Japan is famous for its superfast Shinkansen bullet trains and its super-cute cartoon cat, Hello Kitty. Until September, rail enthusiasts can get both on the tracks between Osaka and Fukuoka. The pink and white, Hello Kitty-themed train has been introduced in the hopes that more tourists will take up a plush purple seat to explore Japan’s west or come on board for selfies with a giant Hello Kitty doll. Tourists in Tokyo can already stay in a Hello Kitty-themed room at the Keio Plaza Hotel.
Exercise juggernaut F45 is on the move. And we don’t mean doing extra burpees. The company is teaming with Contiki, the specialist for travellers aged 18 to 35, to take fitness-focused travellers on a 12-day holiday to the United States. The USA
Adventure, visiting Los Angeles, Las Vegas and San Francisco from September 7, combines sightseeing with training sessions and activities such as hiking and beach volleyball. Contiki research points to young travellers wanting to stay active on their getaways. But it’s not all action and abstention – a trip to Napa Valley wineries is also included.
Crossed-branded travel might be becoming a “thing”. Swedish outdoor brand Fjällräven has been running a multi -day camping trek in its home country since 2005 which it has taken to Denmark, the US and Asia. A second Hong Kong trek is running from October 24-27. PH 1300 288 845, CONTIKI.COM.AU CLASSIC.FJALLRAVEN.COM/HONGKONG
Personalisation continues to be a buzz word in travel, with river cruising and group touring specialist APT stepping further into the arena with a new service. Tailor Made Journeys offers custom travel planning – departure dates, locations, duration, modes of travel, hotels and sightseeing – initially across APT’s Africa and South America programs. APTOURING.COM.AU
The first phase of a new project from the group behind Bali’s Motel Mexicola and The Bucket List at Bondi opens on the Seminyak beachfront next month. Tropicola Beach Club will have three bars, two pools and a wood-fire kitchen along with the sweeping views of the Indian Ocean enjoyed by neighbours W Bali, Potato Head and Alila Seminyak. A rooftop bar, event space and hotel will follow over the next two years. TROPICOLA.INFO
Travellers flying to Ho Chi Minh City from Melbourne on Vietnam Airlines from the end of the month until the end of October will be on a bigger aircraft. Increase in demand has led to the airline’s temporary upgrade from a Boeing 787 to the Airbus A350, which can fit an additional 29 passengers. VIETNAMAIRLINES.COM