If there’s one ubiquitous thing about Japan it’s Hello Kitty. She is everywhere and there is a cute Hello Kitty phone charm and hand towel for every location and occasion. Think I’m exaggerating? You can get a themed Kitty for each area of Tokyo, for every major city and tourist attraction in Japan, for every festival and holiday and for the most minor of tie-ins with community bus services and train lines.
[Photo by Kawaii Gazette]
For all things Hello Kitty there is the Sanrio Gift Gate where you can buy everything from a pencil to a sewing machine adorned with the face of Hello Kitty, as well as a smaller range of items featuring the rest of the gang (Gudetama, My Melody, Little Twin Stars, Cinnamoroll etc.).
Outside the Ikebukuro branch, with the enormous Kitty face peering down at you, there are Sanrio gashapon where you can pick up some Hello Kitty toys in Kitty head shaped capsules. You might also see a raffle, where you pay to pick a ticket for a chance to win prizes.
Prices can be expensive but if you’re a big Sanrio fan, you’ll find lots to love. If you make a purchase, you get a little free gift attached to your carrier bag though and they also do very pretty gift wrapping.
How to get there
There are Sanrio stores all over Tokyo and Japan so check the list for the best ones. You’ll find them with various names including Sanrio Gift Gate, Vivitix and Hello Kitty Japan. The Ikebukuro branch is close to Sunshine City and there’s also a branch inside the mall.
Last updated: 24 August 2016