On a chilly morning, I board a train at Shinjuku Station (via Keio Line) towards Hashimoto. My destination? Tokyo’s Hello Kitty Land Japan in Puroland, an indoor theme park that is said to be the home of all things Hello Kitty. The journey takes about 40 mins and very soon, I alight at Tama Station Center and Sanrio Hello Kitty town is just within 5 mins walking distance.
Your Hello Kitty passport
Few minutes later, I’m queuing to buy my tickets. They are reasonably priced and I have the option of getting a ‘Welcome Ticket’ (3,000 yen for adults, 2,700 yen for youths between the ages of 12 and 17 and 2,000 yen for children up to the age of 11) or a ‘Passport’, which costs 1,000 yen more in each category.
The ‘Welcome Ticket’ is a basic version, which simply provides entrance and access to free shows. The ‘Passport’ promises more; it is valid for all attractions, except games and I buy it instead.
Kitty See, Kitty Do
Hello Kitty fans will have lots to do here – the attractions in the theme park span from heart-warming stage shows to a replica of Kitty’s house. The house is as cute as it gets – everything, even the telephone, is Kitty-fied. Stop to watch one of the Kitty-shaped televisions which features, you guessed it, Kitty giving you the day’s weather.
The Sanrio character boat ride is a must-try attraction. A boat that ‘sails’ on a rail track, it brings you around the entire theme park in a few minutes.Those with kids should check out the Discovery Theatre, a show which features a child-friendly song and dance show.
Some might compare Hello Kitty Land to Disneyland Tokyo; however, Hello Kitty Land is far smaller and doesn’t have the rides or extravagance of Disneyland. It makes up for its small size with its heart and attention to detail.
Food Galore and Children Friendly Facilities
Despite its small size, the theme park offers at least five dining options. The food options are diverse, as are the themes of the eateries. Cinnamon Dream Café on the 4th floor is great for those with a sweet tooth, while those looking for a proper meal can enjoy a buffet at Yakata Restaurant, also on the 4th floor. Patrons of the Yakata Restaurant are also treated to an exclusive dinner show on weekends.
The theme park is generally well equipped and includes a baby care centre, which should put parents at ease. The centre sells baby food, powdered milk and paper diapers, among other necessities.
How to Go to Hello Kitty Land Tokyo
Hello Kitty Land has erratic opening hours, so it’s best to check its schedule on its website before heading off. It is generally open from 10am to 5pm on weekdays and from 10am to 8pm on weekends. If getting to Hello Kitty Land is a priority, there are comfortable limousine buses from Tokyo’s Narita and Haneda airports. Or else, take a train from Shinjuku Station (via Keio Line) is equally convenient and it’s a cheaper alternative.
If Tokyo is too far away, check out Hello Kitty Town in Johor, Malaysia, which is literally, a stone’s throw away from Singapore. If you are obsessed with Hello Kitty, you will find means and ways to visit this indoor amusement park at all costs.