A Day with Hello Kitty at Sanrio Puroland
Hello Kitty is one of Japan’s most famous exports and is loved by children across the globe. Just a 30-minute train ride away from Shinjuku station, you can step into the world of Hello Kitty and other popular Sanrio characters at Puroland. As soon as you arrive at Tama Center station you will notice that the whole town is geared up to support Kitty in her role as a mascot for Japan.
Sanrio Puroland is an indoor wonderland dedicated to all the Sanrio characters including My Melody, Kuromi, Little Twin Stars, Pom Pom Purin and, of course, Hello Kitty. Tama Center station and the approach to Puroland is easily accessible with a stroller. However, no strollers are allowed inside Puroland itself, so you will need to leave it in the designated area at the entrance. Puroland is entirely indoors and is perfect as a rainy day activity. There are a number of escalators connecting each zone, so it is not very practical for small children under the age of three.
Split across four floors, Puroland is divided into zones that are centered around the Wisdom Tree. A feast for the eyes, the Wisdom Tree is lit up with fairy lights and neon bows. If you climb inside the tree you can ring Hello Kitty’s Bell of Happiness.
One of the main attractions of Puroland is the parade that takes place at lunchtime around the Wisdom Tree. It is fun to watch all the fans camping out to get their spot, but there is really no need to worry about sitting there too early as the parade is easily visible from all around the Wisdom Tree. Without giving too much away, the parade even includes an aerial arrival of certain characters!
Other attractions include Lady Kitty’s House, the Sanrio Character Boat ride and the My Melody Drive. However, if you visit on a weekend, be prepared to stand in line. Character meet and greets are also available on the fourth floor during the designated time slots.
There are a number of live shows that take place in each of the theaters inside Puroland throughout the day. You can pick up a timetable upon arrival or check the website for details.
The shows are in Japanese but they have English subtitles on the screens alongside the stage. However, they are very visual with plenty of music and dancing.
The food court in Puroland is a dream come true for customers who like pink! As you might expect, the food itself is exceptionally cute. I went for the Hello Kitty curry and loved it! To avoid long lines, sneak out of the lunchtime parade a little early and grab a table before the crowds flood in.
The Dream Café on the fourth floor is much quieter than the main food court and I enjoyed a relaxing cup of tea up there after lunch. If you are able to visit on a weekday then I would highly recommend doing so, as the crowds were quite overwhelming on a Saturday.
Shopping is, of course, high on the agenda for any visitor who is a fan of Sanrio and the stores carry a number of items that are only available in Puroland itself. I bought way more than I had planned to!
There are a number of seasonal events that take place at Sanrio Puroland, so it is a great place to visit throughout the year and I would definitely go again. For information on how to get there, click here.