If you’re visiting the Sky Tree (and it’s really worth it!) save some time, energy and cash for nearby Tokyo Solamachi. It’s a big complex with shopping, dining and entertainment and will keep you occupied for quite a few hours.
If you arrive in the area by subway, you’ll have to find your way through the mall to the Sky Tree entrance and you’ll also be deposited back there when you exit. It’s one of the larger malls I’ve visited and can be difficult to navigate all the different areas so make sure to pick up a free floor guide map. Here’s some of my top picks.
One of my favourite independent character brands has a new store at Solamachi. It stocks a huge range of products including toys, homeware, stationery, accessories and craft books, all featuring their hilarious and adorable characters. There’s actually so much that it’s really hard to decide what to buy! Unsurprisingly, all my purchases featured the bunny character, Usagi. There’s also a range of very cute Sky Tree souvenir products that were impossible for me to resist. See my full post »
Having already visited two branches of the Rilakkuma Store and two branches of Kiddyland before visiting the Sky Tree, I didn’t really need to go here too, but obviously I did anyway. It was worth it just to see the Sky Tree theming! While you can buy Rilakkuma Sky Tree themed merchandise all over Tokyo, there’s a bigger selection here and the bags are themed too. See my full post »
Pon de Lion Park
Mister Donut cafes are everywhere in Japan and great for a quick break or a sweet treat to take back to the hotel. Solamachi has a very special Mister Donut cafe called Pon de Lion Park. It’s adorably decorated with their lion mascot and painted murals – look at those chairs! You’ll find the usual range of donuts and cupcakes plus some Sky Tree exclusives.
Lego is awesome but Japan has managed to go one better and make a tiny version of Lego for miniature builds. You’ll find kits to make everything from a simple cat to the London skyline and everything in between. The Solamachi store has lots of models to enjoy plus you can pick up some Japanese icons for gifts including Pokemon, Mario and the Sky Tree itself.
Also worth visiting are Hello Kitty Japan, Pokemon Center, Loft, Daiso, Donguri Kyowakoku (Ghibli), Candy Show Time (handmade rolled sweets) and Q-pot (food-themed jewellery).
The Solamachi website has a helpful page that lists all restaurants with English menus and vegetarian options (scroll right down). That makes it a great place to try any cuisines or dishes you’ve been feeling intimidated by as they’ll be used to foreign tourists. There’s also a big food hall.
For fun eats, look out for the MoominHouse Cafe, Marion Crepes (Harajuku style) and Dog Dept, a dog-friendly cafe and shop!
Solamachi also hosts an aquarium, planetarium and Postal Museum so there’s plenty to do on a rainy day.
Last updated: 12 June 2017
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