Hangin’ with Hello Kitty in Japan

Keio Plaza Hotel Hello Kitty Town Room

Sugarpuff has a bit of thing for Hello Kitty. And by “bit” I actually mean the kid loves that prissy puss with the white-hot intensity of a thousand burning suns! Needless to say in Japan, the birthplace of the famed feline, my girl is in Hello Kitty heaven.

When I say feline I must do so with a caveat.  You see, much to the confusion of everyone ever, Sanrio executives recently announced  that Hello Kitty has been living a lie for the past four decades and isn’t actually a cat – in spite of the whiskers, ears, name and her blatant catlikeness! But for the sake of this post, let’s just assume they were smoking catnip or, at the very least, gargling bong water when they made that announcement and that Hello Kitty is indeed the pretty puss we always assumed she was.

Now back to Japan and Sugarpuff and the ubiquitous Hello Kitty. So ubiquitous in fact, that our trip turns out to be a Pussy Riot.. and not in a Russian feminist punk rock protest group kind of way.

From the themed snacks and biscuits and kimono-clad Kittys in every other store, to Universal Studios in Osaka where Sugarpuff takes a whirl on Hello Kitty’s Cupcake Dream and eats Hello Kitty’s face at a pork bun stand, much Kitty-based hilarity ensues.

Hello Kitty Pork Buns and Hello Kitty's Cupcake Dream at Universal Studios, Osaka

It’s also at Universal Studios that she enjoys a squeal-inducing encounter with the famed feline herself on Hello Kitty Fashion Avenue.

Sugarpuff meets Hello Kitty

But it is in Tokyo where that signature bow and those perky whiskers prove literally inescapable with Hello Kitty branded everything… everywhere. Tokyo is a Hello Kitty kinda city and Sugarpuff is a hello Kitty kinda gal. She is hooked. Though mostly, it would seem, on spending our money.

In her bid to ensure that our airline charges us a King’s ransom in overweight luggage fees, she stocks up on Hello Kitty cuteness at every possible opportunity. And there are so bloody many. There’s the dedicated Hello Kitty department at the incredible seven-story Kiddy Land toy store in Harajuku, where both the kids lose their minds in a manic frenzy of shopping. Not to mention the world’s largest assortment of Hello Kitty goodies at the enormous emporium of fluff that is the Sanrio Store in Ginza. And then there is the Hello Kitty store in Tokyo Station’s Character Street, inconveniently located right next to our hotel. At each, Sugarpuff gleefully fills bags with Hello Kitty kitsch.

Her hunger for Hello Kitty unsated, we have a last little surprise in store for my obsessed offspring. And it’s one that may cause permanent retina damage to the rest of us. For the last three nights of our holiday, we’ve booked a very special room at the Keio Plaza Hotel in Shinjuku and they’ve quite literally laid out the “welcome cat” for our little lovely in one of their outrageously fabulous and over the top Hello Kitty Town Rooms.

Hello Kitty Town Room at Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo

The room is a blast… literally. It’s a pop art explosion of pastel and every surface, from the vibrant Kitty strewn carpet and wallpaper to the furniture and fittings, is plastered with Sugarpuff’s favourite fictional feline.

When we open the door, festooned as it is with a signature red bow, her face cracks open in what can only be described as a Guinness Book of World Records worthy grin.

SUgarpuff and Hello Kitty love hanging out at Keio Plaza Hotel

A Hello Kitty big enough to sit on dominates the room, while a lipstick signed bathroom mirror lends an air of glamour.

Hello KItty even signed the mirror in lipstick at Keio Plaza Hotel

There are framed pictures, take-home Hello Kitty water bottles, cuddly toys, stationary and even Hello Kitty branded rubbish bins, hairdryers, and bathroom scales.

Hello Kitty treats in our Hello Kitty room at the Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo

This is total Hello Kitty immersion and I’m fairly certain Sugarpuff’s squeals of delight can be heard ricocheting off the skyscrapers all the way across Tokyo.

And the excitement doesn’t end in-room either with extra special touches including a conniption-inducing Hello Kitty mocktail in the hotel’s 43rd storey bar… one of the few times she voluntarily agrees to let go of the giant Hello Kitty in our room.

Keio Plaza Hotel Hello Kitty mocktail

Personally I’m just as happy with a bucket of wine and the awesome view (not dissimilar to the one at the neighbouring Park Hyatt that was made famous in Lost in Translation).

This is Sugarpuff’s idea of hotel heaven. And while we don’t share our daughter’s passion for the pastel-hued accessorising of the plush puss, we too are enamoured with the massive Keio Plaza Hotel, one of the best family-friendly city hotels we’ve come across in any city. Packed with facilities including 20 restaurants and bars, child minding and even an in-house medical clinic, it’s just five-minutes walk from the neon-lit fun of Shinjuku, with streets of incredible food and some quirky entertainment. What’s not to love?

Raffles on the other hand is virtually heaving at the avalanche of Sanrio sweetness. But he does his level best to grin and bare the blast of girlyness with good humour after seeing how happy it makes his little sister. Who am I kidding… he is only sucking it up because we promise him a trip to a sumo stable and a night out at the insane Robot Restaurant as an antidote to the onslaught of perky puss!

