If there’s one reason to visit Japan at all, it’s going to be for some of their merchandise. From Studio Ghibli and Pokemon to Hello Kitty, the wide range of merchandise you can get here is amazing, especially if you’re a fan of their animated creations.
You might be able to see from the top photo that this street is right by Ginza metro station. All the way down this street, there are a lot of larger office buildings and many shops and retailers. If you love shopping for all kinds of things, from tech and toys to clothes, you’ll definitely find a lot here.
One store that I managed to find near the end of our walk down the street was this toy store selling a mixture of all kinds of branded toys.
It will come as no surprise that I was looking to find some Studio Ghibli plush toys. The majority of what you’ll find here are Totoro plushes, which is the mascot of the brand. However, if you look on the shelves, you can see other toys such as Jiji the cat and his girlfriend from Kiki’s Delivery Service, No Face from Spirited Away, The Baron from Whisper of the Heart/The Cat Returns amongst a few others.
Even the ornaments here are pretty cool. Below, you can see a Ghibli styled clock that is purely ornamental. I even found this little sign amusing that said ‘Totoro is watching’. Either you’re safe in the knowledge of his presence, or in big trouble if you even think about shoplifting.
Another set of plushes I looked for was the Doraemon toys. If you’ve never heard of it, it’s one of the most well known and loved kid’s animation tv series in East Asia. Whether you’re in Thailand, Hong Kong, Vietnam or Japan, you’ll see this pretty much everywhere you go.
The reason I heard about it was because this was something my Mum grew up watching, and she loved it. Growing up in Thailand in the 1970’s, she used to watch Doraemon a lot, and when I was 8 years old, she brought back a Doraemon alarm clock for my sister and me. To this day I’ve kept it purely ornamental and I haven’t properly used it yet.
And of course you have the Sanrio world store, the home of Hello Kitty. I didn’t explore this one as much, but if you’re a Hello Kitty fan you’ll definitely have some fun exploring.
I liked the fact they had collaboration pieces, particularly with Doraemon. I assume since they’re both cats (I’ve heard that Hello Kitty is a girl not a cat!) or cat inspired beings that it would make sense. And why not?
In the end I didn’t actually buy any toys, but it was a lot of fun to do some window shopping. It wouldn’t have fit in my rucksack anyway, which was full of clothes and actual essentials!
These were some of the photos that I look last year in February 2019, during our trip in Asia. If you’ve been to Japan, particularly here, then you might be more familiar with the name of the store and it’s exact location. I hope you liked looking at these photos.