Tokyo Station Character Street store guide! Kawaii cute mascot shops: Rilakkuma, Miffy, Sumikko Gurashi, Ghibli.

Rilakkuma mural japanese bear tokyo

Japan is the land of the cute (kawaii)… and if you want to see all your favorite mascots in one spot, then Tokyo Station Character Street is the place to be! 

Located in (obviously) Tokyo Station, Japan’s “First Avenue” underground shopping area contains about about 30 stores dedicated to kawaii characters like Rilakkuma (above), Hello Kitty, Pikachu, Kirby…

tokyo station character street limited edition toys

… and my personal favorite, Miffy the bunny. She’s dressed in a train conductor uniform because you can find limited edition themed goods here, along with every cute-faced plush toy imaginable.

Follow along for my Tokyo Character Street shopping guide, which includes a photo-packed tour of the cutest anime, manga and kawaii stores. (All images by Joey Wong.)

tokyo station hotel outside fashion blogger

To get to First Ave Tokyo Station, simply head to Tokyo Station in Marunouchi. It’s one of the capital city’s biggest transit hubs, as you can take the shinkansen (bullet train) as well as multiple subway lines.

I’m standing in front of the Tokyo Station Hotel. The underground is large, so look for the signs leading to a basement shopping area called Character Street, or First Avenue Tokyo Station.

iwate morioka sobachi character soba mascot

But first, a tax-free shopping tip! Bring your passport if you’re a traveler, and you can get a tax refund on anything you buy here.

First, head to the red-and-white Tax Free Booth on the ground floor of Tokyo Station. (Look for signs, or ask someone if you can’t find it). Show the staff your passport, and they’ll staple in a form that shows you’re an “alien” and therefore do not need to pay tax.

Now, you can shop til you drop for big-eyed cuties. After you’ve spent all your yen, head back to the tax-free booth to show them your receipts, and you’ll get the tax refunded to you.

kamen rider store tokyo station japan robot anime

Last fall, I was in Japan on a business visa to report on Tohoku’s food culture. In Japan, it seems every city, company or movement has a cute mascot: I got the Sobachi soba-bowl dangle in Morioka!

Be prepared to be overwhelmed when you enter Tokyo Station Character Street. There are cute boutiques as far as the eye can see, themed after Moomin, Nintendo, Domo, and much more. Here is one dedicated to Kamen Rider, the creation of manga artist, Shotaro Ishinomori (he has a space-like anime museum in Ishinomaki.)

cute japanese mascots stores character kawaii

The stores are constantly changing, so chances are you’ll run into adorable creatures that are unfamiliar to you. (We did our best to photograph as many as we could for you).

tokyo character street store guide floor shops map

For example, I think these are kawaii-fied versions of We Bare Bears, but I’m not certain (correct me if I’m wrong.)

First Avenue Tokyo Station character street merchandise

The giant plushes and cushions are tempting, but there are also smaller items like keychains if you need to save space in your suitcase.

gachapon store ガシャポン gashapon toy vending machines

Character St / First Ave also has a room full of gashapon machines (I spot Anpanman at the end). Put a coin into the vending machine, and you’ll get a random prize.

tokyo station studio ghibli store museum

Studio Ghibli remains one of Japan’s most beloved franchises. Hayao Miyazaki’s Cat-Bus and other imaginative characters greet visitors to the store.

totoro plush stuffed toys ghibli memorabilia store japan

How can you resist giving Totoro and friends a squeeze?

no face figurine collectible toy

I was delighted to see No Face from Spirited Away, which is my favorite anime film. Go see it if you haven’t; it’s currently on Netflix along with other Miyazaki masterpieces.

peanuts snoopy charlie brown halloween japanese

Not all of the mascot shops are Japanese. Case in point: Snoopy Town, which had Halloween-themed items at the time.

guide to character street tokyo train station

One section of Tokyo Station Character Street contains displays from most of the shops. On the right: Koupen-chan, a baby penguin with a wand.

sumikko gurashi characters cafe food

Sumikko Gurashi has many fans worldwide. Tokyo Station opened a new theme cafe, which serves Sumikkogurashi sweets and savory dishes decorated to look like these funny faces.

miffy the bunny store tokyo japan

Of course, I knelt before my favorite :x – Miffy!

daruma miffy toy japanese rabbit

Although Miffy looks like a Japanese icon (even taking on the form of a daruma), she was invented by Dutch artist Dick Bruna in 1955 — two decades before the birth of Hello Kitty.

dick bruna artist store japan

Dick Bruna’s minimalist character designs remain as impactful today — just look at how he conveys expressive puppies, lions and elephants with a few strokes and circles.

miffy nijntje tokyo japan store

Tokyo Station’s Miffy Style store has only-in-Japan designs like calendars, stationery, bags, sweets, baby items, accessories like umbrellas…

rare limited edition miffy toys plushes

And rows of plush Miffies. (Soon, I’ll take you inside the Miffy Cafe in Yokohama too.)

ghost miffy halloween kawaii japan

Love how the bunny put a sheet over her head to become a ghost. I’m such a Miffy fan that I’ve been to her attractions worldwide, including her Nijntje museum in Utrecht, the Netherlands.

miffy design japan japanese character mascot

I also have an older post about visiting Tokyo Character Street here, so you can see how the shopping district and stores have evolved. (My Miffy gel nail art is by Glam Nail Studio in Richmond, Vancouver BC.)

sailor moon sanrio character collaboration

Many of the shops have cross-overs. Sailor Moon and Sanrio did a collaboration.

tokyo character street  hello kitty store

Of course, there’s a Sanrio shop with goods featuring Pekkle the duck, My Melody, Pompompurin, Pochacco and others.

map guide character street first ave tokyo station

There are photo areas and collectibles for magic girls, anime, and manga as well. (My bag is from Maison de Fleur, a Japanese accessories label.)

magic girls anime tokyo characters

Such a wide variety of character designs and fandoms, all in one underground shopping area.

doraemon store tokyo station

Doraemon the robot cat is waiting for you. Big eyes and roundness are the signatures of Japanese kawaii.

First Avenue Tokyo Station tax free shopping

Not surprisingly, the Pokemon Store was one of the busiest.

pokemon center tokyo station store pikachu

Pikachu and all your favorite pocket monsters are on the shelves.

pokemon shopping guide tokyo shop

Got to catch them all! It’s easy to spend a lot of yen at Tokyo Station’s character street, so don’t forget about my tax-free tip at the start of this story.

japan 666 satanist freemason satanic satanists japanese

I’ll end with this funny shot… only in Japan, you’ll find someone with a 666 Freemason t-shirt hanging out among the kawaii stores!

tokyo train station hotel architecture building

Have you explored the Tokyo Station area? For more, check out my Tokyo Character Street images from a few years ago to see the differences.



  1. Nikki_boagreis
    Posted March 16, 2023 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    Love the Pokemon Pikachu and the Doaremon plushiees, not surprised the Pokemon store was busy considering Pokemon is the most profitable IP. Really like the anime inspired shopping area, i love anime and manga. The crossover collaboration with Sailor Moon and Sanrio is really cool. I love all the plushiees, so cool. The Nintendo themed scenery is legit, your so lucky!

  2. LolitaInternet
    Posted March 28, 2023 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    Really nices photos, I like this style.

    Have a nice day.

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