Are you on the last leg of your Japan trip but can’t seem to figure out the perfect souvenirs for your friends and family? Or maybe you just adore kawaii Japanese characters and fine-quality products? Well, there is a place just for you, a place of wonder and imagination, of nostalgia and innovation. If you’re thinking of Disneyland, you’re almost there but not quite, as there is actually another magical place where you can find happiness! It’s Japan’s one and only largest toy amusement park, Kiddyland!
Kiddyland is a toy store chain with 60 years of history and 63 stores throughout the country, so it’s definitely hard to miss the chain’s familiar red and white logo. The flagship store is right smack in the middle of Harajuku, which is already known worldwide as Asia’s major hub of fashion, subculture, and the hottest trends!
This 5-story chain not only has the latest Rilakkuma, Gudetama, and other cute Japanese creations, but even has Sailor Moon, Disney characters, and other goods to bring you back to the good ol’ memories of your childhood! Also, these stores are immensely popular with foreign tourists, so some of the staff can assist you in different languages!
Here are 5 things you will find unique and hard to experience at any other store but Kiddyland!
If you have ever wanted to meet Rilakkuma, Hello Kitty, or another one of your cute companions from your childhood days, here’s your chance! Usually during the advent of a special campaign, holiday event, or product release, Kiddyland (usually the larger branches like Harajuku) invite the life-size version of a popular character to the store, so you can take photos with him/her!
Recently, even characters that were not “born” in Japan have joined in on this collaboration, such as the KRUNK x BIGBANG campaign, in which fans can buy products that are not easily found elsewhere and meet KRUNK bear close up!
So you find out from Kiddyland’s website that the Sailor Moon figurine you’ve wanted for so long is finally being released in-store at a certain date, yet you are too busy to make it to Kiddyland around that time! However, you MUST get on your hands on that item to complete your collection, so what can you do? Don’t worry, because Kiddyland accepts reservation of certain items before their release date! You can reserve the item over the phone or at the store which will carry the item on the listed date. However, the system is first come, first serve so you have to get on it as soon as possible.
Japan’s trends are so eye-catching that even celebrities want to get in on the action! In this way, Kiddyland really lives up to its fame as Japan’s one and only toy amusement park, as the 5 floors are separated into Snoopy Town (B1), Fashion and Variety (1F), Disney Corner (2F), Toys and Hobby (3F), and Rilakkuma and Hello Kitty Shop (4F).
On every floor you can find the latest and newest character goods such as the usual plush toys, smartphone cases, lunch boxes, and so on! Make your friends jealous by getting your hands on the latest version of Hello Kitty or Minions goods! Kiddyland often does collaborations with currently popular Disney movies such as Frozen or Inside Out, but they also have products adorned by the forever-loved Disney princesses, and so on. Many items are limited only to Japan or are limited edition, meaning their production is limited, so if you don’t buy now, you might not be able to find the product again!
There is an Event Space on the topmost floor in which special toy release events are held, and there is even a Photo Spot which you can take pictures with your friends!
Kiddyland is not just a place a buy the latest goods but a place where you can also indulge in your nostalgic dreams of the animes and movies you saw as a child.
The array of products at Kiddyland have actually been carefully selected in accordance to the needs of foreign customers who are looking to bring something uniquely kawaii and definitely Japanesey back as a souvenir for friends, family, and even themselves!
Kiddyland also has newly released products from time to time, so there’s always something new and exciting, like the recent addition of Pusheen!
Before you entered you may have thought Kiddyland is just another toy store for kids, but actually there are also many other miscellaneous, perfect-as-omiyage goods like samurai sword umbrellas, magnets, hair ties, pens and more!
So there you have it! It should be pretty certain that you have never been to any other place like this! A place where you can have all your favorite characters in one place, where you can impress your friends with the latest Japanese trends. Listen to the voice of your inner child; you will definitely not regret going to this magically nostalgic toy amusement park!