The Ghibli universe is a world that is very captivating. From the lovable characters, the enchanting landscapes to the tear jerking stories. So, it’s no wonder when coming to Japan so many people beeline to the Studio Ghibli Museum or a Studio Ghibli Store!
The world created by animator extraordinaire Hayao Miyazaki is unique and awe-inspiring. Movies from My Neighbor Totoro to Princess Mononoke and everything in between have transformed the anime industry. As the audience, we are deeply invested in the enduring characters, beautiful cinematography and compelling underlying messages. The best way to bring a little bit of Ghibli into your life is through the extra kawaii Studio Ghibli merchandise!
If you’re a fan of the Japanese animation film studio you will no doubt be drooling over all Studio Ghibli collections of merch, including the seasonal and limited editions. Outside of Japan it’s pretty challenging finding authentic and licensed Ghibli merch. Even in Japan knowing what is official or not can be a bit confusing! Well, fear not, here at YumeTwins’ we went exploring to find the genuine real deal Ghibli items. So, when you’re next in Japan you will know what to store to look for. Until then you can vicariously experience the journey to one of the calmest, kawaiiest and happiest places on earth! Enjoy!
Get you fill of all things cute and kawaii with YumeTwins! YumeTwins sends adorable character goods from Japanese plushies and figures, to accessories and home goods straight from Japan right to your door!
Before we dive into these magnificent places, let’s have a look at the history of the Ghibli Stores. Donguri Kyowakoku or Donguri Republic (どんぐり共和国) is the official store name for Studio Ghibli merchandise. There are around 40 branches across Japan to visit with the main concentration of stores usually in Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka. In English, the translation of donguri is “acorn”, which references the natural elements of Japan.
Ghibli stores may vary from each other, with most of them having unique items, displays and exteriors! Although the store’s stock may vary from place to place, it’s good to note that they all have well made and high quality products available. The Studio Ghibli merch is usually has general Ghibli themed clothing, or specific movie merch, like Howl’s Moving Castle figurines and Spirited Away keychains!
In-store, there are also Ghibli decorative items, kitchen utensils, lunch boxes, snacks and books. It really is the perfect place for collectors and Studio Ghibli film fans! As a side note the shop assistants wear an adorable Ghibli-themed uniform and always offer quality service!
The Studio Ghibli store we visited was conveniently located in Tokyo Station’s underground shopping area. This area is known as “Tokyo Character Street”, which houses over 30 stores that sell popular Japanese characters, anime and manga. The variety of shops include the Hello Kitty Shop, Lego Shop, Pokémon Store, Studio Ghibli Store and many more character-themed shops!
After you have exited the main gates of Tokyo Station the shopping street is a short 5 minute walk. Finally, you will stumble upon the amazing Ghibli store! If you don’t see it first, you will definitely hear it.
The sound of iconic Ghibli soundtrack music will serenaded you as you walk closer. When you first enter the store, you will be greeted by a large overarching tree that covers the entire entrance. In the mystical entranceway, a Totoro plushie beckons passersby to come in.
On the opposite side of the entrance amongst tree branches is a TV screen continuously playing Ghibli movies, both old and new! Just behind that on the tree trunk is Kiki’s broomstick and red pouch from Kiki’s Delivery Service movie. After entering the Ghibli store, you will notice there are rows and rows of shelves filled with related merch.
But the shelves aren’t just filled with plushies and figurines! There are usuful everyday items that you could use daily too. Items like a Laputian Robot (Laputa: Castle In The Sky) head mug, a No-Face coin eating piggy bank and a Princess Mononoke art and design book.
When scanning the shelves for the must have items, don’t forget to check out the super sweet keychains! There is a huge variety of them, some come with little bells or as plushies, there are even a few keychain coin purses!
Pursuing this magnificent shop and looking at the adorable items will definitely take a fair chunk of time! Make sure to be aware of the general opening times–the shopping area is open from 10:00AM – 8:00PM, however, this is subject to change. To ensure the stores are open, please contact the shopping area to check ahead of time.
The Studio Ghibli stores are a dreamland for all Ghibli fans, and YumeTwins’ certainly enjoyed the in-store adventure! The magical atmosphere, relaxing music and delightful merchandise all play a role in making visiting these stores a treat!
What is one thing you would want for a Ghibli store? Comment below!
Tokyo based writer that's enthusiastic about all things kawaii and cute!
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