Although it opened almost 30 years ago in 1990, Sanrio Puroland still rakes in at least 1.5 million global visitors annually. That’s right folks, Hello Kitty, My Melody, Cinnamoroll, and Jewelpet have charmed tourists from possibly every corner of the Earth.
Hello Kitty Land? Nope, it’s kawaii Puroland!
Hello Kitty is Sanrio’s most well known character, so naturally she’s found almost everywhere in the park. But don’t mistake Puroland as a Hello Kitty-only attraction! The theme park is the home of other popular cast members like Gudetama, Cinnamoroll, and My Melody as well.
And did you know that almost every Sanrio character has an elaborate back story? Here are three of our favourite cartoons, and some quirky facts about them.
#1 Hello Kitty (A.K.A The Mouthless Caucasian “Girl”)
D.O.B: 1 November 1974
What is she? Nobody knows, but one thing’s for sure: Hello Kitty is anything but a cat. The Sanrio creators define her as a little girl that walks on her own two feet. Adding to the weirdness, Hello Kitty actually owns a pet cat called Charmmy Kitty, which is essentially a carbon copy of her. She’s also emotionless, as she has no mouth.
Busy being cute at: The Lady Kitty House (and almost everywhere else in the park!)
Pink reigns supreme at the Lady Kitty House, which is literally Hello Kitty’s regal palace. Marvel at Renaissance-style portraits, fancy furniture, exquisite jewellery, and a massive bathtub replica of Hello Kitty. It’s plush toy galore in here as you saunter around the living space clearly fit for a queen, boasting pastel rose walls and cute decorations everywhere. Do not miss out the Japanese-style tea room that features lots of fun gimmicks inside!
#2 Gudetama (A.K.A. The Cute-But-Chronically-Depressed Egg)
D.O.B: 1 December 2013
This sloppy looking egg is one of Sanrio’s most well-liked characters but ironically, Gudetama embodies severe depression and has an indifferent attitude towards well… everything. The fact that Sanrio modelled a character after their tamago also seems just a tad queer no? He even has his own animation series now, which is a big hit among Japan’s seemingly deflated younger generation.
Always lazing around at: The Gudetama Land
Gudetama may hate the world, but we sure love him! Go gaga at the newly-opened Gudetama Land and witness this chronically depressed egg make its grand appearance. “Board” the Gudetama Airlines to get there (the entire zone is designed like an airport), and follow the aisles to witness a pseudo food gallery featuring your favourite eggy protagonist. If these gastronomical creations amuse you, wait till you step into the entire world of lazy eggs: Snap photos with a life-size Gudetama, try out the kid-friendly colouring stations, and have a blast at the many game booths. Plus, put on your dancing shoes and groove along to the epic Gudetama dance!
#3 Aggretsuko (A.K.A The Angsty Beer-loving Business-panda)
D.O.B: 1 May 2016
The story of Aggretsuko is completely unexpected, especially since she was birthed from a fairly reserved culture that values politeness. With this perpetually-angry panda, Sanrio paints the complete flip side of the typical Japanese culture. Aggretsuko is a stressed out office worker with a lot of pent up frustrations. She lashes out like a boss, drinks like a fish, and finds solace in hardcore music. Could she be Sanrio’s attempt at highlighting the emerging issue of a burnt out working population?
Karaoking to heavy metal songs at: The Sanrio Character Boat Ride
As Aggretsuko is Sanrio’s newest addition, she has yet to have her own zone. That said, she is insanely popular amongst many and is no doubt a rising star. She is featured in the Sanrio Character Boat ride, where you can have a peek into Badtz Maru’s cave and Keroppi’s pond. Try to spot Aggretsuko as you’re being whisked around a dazzling display of characters, just like in the world-renowned “It’s A Small World” boat ride.
There’s more to do!
Have some loose change jingling in your pockets? The entire Puroland is photo-worthy, but for an extra special momento, check out the purikura machines. These hi-tech photo booths print kawaii personalized Sanrio stickers. For the convenience of its customers, there’s also free Wi-Fi all around the theme park!
If you enjoy musicals and live performances, Puroland houses not one but three live theatres and one giant film theatre! Catch your quirky favourites singing, dancing, and prancing around to delightful tunes in the Miracle Gift Parade, Illusions of Light Fantastic, and Hello Kitty in Wonderland shows.
Sanrio Puroland: Getting There
Address: 1-31, Ochiai, Tama-shi, Tokyo 〒206-8588
Weekdays: 1000 – 1700/1800* hours
Weekends: 1000 – 1800/2000* hours
*The park’s operation hours are subject change during scheduled holidays. Click here for the latest updates.
Situated in the large residential town of Tama, you can get to Puroland by heading to Tama Station via the Keio Semi-Special Express train from downtown Shinjuku (approximately 30 minutes). You should see a colossal faux stained glass Sanrio ceiling just past the ticket gantries. Follow the compass arrows on the ground to begin your 10-minute walk to Sanrio Puroland.
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