Kawaii Tokyo Trip Guide
If you follow me on instagram, you may have already seen a few of my posts about my recent trip to Japan. I had such an amazing time there, I thought I would do a post with some of my favorite things so if anyone is planning a trip there you can add these to your list! There is a ton of Japan info out there with beautiful and historical places to go, so I thought for my guide I’d focus on the kawaii (cute), crazy, and fun stuff that I found. If you’ve followed my blog you know I am a huge fan of Sailor Moon, so obviously going to the motherland required a lot of shopping and hunting for vintage moonie items! My husband is a collector of vintage video games, so we were on a mission for some specific things in that department too. I also became slightly obsessed with the gachapon (capsule toy) machines all over Tokyo, and especially had to stop and play every new Sailor Moon one I saw. Here is my list of places to check out if you are into vintage toys, anime, video games, kawaii cuteness, and the “what is happening in my eyeballs right now”!
When in Japan all true crazy cat ladies must check out a cat cafe. This was a great chill first day activity to get over some jet lag. We went to Temari no Ouchi in Kichijoji. I loved this place! The inside is so cute and I was really surprised by how clean it is with all the cats in there. If you are a cat lover like me I recommend this!
You may have heard of this area famous for it’s street fashion, and it was really nice (but busy) to walk around. We stopped in the store Kiddyland to check for Sailor Moon toys and they did have a small section with some items I didn’t see in other places. If you are looking for Sanrio or Disney they have tons here as well.
A store to check out if you want to get a glimpse of the kawaii fashion this area is famous for is called 6% Doki Doki. They don’t let you take photos in here, but let’s just say if you like unicorns, rainbow, and sparkles you will love it. It’s the sister shop of the Kawaii Monster Cafe, located just down the street, so take a break from shopping to get a bite here. It looks like a disney ride on the inside and you can catch a show with girls dressed in classic harajuku fashions performing on the unique carousel inside the belly of the monster. I was smiling the whole time I was in here!
Known as Tokyo’s electric town, this is the area to go if you are looking for vintage video games or consoles. It is supposed to have a lot of anime stuff as well, which it does but mostly newer anime. The one place I found some Sailor Moon here was in the Mandarake store on the “dolls” floor. My husband however had great luck finding an original Famicom console and tons of Japanese vintage games he was looking for. Check out Super Potato, Mandarake, or Animate. If you are into JPop you can also go to the AKB48 cafe here.
Also in Akihabara we tried out one of the companies that does go karting around the streets of Tokyo while wearing ridiculous costumes with our friends. Some of the companies are under watch recently for having Mario costumes but not being licensed by Nintendo, so I wasn’t too surprised to not find any mario costumes available in the shop when we arrived. Thankfully they had a Care Bear so I was happy. This was a little bit terrifying, but really fun once I got used to it. Other than one of our karts breaking down which resulted in 4 grown adults standing around Tokyo in these get ups, this was definitely a cool thing to try!
If you do a search you’ll find a ton of crazy videos and pictures from here. It’s super touristy but I still loved it. One of those things you do and say what is happening in my eyeballs right now?!? You just need to see it to believe it. Don’t eat the food here… but do bring earplugs!
At some point during your trip you will probably find yourself in Tokyo Station with some time to kill before a train. Head downstairs and find Character Street, a whole row of kawaii shops with cute toys featuring all the popular cartoon characters like sanrio, pokemon, and studio ghibli. I found a whole section of Sailor Moon capsule toy machines here, as well as a place called Character Beauty Shop which had Sailor Moon makeup, lotion, tote bags, face masks, and a few other unique things.
I saved the best for last! Seriously, if you are looking for vintage toys or any type of collectible, the “nerd mall” or Nakano Broadway is where you need to go. It’s 5 floors of tiny shops with anything you could ever want and it’s easy to spend hours here. Look for a Mandarake store on the top floor that has yellow signs and lots of pink and you’ll find the motherload of kawaii stuff. I almost passed out when I saw this display case full of vintage care bears in the box. MINT IN BOX PEOPLE!! They also had the biggest selection of vintage 90’s Sailor Moon items here. Literally anything you could want. Dolls, toys, plush, stationary, enamel pins, accessories, animated cels, manga…everything. If you collect other antique toys they had tons here, and from any fandom you could want. I saw My Little Pony, Strawberry Shortcake, Ninja Turtles, and a whole store of 80’s vintage clothes. They also have a ton of capsule toy machines here, and you can try out the crazy photobooths that make your eyes really huge like a cartoon! I had to go back here for a second trip on another day because it was that good and I needed more time to dig through everything. Other collectors know what I’m talking about!
Those are my recommendations for kawaii sights and shopping if you are lucky enough to get to Tokyo! I loved it so much there, and not just the shopping, but everything else we got to do and see in Japan was incredible. If you have any questions on things to do just let me know, I love to talk about my travels.
Hi, I’m Melissa and I’m a photographer in Denver celebrating women with independent minds, gentle hearts, and rebellious souls.