan in 1974, Hello Kitty has inspired generations of people around the world with a positive message of friendship and kindness. To celebrate the icon’s 45th anniversary, Sanrio—the parent company of Hello Kitty— launched a pop-up interactive experience for fans.

The Hello Kitty Friends Around the World Tour first debuted in Los Angeles last year. Bellevue is the second stop on the nation-wide tour.

Susan Tran, Sanrio’s director of brand marketing, said the pop-up tour provides guests with a multi-sensory, walk-through experience that takes them around the globe with Hello Kitty and friends.

“It’s a really fun, immersive experience,” she said. “Guests get to take a tour around the world with Hello Kitty. They get a guided tour from place to place and get passport stamps as they go.”

The 10,000 square foot pop-up transports visitors into Hello Kitty’s world and embarks them on a journey within the experience to London, Paris, New York, Honolulu and Tokyo.

The tour begins in London — Hello Kitty’s hometown. Parents, children, grandparents and couples reclined on Hello Kitty’s bed, played with her vanity table and took photos while pretending to put on her classic outfits.

The next stop takes guests to Paris where they can pose by the Eiffel tower, visit a French bakery and sip coffee. The children enjoyed poking and petting the plush donut wall.

Another stamp in the passport and the guests are whisked to New York City. There, the tour guide gave everyone party poppers to celebrate Hello Kitty turning 45.

Two-year-old Chase Carlberg flopped onto the oversized plush Hello Kitty-themed New York pizza with a toothy smile and a giggle.

Another stamp in the passport and takes fans to sunny Honolulu. With palm trees, sandy beaches and a faux poke food truck, the guests relaxed by the sea.

The final stop on the tour takes guests to Tokyo. Ornate paper lanterns, a bridge and a small tea house fills the room. Hello Kitty herself visited and posed for photos with fans.

Carolyn Carlberg attended the debut tour with her husband, Kevin, and their son, Chase.

“It was really fun — so many colors,” she said. “We loved all the places and we loved being able to bring Chase and share our love of Hello Kitty with him.”

The interactive pop-up tour not only provides guests with a memorable experience but also allows them to share their love of Hello Kitty with their children and families.

“It’s amazing to give this generational experience to families,” Tran said. “It’s fun to see how it impacts them as a family.”

The Hello Kitty Friends Around the World Tour debuted Dec. 7 at 44 Bellevue Way NE, Bellevue WA 98004 and will run until Dec. 29. To learn more about the tour or to purchase tickets, go online to https://hellokitty45.com/


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Chase Carlberg gets his Hello Kitty passport stamped as he “flys” to the next location on the Hello Kitty Tour. Madison Miller/staff photo

Chase Carlberg gets his Hello Kitty passport stamped as he “flys” to the next location on the Hello Kitty Tour. Madison Miller/staff photo

Tour visitors write wishes for the upcoming year at the Hello Kitty Friends Around the World Tour on Dec. 7. Madison Miller/staff photo

Tour visitors write wishes for the upcoming year at the Hello Kitty Friends Around the World Tour on Dec. 7. Madison Miller/staff photo

Madison Miller/staff photo                                Two-year-old Chase Carlberg flops onto the plush Hello Kitty pizza at the Dec. 7 opening of the Hello Kitty Friends Around the World Tour Pop-Up in Bellevue.

Madison Miller/staff photo Two-year-old Chase Carlberg flops onto the plush Hello Kitty pizza at the Dec. 7 opening of the Hello Kitty Friends Around the World Tour Pop-Up in Bellevue.

Madison Miller/staff photo                                Guests pop party poppers to celebrate Hello Kitty’s 45th anniversary in a mock New York City.

Madison Miller/staff photo Guests pop party poppers to celebrate Hello Kitty’s 45th anniversary in a mock New York City.

Children knock on the Hello Kitty tour to start the debut tour on Dec. 7. Madison Miller/staff photo

Children knock on the Hello Kitty tour to start the debut tour on Dec. 7. Madison Miller/staff photo

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