A Day with Doraemon at the Fujiko F. Fujio Museum
It's no surprise that Japan is home to some of the most famous characters, beloved by generations of children who grew up with them. From manga comics to feature length films, Doraemon, the blue robot cat from the future, is just one of the many loved characters created by the manga duo Fujiko Fujio.
Fujiko F. Fujio is the penname for Hiroshi Fujimoto, whose stories and characters were made for children, but are equally loved by adults. Opened in 2011, the Fujiko F. Fujio Museum in Kawasaki is home to original pieces drawn by Fujimoto. You really are able to feel the affection and passion he had for creating a legacy which many people of all ages will appreciate.
Upon entering the museum, visitors can pick up audio guides, which are available in English, Japanese, Korean and Chinese. These are used for the first floor of the museum, where you can select a number which is displayed next to an exhibit to hear information on that piece. This floor is where you can view personal items and materials Fujimoto used to create his manga, along with original watercolor paintings. The lighting has been adjusted accordingly to preserve the drawings, and photographs are not allowed in this area of the museum. One area on this level where photos are permitted is the Woodcutter’s Spring, located on the balcony between the first and second floors. This is where you can meet Gian, a sometimes-friend to Nobita and Doraemon.
The second floor holds many more wonderful exhibits to enhance your experience with Doraemon and friends. Take the Manga Corner for example, where many volumes of the comics can be enjoyed (while Doraemon enjoys some of his favorite dorayaki snacks).
There is also the Fujiko F. Fujio Theatre, where short, original movies that can’t be viewed anywhere else are shown every twenty minutes. Be sure to take home some prizes from one of the two large gachapon machines (vending machines that dispense toys held inside plastic capsules) shaped as Doraemon and his sister, Dorami.
The rooftop playground is a relaxing open space for everyone to enjoy. In the center of the rooftop playground stands a beautiful tree with surrounding greenery. This is where you can take photos with Doraemon and other characters from the series.
One area that you can’t afford to miss is the Museum Cafe and Gift Corner Fujikoya on the museum’s third floor. The Gift Corner offers specialty goods which aren’t available in the main gift shop on the first floor, including original dorayaki, which are Japanese sponge cakes filled with sweet azuki bean paste—Doraemon’s absolute favorite treat. You can also purchase sweet rusks resembling one of Doraemon’s most interesting tools to help Nobi, the anki-pan. The cafe was a personal highlight for me, as I love how creatively put together the meals, desserts and drinks are.
The Fujiko F. Fujio Museum is open everyday except Tuesdays and National Holidays. Reserved tickets are required, as the museum has four entry times a day so guests can enjoy everything without being rushed. These times are 10 a.m., 12 p.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Tickets can be purchased from Lawson convenience stores.
Address: 2-8-1 Nagao, Tama-ku, Kawasaki, Kanagawa
How much: ¥1,000 for adults and university students; ¥700 for junior high and high school students; ¥500 for children aged four and over; free for children aged three and younger.
Tickets: Purchase tickets using the Loppi ticket machines at Lawson convenience stores. For detailed instructions in English on how to use the machines, click here.
More info: For more information, take a look at the museum’s English website.