But there is one black spot in our three days of retina-searing Hello Kitty gaudiness and that is witnessing the devastating heartbreak of a sobbing Sugarpuff when we check out and she has to farewell her beloved plush pal.

A devestated Sugarpuff is finding it hard to say goodbye at the Keio Plaza Hotel




20 Comments on Hangin’ with Hello Kitty in Japan

  1. Sally@Toddlers on Tour
    July 14, 2015 at 11:38 am (9 years ago)

    It does sound like girls heaven, after reading Raffles response to life with Hello Kitty we probably won’t be heading there as predict Mr7 will have the same aversion to all that oink 🙂

      July 14, 2015 at 11:48 am (9 years ago)

      No Raffles isn’t a fan of Hello Kitty but he still found plenty to love at the hotel and in Tokyo 🙂

  2. Sam
    July 14, 2015 at 11:40 am (9 years ago)

    Oh bless! Parting is such sweet sorrow… but I bet for the rest of her life she’ll never forget this experience – my daughters would be beside themselves too (maybe even I might be a bit too!!!!)

      July 14, 2015 at 11:49 am (9 years ago)

      She will. She talks about it everyday. I have to admit, I even started to get fond of the perky puss!

  3. Emily @ Have A Laugh On Me
    July 14, 2015 at 12:02 pm (9 years ago)

    Oh my goodness that is the cutest thing ever, to give her such an experience! So if it’s not a cat then what is it? Love the mirror message

      July 14, 2015 at 12:11 pm (9 years ago)

      Sanrio claim she’s just a little girl. But the whiskers and ears surely suggest otherwise. To Sugarpuff she is and always will be a kitty and she was in heaven 🙂

  4. Jody at Six Little Hearts
    July 14, 2015 at 1:59 pm (9 years ago)

    Oh my goodness! I would love to stay there! I love Hello Kitty and that’s the best dang hotel room I think I’ve ever seen! Totally too funny! Such fun! Japan – one day I’m there.

  5. Bumble Bee Mum
    July 14, 2015 at 4:52 pm (9 years ago)

    Thank you for linking up on Travel Tuesday! I love Hello Kitty so much that I have a whole bucket list of Hello Kitty places to visit in Japan. I used to buy Hello Kitty souvenirs at every city in Japan because each city would have their own Hello Kitty mascot? But ever since I had kids (2 SONS, no daughter), I haven’t been able to go shopping that much. Every time I stop to look at the rack of Hello Kitty souvenirs, the boys would be like, “Let’s go already!!!”

      July 15, 2015 at 5:23 pm (9 years ago)

      The regional Hello Kitty souvenirs are awesome. We had to pay off my son with ninja treats to counteract all the Hello Kitty ones for my daughter LOL

  6. MrsDplus3
    July 14, 2015 at 6:55 pm (9 years ago)

    OMG!!! My girls would have gone insane. I think I would have secretly been very happy to stay the night in that hotel too. I’ve heard they are opening a HK restaurant in Sydney. Shall we take our girls??

      July 14, 2015 at 7:09 pm (9 years ago)

      They are opening the Hello Kitty Restaurant in Chatswood in a few months! Consider it a date. 🙂

  7. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella
    July 14, 2015 at 7:52 pm (9 years ago)

    Aww what a cute post! And poor little poppet having to farewell Kitty! I personally don’t think they should have said that she wasn’t a cat. I don’t believe them. She is a cat!

      July 15, 2015 at 5:25 pm (9 years ago)

      I agree. She’s a cat and that is that!

  8. hugzillablog
    July 14, 2015 at 10:23 pm (9 years ago)

    HANG ON. WHAT!? Hello Kitty isn’t a cat. MIND. BLOWN. I can see that news had limited impact on Sugarpuff, who was clearly able to enjoy the awesome smorgasboard of Hello-Kittyness that abounded. There is so much to like here.

      July 15, 2015 at 5:24 pm (9 years ago)

      I know right. They’ll try and tell us Mickey Mouse is actually an albatross next…

  9. Malinda (@MBPaperPackages)
    July 16, 2015 at 12:28 pm (9 years ago)

    I am sure that my girls would love the hello kitty overload, but to be honest, I just don’t get it. Not that it really matters when you see those big smiles!

  10. Fairlie
    July 18, 2015 at 3:57 pm (9 years ago)

    Only in Japan…!

    Isn’t there a Hello Kitty airline as well? It certainly looks like this experience hit the mark with Sugarpuff.

    (And what do you mean Kitty isn’t a cat…? What is she/he/it?)

      July 18, 2015 at 9:14 pm (9 years ago)

      According to the folk at Sanrio she is a little girl… with whiskers and pointy ears. Odd 🙂

  11. eastwestlovestory
    July 30, 2015 at 12:31 am (9 years ago)

    I love this Hello Kitty explosion. I would enjoy that room too!


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Hey, I’m Aleney! A mum, award-winning travel writer, magazine editor and gallivanting glutton. He’s Raff, the “boy” in boyeatsworld, and a fearless foodie, adventurer and eco-warrior. Along with his all-singing, all-dancing, all-adventurous sister, Sugarpuff, we’re exploring the world’s colour, culture and cuisine on a food safari for the junior set.

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