Sunday, 23 August 2009


Cute overload! I heard the word 'kawaii' (cute) so many times today that I tried to keep a tally but completely lost count within about half an hour. I started off the day by hitting two Hello Kitty Shops and then heading to the top floor of Tokyu Hands in Ikebukuro to visit the petshop. All the hamsters were napping and looked absolutely adorable.

They also have about 20 live-in cats that you can pay to hang out with. Sadly I didn't have time to do this (I will be going back another time!) as I had an appointment at the Studio Ghibli Museum in Mitaka.

This place was so brilliant! I was greeted by Totoro, who was manning the reception desk:

And then walked down some stairs into the best place ever - think Disneyland on a really small scale and designed by Miyazaki, not Walt. The building is garishly coloured on the outside, with the garden on the roof, and the inside it designed to feel like you're exploring the artist's house. As per ususal, I wasn't allowed to take any photos inside (they employ hundreds of people to make sure that you don't...) which was such a shame as it was magical. All the windows are stained glass, with the characters from the Studio Ghibli films, there are wooden spiral staircases and bridges linking all four floors, a cinema and plenty of smaller exhibition rooms.

The short anime film that I watched in the 'Saturn Cinema' was really good but extremely stressful! It was all about this little girl who has a new puppy, who tried to follow her to school but gets lost, who then almost gets run over by a car, and then a train (!) before having to sleep under a tree. Meanwhile, the poor girl is distraught and sets out to find said puppy. It was very upsetting, but they eventually find each other again, and the reunion was extremely emotional. It was definitely not a childrens' film!

After hitting the gift shop (stocked with exclusive merchandise at very exclusive prices), I headed back to the centre of Tokyo and stopped off in Shinjuku before heading home. I got stupidly lost in Shinjuku station (it's huge) but eventually found the two things that I was looking for.

1) The Shinjuku Eye

and 2) Grom Gelato

This time last year, I was enjoying eating ice cream from Grom in Florence, so when I heard that they had a shop in Tokyo (one of only 3 outside Italy), I knew that I had to go. The ice cream tasted just as good as it did in Firenze :)

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