Monday, November 28, 2011
I finally reach Character Street! (March 17th, 2011)
There was a place I had wanted to stop at every time I have been in Tokyo. Since things were not working out with the reduced train service, rolling black outs and stores not being open, I decided it was time to try and see if at least this place would be open. So I started out from Hamamatsucho Station. Had to get a photo of their sign with the Manneken Pis on it.
My destination Tokyo Station. After having been in the station a few times I find it less intimidating. Even with the disasters and all there were still a lot of people traveling through here.
Low light meant photos didn't turn out well but I had to take a photo of this baumkuchen baking at a shop at the station. There is some serious shopping and eating at Tokyo Station. Definitely worth strolling around if you go to Tokyo or are passing through and have a few hours. I picked up a tiny sake set and a few other things but did not know about the Kit Kat store. Means I have to go back right? But there was someplace specific I was trying to find so keep reading to see just where it is located and what it is.
If you are on the outside you want to go in the Yaesu North entrance. Inside you want to head in that direction but don't go outside. I took this after accomplishing my goal.
You can look for maps and even if it's mostly in Japanese there is enough English it will help with figuring out where you are and what direction you need to go. Just look for the Jump Shop, TBS store and NHK. Because these stores are part of what is known as Tokyo Character Street.
Tokyo Character Street is on the first basement floor of First Avenue Tokyo Station. First Avenue has traditional gift shops and places to eat so there is a lot to see there. At the time Ramen Street was being refurbished but I would definitely like to stop there in the future if I can. This time though my desire was to see the shops of Character Street.
It's a little like being in a tunnel. But there were so many shops to browse through. Jump Shop features items from all their most recent stories. TBS and NHK have items from their shows. Snoopy, Lego, Ultraman, pretty much most popular characters have something that can be found here. If you need to get gifts for kids or your young at heart friends, this is a great place to go. I found things here that I did not see anywhere else. Like the sleep mask from Gintama.
Something that caught my eye was this amazing map outside the Sanrio store. Since I didn't want to take photos inside the shops I settled for this.
It's a map of Japan with many of the regional Hello Kitty gotouchi attached!
I wish I could have bought some.
The gold fish was so adorable.
Hokkaido Hello Kitty. Gotouchi are little representations of products or events or places in an area. I really like them as souvenirs because they are small and inexpensive.
Too bad they weren't for sale. Like this Hello Kitty in a bowl of ramen. But it was great fun to see them.