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Character theme parks where you can immerse yourselfin the world of anime and manga (2⁄2)

“Character theme parks,” where you can step into the world of popular manga and meet with characters, are like a holy land for fans. We have covered two talked about facilities, one that has opened this summer and another that has been renovated. This time we’ll introduce “Sanrio Puroland”!

“Sanrio Puroland,” gaining attention for the opening of a new area!

Normally it’s only possible to see popular Sanrio characters, such as Hello Kitty and My Melody, through illustrations, but at Sanrio Puroland, an all-weather, indoor theme park in Tama, Tokyo, you can actually meet these cute characters.

Of the roughly 600 Sanrio character designs, about 70 characters appear at a time, changing by day. They entertain guests with live shows, musicals, and character greetings.

“Sanrio Heartful Parade 'Believe',” the largest entertainment feature at Puroland, is planned to be renewed from November 1.

There are 8 shops inside the facility, with roughly 8,000 Sanrio items featured among them. There are lots of original goods you can only purchase here!

July 20 marked the opening of “Sanrio Town,” a new area, bringing even more attention to Sanrio Puroland! We hear that the number of visitors increased a whole 1.3 times compared to the same month the previous year. Let’s take a look at the highlights.

“In order to have guests experience the concept of 'the most Sanrio-centric place on earth,’ we composed an area that recreates the world of each character. Shows have been the main focus until now, but we have added walk-through attractions and ride attractions, increasing the options for visitors to enjoy themselves. In addition, at the restaurants, guests can enjoy character-themed food and drinks,” says Mr. Shimano, a Sanrio Entertainment PR representative.

“Hello Kitty in Wonderland,” a new musical created as a pre-event to commemorate Hello Kitty’s 40th birthday in 2014, is a must-see.

In November of last year, this was the first facility in Japan to introduce permanent projection mapping. The second projection mapping show, “Kiki & Lala’s Starlit Journey,” which is currently being performed, has been very well-received.

Puroland never runs out of topics: from September 13 to October 31 is “Happy Halloween Festival 2013,” and from November 1, an event to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Hello Kitty is planned. For your next trip, how about visiting and taking in the adorable world of Sanrio?

Recommended attractions at the newly opened “Sanrio Town”

This is a new area featuring 4 attractions and 1 restaurant. The main characters are Hello Kitty, My Melody, and Little Twin Sisters, selected for the top 3 spots in the 2012 Sanrio Character Ranking. Here are the two most popular facilities out of Sanrio Town’s attractions.

~My Melody & Kuromi~ Mymeroad Drive
Get into the Eco-My Melocar and take a drive around “Merry Land,” where My Melody lives with her friends. There are 6 photo points where pictures are taken along the way, and after exiting the car, you can decorate your pictures using stamps and other designs. (Printouts cost 800 yen)

Lady Kitty House
In the “kawaii” (cute), glamorous house of Lady Kitty, you can experience 10 zones, such as a rose garden and a dress tower, which highlight Lady Kitty’s celebrity lifestyle. After advancing while enjoying the various features of the house, at the end is a chance to take a commemorative photograph with Lady Kitty!

You can’t afford to miss the cute
menu items at the “Character Food Court,” either!

Character lunchboxes -1,200 yen apiece

Sanrio Town special roll cake set - 1,200 yen

Kitty wafer cake ice cream (vanilla, chocolate, strawberry) - 400 yen apiece

Sanrio Puroland
1-31 Ochiai, Tama, Tokyo
Hours: 10 AM - 5 PM (may vary by day)
Irregular holidays on Wednesdays/Thursdays
Phone: 042-339-1111
Access: 5-minute walk from Tama Central Station (Keio Sagamihara Line/Odakyu Tama Line)
Entrance & Passport: 18 years and over - 4,400 yen; 12-17 years - 4,000 yen; 4-11 years - 3,300 yen