The Hello Kitty official amusement park is called "Sanrio Puroland", based on the company that owns the copyright as well as many other mascots: My Melody, Cinnamoroll, Badtz Maru, Kuromi, Jewelpet...
This theme park is located in the town of Tama, west of Tokyo. Opened in 1990, Hello Kitty theme park welcomes 1.5 million visitors every year, making it one of the most visited parks in Japan with Tokyo Disney Sea, although it's entirely indoors.
By the way, Hello Kitty is called "Kitty-chan" in Japan.
Upon entering, you can get the impression that the building is fairly small: the ground and first floors are devoted to Sanrio goodies store, as well as restaurants, cafes and cakes or ice cream stalls. Obviously, Hello Kitty is the most represented. But shopping is not reserved only for children, since there are also handbags, clothing for adults and of course Gotochi Kitty figures.
Coming down to the first basement, you get in a vast cavity that provides access to various thematic areas. This is the heart of Sanrio Puroland. Regularly, mascots of the brand come and a long queue is formed at an impressive speed to be able to say hello, hug them and take a picture.
Obviously the public on site consists of a majority of Japanese families with young children, especially girls. But we came across a few teenagers and even adults who came to spend the day or the afternoon!
The Kitty show
Three times a day, Kitty-chan and her friends come perform a half hour show for children. We noticed the almost military organization of such a show. It portrays a princess who, to learn magic with Hello Kitty and others, must understand the importance of thanking and apologizing (very strong concepts in Japanese society).
Here's some footage I shot during this show :
In the above excerpt, filmed at the beginning of the show, Kitty-chan and the sorceress thank the children for their presence (after an introductory song) and then ask the assembly and characters to encourage one another in order to learn magic together.
In the world of Hello Kitty, magic makes people happy!
How to get to Sanrio Puroland
By train - From Shinjuku, Keio line towards Hashimoto, Tama Center Station (30-45 minutes) and walk for 5 minutes
By taxi - Address: 1-31 Ochiai, Tama, Tokyo 206-8588
Location unreachable with the JR Pass
Get there with a rental car
- Weekdays: ¥ 3,300 / ~US$ 30.40 (adults) or ¥ 2,500 / ~US$ 23.00 (children)
- Weekends and holidays: ¥ 3,800 / ~US$ 35.00 (adults) or ¥ 2,700 / ~US$ 24.90 (children)
Ticket "after 3pm": ¥ 2,000 / ~US$ 18.40 (adults) or ¥ 1,700 / ~US$ 15.70 (children)
Download a discount coupon
Free for children of 2 years old and under
Get your Japanese Yens free of charge
Weekdays : from 9:45am to 6pm
Weekends : from 8am to 8pm
How long / when to visit
From 2 hours to a full day, depending on who you are going with!
Visit on a rainy day if possible