Tokyo was the last stop on our Japan trip. We previously spent time in Hiroshima, and Kyoto, and in Kyoto we told the kids a spontaneous bedtime story about Konichiwa Kitty and Sayonara Dog. Gabriel told the story and I sang the song, which I determined later ended up sounding a lot like the tune of Keep the Commandments. So, even though we are not huge Hello Kitty fans, when we got to Tokyo and found the Original Hello Kitty store was right under our nose we thought it would be fun for the whole family to take a peek.
This was definitely more of a novelty experience for us. I’m not sure if I expected a factory, or a warehouse, but I know that I did not expect a small and modest store sharing the same space as a Baskin Robbins. Though, an ice cream store next to a kids toy store does make sense.
► Ranking: #stinkydiaper
Original Hello Kitty Store
1st Floor, Korakuen adhoc Building, 3-15-11 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Sat/Sun/National Holiday 10:00-20:00
Closed on irregular days
Technically, this is a Sanrio store. It not only has Hello Kitty, but all her friends too including My Melody, Little Twin Stars, Chococat, Kero Kero Keroppi, Cinnamoroll, Kuromi, Pekkle and Tuxedo Sam to name a few. This is the Sanrio flagship store and boasts the largest collection of Sanrio products.
The most appealing part of this experience was finding the world’s largest Hello Kitty, standing over 8 feet high, just outside the store.
Similar to Kiddyland, there were a lot of pencils, pencil cases, glasses cases, phone charms, key chains and coin purses of every character available. There was also a large selection of clothing, and a full wall dedicated to differing sized Hello Kitty’s to choose from. This is a gift gate type of Hello Kitty store, which actually means it is family friendly which we found interesting because, like so many stores we visited, we got the distinct impression this store is definitely catered to an adult crowd. Technically the Questina stores are specifically for adult fans of cute Hello Kitty paraphernalia, while strict Hello Kitty stores are meant to be enjoyed by all ages.
There is also Sanrio Puro Land, the indoor Hello Kitty amusement park. Though we aren’t huge fans of Hello Kitty, looking back, we really wish we had taken the time to go here for the authentic Japanese novelty experience.
As we said, we aren’t huge Hello Kitty fans, but we did end up buying our baby her first Hello Kitty, and I got a pair of socks (because when in Japan!). Sanrio takes especially great care in packaging your items, and even includes a free gift with every purchase. On this occasion we were gifted a cute character necklace, and it was a nice treat.
► For Kids: A fun experience to see, touch and climb on the world’s biggest Hello Kitty statue. Lots of things to see and touch, but not a lot of kid merchandise per se. A quick stop is worth the time if you’re in the area.
This location is just around the corner from the Kit Kat Chocolatory, so you can kill two uninteresting birds with one stone.
► Nap-Time Version: Get a taste of Japanese culture and Japanese history by visiting the original Hello Kitty flagship store and view the largest Hello Kitty in the world.