Tokyo Character Street | Tokyo Travel Guide
There are many places where anime fans can enjoy themselves in Tokyo. You can visit subculture towns such as Akihabara and Nakano. But if you don’t have enough time to wander around those towns, I recommend Tokyo Character Street. It is located on the basement floor of Tokyo Station, so it is very convenient to visit. There are more than 30 shops that sell figurines and other subculture goods. Let’s see which shops are here!
Jump Shop deals with anime characters goods from the famous Shonen Jump weekly manga (comic) magazine. Its keywords are “friendship, effort, and victory” which are important to attract interest from kids. There are several manga magazines for kids in Japan, but Shonen Jump has almost always been at the top. Many popular mangas have started from this magazine such as Dragon Ball, One Piece, Naruto, Yu-Gi-Oh, Dr. Slump, Hokuto no Ken, and of course, Kimetsu no Yaiba (Demon Slayer). Moreover, many of these manga series have become anime.
Donguri Kyowakoku sells character goods of Studio Ghibli anime movies, such as stuffed toys, T-shirts, stationeries, DVDs, etc. Studio Ghibli, created by Hayao Miyazaki, is very popular all over the world. You may know some of the movies such as My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away, Ponyo, Kiki’s Delivery Service, and LAPUTA; Castle in the Sky. There is a wonderful Ghibli Museum in western Tokyo.
Pokemon Store in Tokyo Character Street
Pocket Monster, better known as Pokemon, is very popular in Japan. It was born in 1996 as a computer game for the Game Boy. The franchise spawned a TV anime, movies, manga, character goods, card games, arcade games, and so on. Pokemon GO, a new game that you can play with your smartphone was released in 2016. In the shop, you can buy stuffed toys from several hundred characters such as Pikachu, Bulbasaur, Charmander, Squirtle, Eevee, Dragonite, and Mewtwo. You may be able to find original goods sold only in the shop.
Hello Kitty Shop
Hello Kitty was born in 1974 from Sanrio Company. She is a female anthropomorphic cat that is loved by not only Japanese but by people from all over the world. A Hello Kitty fan is called Kittiler (Kitty lover). Some famous Kittilers are Cameron Diaz, Lady Gaga, and Mariah Carey. Her mouth is intentionally not described, so she doesn’t show any specific emotion and you can share your emotions with her. A lot of local Hello Kitty key chains are available all over Japan. For those who just can’t get enough, there is a Sanrio’s theme park, Sanrio Puroland in Tokyo.
Ultraman World M78
Ultraman is a Japanese superhero comparable to Superman. He is from galaxy M78, three million light-years away from earth. He fights against aliens and Kaiju (monsters). The popular live-action show started broadcasting on TV in 1966 and is still continuing today. So there are a great many Ultraman fans from children to adults. It’s made by Tsuburaya Productions, which is specialized in Tokusatsu (special effects). There are a lot of members in the Ultra family and many Kaiju. You can buy the figurines of these characters in this shop.
Crayon Shin-chan Official Shop
Shin-chan is a naughty kindergartner manga character. When the anime started in 1992, because many children imitated his shameful words and behaviors, their parents complained about it. But now, Shin-chan is a lovable character. You can buy Shin-chan and his family and friends’ character goods in this shop.
PLA RAIL Shop and TOMICA Shop
PLA RAIL specializes in train models. They have many kinds of trains including shinkansen (bullet trains). By collecting different rail parts, you can build your own railroad. TOMICA specializes in car models. You can also buy themed stationery, towels, clothes, and snacks. Both shops are managed by Tomy Company. They have a strong fanbase.
Tokyo Gashapon Street in Tokyo Character Street
The ‘gashapon’ is a vending machine that dispenses capsule toys. You can see what kind of things you will get on the pictures attached to each machine. But as there are several different versions, you don’t know which one you will get. For example, a Gashapon’s theme may be Kimetsu no Yaiba. They have key chains of Tanjiro, Nezuko, Inosuke, Zenitsu, or other characters. Some people want to collect all different key chains, so they spend a lot of money to get all of them. There are many machines lined up in the narrow alley. One capsule costs between 200 and 500 yen.
Shops of TV Stations
There are six shops of Japanese TV stations. These are the NHK Character Shop, Nittere-Ya, TBS Store, Fuji TV Shop Fuji-san, Tereasa Shop, and TV Tokyo Shop. They sell character goods related to their programs. For example, TV Tokyo broadcasts Pokemon, so they also sell Pokemon goods although there is a dedicated Pokemon Store. But there are not only anime characters. NHK sells goods of Chiko-chan, the main presenter of a variety show.
Foreign Anime Characters
There are also character shops of foreign anime characters. These are Disney Avenue by Kiddy Land, Miffy Style, Moomin Shop, LEGO Store, Snoopy Town Mini, and so on. Disney characters are loved by many Japanese, too.
Your Japan Tour
As seasoned Japan experts, we can help you create your perfect Japan tour. We can include destinations like Tokyo Character Street. Check out our group tours and private tours, or contact us to start planning your unforgettable holiday to this fascinating country. Japan is full of once-in-a-lifetime experiences, culture, history, nature, and delicious food!