I’m writing this at the end of my work day (working from home) and am surrounded by cute Japanese cartoon paraphernalia which now adorns my home office/book nook – socks, tea cup, pens, the works; I figured now would be the perfect time to write this post! If you saw my Instagram account last week, you may have noticed this post, featuring (some of) my new Gudetama paraphernalia . I’m not much into the typical pink sparkly cutesy crap so often associated with Japan, so he’s the perfect cutey-pie cartoon for me – he’s a fat, lazy, grumpy egg. My spirit animal.
But there is a LOT more to Japan’s kawaii cartoon scene than just Gudetama (although how you could possibly go past a lazy egg that uses a piece of bacon as a blanket, I do not know), and they take it seriously. And it’s infectious – even I got totally into it, even though I really didn’t recognise many of them other than other than Hello Kitty, Kirby and Miffy. And the best places to shop for your cartoony goods? Kiddy Land and Character Street!
6-1-9 Jingu-mae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
This place is not a store. This is a palace of cartoon. And that photo above is just the start of the line to get in. It’s several levels of everything from Gudetama and Hello Kitty to Pokemon and Miffy. There’s an entire level dedicated to Snoopy, and there are even Star Wars light up lightsaber chop sticks. AMAZING!
The prices are surprisingly not horrendous, and if you can’t find what you’re looking for here, you’ve got no chance!
Basement of JR Tokyo Station near Yaesu exit
So, the basement of Tokyo Station is like a small city in itself – not only is it home to Ramen Street, it’s also home to Character Street, over 20 stores, each dedicated to different characters from various Japanese TV networks.
90s children like myself should particularly love the Tamagotchi, Miffy and Pokemon stuff. And also, more Gudetama!!!
Are you ready to get your shop on yet?!