MangoVine
Adventures in East Asia

Sanrio Puroland - Hello Kitty & Co for a heavy dose of kawaii

Top of Linh's list of places to see in Tokyo was Sanrio Puroland - the theme park for kids featuring well-known Japanese icons such as Hello Kitty and Melody. I accompany her of course. I mean how bad can it be for a grown man? Not bad actually, I have to admit.

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Sanrio Puroland is at Tama Center, a place on the Keio line that's reachable by train from Shinjuku in under an hour. It's a short walk from the station that takes you through a wide pedestrianised avenue lined with shops. You have to take a left at some point and its obvious when, since you can spot Puroland from a distance.

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We're used to seeing long queues for attractions that we tend to visit, but it was pretty quiet when we got to the entrance to Sanrio Puroland, even though we turned up just before midday. We weren't worried at all since we could get our tickets quickly and didn't have to wait long for anything that required queuing on the inside.

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Ticket Prices

Tickets come in two varieties (for adults) whereupon you can get a cheaper, normal ticket for basic entrance, or you can purchase a "passport" which gives you access to all the shows, rides and attractions. We got two passports which cost 4,400 JPY (£30) each - not cheap, but it turned out to be the better option.

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Puro Village layout

When we first passed through the foyer, a quick review of the guide map and a glance around made us disappointed. The layout of Puro Village, as its called, is circular with the Wisdom Tree in the middle. We could see to the other side and it didn't look very big at all. Here's a small version of the guide map to give you an idea.

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Well, we'd paid our money and thought that we'd be done in an hour or two. However, we ended up staying until closing time - a full five hours! Our initial impressions at the size of Puroland did not take into account all the attractions and shows which were hidden away in theatres dotted around the village as well as little shops, stalls and other entertainment elements which jostled for our time.

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Shows to watch

There were over six separate shows featuring song and dance and lots of people in costume and kitty suits. They lasted around 20-40 minutes long each, so were significant enough to feel watchable, but were short enough to keep you going to the next show.

The amount of choreography evident in the shows also gave you a sense of the work and effort put in. Each show was timed to begin one after another (allowing for a break), as well as being scheduled more than once a day, thereby allowing visitors to see all the shows during their time there. Clever planning I'd say. It went over our heads though as we still missed one show without realising until it was too late.

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Other attractions

Apart from the shows, there was a theatre (The Time Machine of Dreams) that projected a 3D Japan Rally feature (3D glasses and moveable seats included!), an Entertainment Hall which housed an interactive attraction called Hello Kitty Black Wonder and a boat ride, which takes passengers on a trip along the circumference of the village. More on these last two in later posts.

As if these weren't enough, there's a Games Square full of crane games (Sanrio prizes of course), plenty of shops to buy stuff (including a massive one near the entrance) and a Hello Kitty House where visitors can have their photo taken with her.

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In between all of these are various stalls with more games and prizes to win and the whole lot is juxtaposed in an impressively modelled and animated interior guaranteed to please any kid (or adult with a big camera like mine).

The guide map for Sanrio Puroland outlines four floors which is technically true but there's really only two floors that are taken up by the village. The other two floors are alot smaller and are made up by the foyer and floor above it, both of which are populated with shops and a restaurant.

There's also a second restaurant inside but we actually ran out of time before we could eat anything - even with the Hello Kitty inspired serving dishes.

More posts about Sanrio Puroland to follow.

To see more photos check out the Sanrio Puroland Flickr set

Visit the official Sanrio Puroland website

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This entry posted in : Attractions. Entertainment. Japan. Shopping. Tourism.

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14/11/10  at  02:27 PM
how nice....
i l0ve HELLO KITTY when my wish come true ill promise to my self that i go to JAPAN and i go to SANRIO PUROLAND i love love love love love love hello kitty.....promise....
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28/01/11  at  07:39 AM
i love it hello kitty i love hello kitty
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26/02/11  at  04:11 AM
its so cute
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21/08/11  at  02:01 AM
i love hello kitty so much..
thats why i started to collect more and more cute hgello kitty!!
i luv u hello kitty!!
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09/10/11  at  07:52 AM
i love you hello kitty and melody i all most wish im a japanis bcoz im a philipina
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24/11/11  at  02:41 PM
I LIKE IT!
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28/11/11  at  11:06 PM
I LOVE HELLO KITTY
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01/12/11  at  11:38 PM
i love hollw kitty she is awsome my frend olivia loves i mean love hollwkitty
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