The Official Ghibli Shops in Japan
Donguri is the Japanese name of Studio Ghibli’s official stores mainly located in Japan. Aside the "Mamma Aiuto" shop in Ghibli Museum, the animation studio partnered with Benelic Group to create a store chain quasi-exclusively dedicated to the brand’s by-products.
As much as we are huge fans of Ghibli, we know that getting hold of official merchandise can be difficult. That’s why trips to Japan are the perfect opportunity to stock up on all the brand's goodies.
Donguri shops are certainly a must-visit for all fans, and the Ghibli shopping session can easily be scheduled in most of travels in Japan, thanks to numerous stores conveniently scattered throughout the country (see the list below). The first thing you usually see when entering the shop is a giant Totoro. All these shops mostly sell the same products, but some items are only available in selected stores.
The shops are a paradise for young and old: mainly soft toys and figurines of all sizes, but there is also a plethora of bags, key rings, tableware, linen, accessories and utensils of all kinds, and many other items with designs from Miyazaki and Takahata’s films in particular. There is also a relatively wide baby range and, of course, you can also buy all the films on DVD and Blu-Ray.
The most popular characters are undoubtedly Totoro, Mei, Jiji (Kiki’s cat 🐈), Ponyo, the robot from Laputa or Spirited Away’s No-Face (Kaonashi). Despite being Studio Ghibli’s kawaii ambassadors, they do not overshadow dozens of other effigies of characters from the other popular feature films. To entice more purchases, the stores play soundtracks from the Ghibli movies on a loop.
Prices may seem expensive, but they are usually in line with selling prices in other types of official shops (such as Jump Shop). What is really expensive is buying from unofficial resellers, especially on eBay, as they often add a hefty mark-up.
Anyway, travelers who want to avoid going back home with cheap presents or souvenirs from the ¥100 shops will appreciate Donguri shops for the range of original, official and reasonably priced items they have.
Some stores also have a Donguri Bank (どんぐり銀行 Donguri ginkô) or Acorn Bank. The idea stemmed from a reforestation project on Shikoku Island, dear to Hayao Miyazaki’s heart. People collect acorns and bring them to the Donguri Bank, which send them to Okawa, supposedly the smallest village in Shikoku, where they are grown. For every hundred acorns, the customer is eligible to receive an oak sapling in return once a year, in spring 🌸.
Shops List in Japan
At the time of writing, there were 40 Donguri stores in Japan:
- 39 Donguri "Republic" (どんぐり共和国 Donguri Kyowakoku) and,
- 1 Donguri "Closet," of a smaller size.
Since they sell the same products overall, we chose to list them indistinctively. An English list is available on Benelic’s official website and we have put up our own list by regions and cities as well as the map below to easily find a Donguri shop anywhere during your stay in Japan:
Donguri shops are usually found in large shopping centers (floor indicated into brackets) or in shopping streets. When planning your itinerary make sure to visit at least one of them!
- Sapporo: Paceo (B1F)
- Sendai: Ichibancho (1F)
- Ikebukuro: Sunshine City Alpa (B1F)
- Marunouchi: Tokyo Station - Character Street (B1F)
- Odaiba: Venus Fort (Venus GRAND 2F)
- Tokyo SkyTree: Tokyo Solamachi (2F)
- Mitaka: Mamma Aiuto shop at Ghibli Museum
- Minato Mirai Landmark Plaza (4F)
- Ikenobe Tsuzuki: LaLaport (2F)
Other shops in Kanto area:
- Kamakura: Komachi 1-5-6
- Kawagoe: Saiwai 10-12
- Kawasaki: Lazona Kawasaki Plaza (3F)
- Soga Chiba: Ario Soga (2F)
- Tachikawa: Lalaport (3F)
- Fujimi: Lalaport Fujimi (1F)
- Futakata: Mozo Wondercity (3F)
- Sakae Oasis 21 (B1F)
- JR Takashimaya Gate Tower Mall (1F)
Other shops in Chubu area:
- Karuizawa: Kitasaku 611
- Agatsuma: Kusatsu
- Niigata: LoveLa Bandai (3F)
- Namba Walk 5-4 - Sennichimae 1
- Umeda Hankyu: Kiddy-land Sanbangai (B1F)
- Umeda: Lucua (9F)
- Shinsaibashi Parco (6F)
- Suita: Senri Banpaku Lalaport Expocity (3F)
- Higashiyama: Ninenzaka
- Higashi-Kawasaki: Mozaic (2F)
Other shops in Kansai area:
- Hikone: Viva City Zepetto (1F)
- Otori: Ario (SC3F)
- Kochi: Avenue (2F)
- Matsuyama: Dogoyu no Machi
- Takamatsu: Kawaramachi Zoo
- Chikushino: Aeon Mall (3F)
- Fukuoka: Canal City Hakata (B1F)
- Kokura: Uomachi Zoo (1F)
- Kumamoto: Sakura Machi (3F)
- Miyazaki: Aeon Mall South Mall (2F)
- Kitanakagusuku: Aeon Rycom (4F)
- Urasoe: San-A Parco City (3F)
In June 2013 the first Donguri Republic store opened outside Japan. Hong Kong (Harbour City in Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon) was chosen as the location.
In 2015, a large Donguri Republic store opened in Taipei, the capital of Taiwan and another one in Taichung, on the Island’s western coast. There is also a shop in Shanghai (China) since 2016, and 3 stores opened in Seoul (South Korea).
As for Western countries, there is no permanent official shop yet, but pop-up stores set up for events such as Japan Expo (in Paris) or anime-related conventions. Some retail stores, such as Kinokuniya USA also partner with Ghibli to bring their products to temporary shops locations.
We hope that Ghibli will be able to open permanent Donguri shops outside Asia in the future!
Note that there is an official online shop: Donguri Kyôwakoku Sora no Ue, but it is only available in Japanese and shipments are limited to Japan.
As well as some of the shops we visited on our trips to Japan, we photographed some of the souvenirs brought back from Donguri shops which are now displayed in Kanpai's office.