Theme Parks: Sanrio Puroland

Promotional image of Sanrio Puroland. Copyright goes to Sanrio Puroland in Japan.

Hi! It’s Annie!

I am currently hoping, (though I am not sure if it’ll even happen) to go to Japan for the first time within the next couple of years. To prepare for this, and also completely out of excitement, I’ve been looking up potential places that I might want to visit. Considering my immense love for pastels and cute things, this is one of the places that I have absolutely been looking up as a potential place to go. And, up until a few months ago, I had no idea that this place even existed. For those of you who are like me and hadn’t heard of this Sanrio theme park before, allow me to explain. This is a four story theme park that is entirely indoors complete with shows, shops, plenty of character meet and greets, lots of aesthetic places to take pictures, and even a couple of rides. There’s plenty to explore at this park for plenty of the Sanrio characters that everyone loves, so I’m just going to get into everything that this adorable park has to offer!

Rides:

If you’re expecting any sort of thrill rides or really in depth types of rides, you’re probably going to be disappointed. The rides are really not the point of this park, but they are really cute all the same! One of the rides is My Melody, and it’s more like a pop-up storybook than a ride. The other ride is a boat ride which features all of the Sanrio characters preparing for a big party being put on by Hello Kitty. This is more of a Small World type of ride but without the song. Which I’m sure some people will find merciful. These are all definitely slower rides that are absolutely kid friendly! What’s interesting about this park is that in a lot of other places people might label this purely as a park for kids, but in Japan all kinds of theme parks are marketed towards adults so it’s really common to see groups of just adults here too! If you feel odd about going to a type of park like this because of the way the US views theme parks, completely throw those prejudices away! All theme parks are for all ages!

Meet and Greets:

If you have a favorite Sanrio character, you can bet that they’ll probably be somewhere in the park. If you can’t meet them that day, you’ll most definitely be able to catch them in a show at some point. But for the most part, you’ll probably be able to catch most of your favorite Sanrio characters for a meet and greet. Hello Kitty, Pompompurin, My Melody, and Cinnamoroll are pretty much always out for meet and greets. Usually there’s one or two other characters thrown into the mix that change depending on the day. To make wait times and lines less crowded, you can go to a kiosk in the park to reserve a meet and greet time for specific characters. Obviously, the biggest meet and greet event here is for Hello Kitty. Kind of like at Disneyland, meeting Hello Kitty involves going into her house (which is more like a mansion or palace) and exploring before you even get to the meet and greet portion. I know that a visit to this place wouldn’t be complete for me without a hug from Pompompurin, so I’m glad that they have a pretty good selection of meet and greets! While rides aren’t really a priority here, the characters absolutely are!

Shows:

Sanrio Puroland boasts an over fifteen minute long show that changes depending on the season. Nobody knows what these shows are like except for visitors of the park specifically because they don’t allow pictures or videos inside. Everyone who has seen these premiere shows have described them as being chaotic and unhinged in an adorably hilarious kind of way. I am thoroughly intrigued. Other than that, there are usually several shows that happen on the main floor. These shows include everything from general stage performances, to Hello Kitty coming down from the ceiling, to extreme light shows. Some of the shows are general cavalcade style shows where there are a collection of cute Sanrio characters dancing around. If your favorite character isn’t available for a meet and greet on the day that you decide to go, you can usually see your favorite character in one of these cavalcade style shows. On top of this, all of the shows usually feature the Sanrio characters in new and adorable outfits that you won’t see anywhere else!

Aesthetic:

Other than the general attractions, Sanrio Puroland is a great place to go just for the aesthetic alone! The first floor that you enter on is mostly pastel pink and white, and doesn’t contain much beyond shops. But they have a giant selection of shops! Some of the shops are general merch for the theme park and most of the popular Sanrio characters, but there are also character specific shops here. For example, if you’re looking specifically for My Melody merch, there’s a specific pastel pink shop just for that. The main floor that connects to most of the experiences is a giant floor where many of the meet and greets take place and is also where the boat ride is. In the center of this giant floor there’s a stage and a wishing tree covered in Hello Kitty bows. The wishing tree is absolutely giant and extremely detailed, it also lights up different colors for some of the shows. In my opinion, it’s the most stunning aesthetic piece in the entire park. The surrounding area looks like a fairytale village with several cottage looking buildings containing small scenes and props or other interactive activities. The other floors mainly contain more places to take pictures and explore, some of them including interactive activities. There’s an entire Gudetama floor including a mock cafe and some hilariously odd visual details. You can also explore a room covered in adorable pastel stars, and an entirely pastel arcade for even more entertainment. Whatever aesthetic you feel like immersing yourself in, as long as it’s pastel, you’ll probably find it here!

Food:

One of the main advertised elements of this theme park is actually the food. You usually have to go to a themed cafe for food like this, but the character specific type of food is what Sanrio Puroland specializes in. They have a giant character food court where you can get something for almost every character and even options to create your own character themed food, buffet style. I have to say though, this is one element that I’m not as excited for when it comes to the park. Most people say that the food here is pretty flavorless and that the cuteness makes up for it, but is the only good part of the meal overall. There are other food kiosks around that seem to be more promising. Some of them focus more on drinks and desserts but also sell things like teriyaki buns that most people seem to have better luck with. Not only that but the drinks and desserts are equally as cute as the other cafe themed food they sell! Personally, if I get around to going there I might go for one of the kiosks instead. Especially because the food court is known for getting extremely busy because it’s one of the main attractions that the park advertises.

I haven’t actually decided yet if this is a must-do for me when I hopefully get around to going to Japan in the not so distant future. I already have so much on my must-do list from general touristy stuff, to Tokyo Disney Sea, to the new Studio Ghibli Park, to a couple of Sailor Moon things that I’m hoping to do. The Sailor Moon stuff can be on and off so I’m hoping that there will be a cafe of some kind doing a Sailor Moon type promotion. They did have a Sailor Moon cafe that was supposed to be permanent, but unfortunately the pandemic caused the cafe to go under. Universal Japan was doing a Sailor Moon themed event for a while, but that was only for a limited time. I know for a fact that there’s at least the official Sailor Moon Store to go to! I’m still formulating my list and trying to figure out how much time I’ll have. And I have a feeling I won’t end up getting to Sanrio Puroland despite my love of pastels. But maybe I’ll visit eventually! I just knew that I couldn’t pass up talking about a completely pastel theme park on our blog! I might do more posts about my research or about other events I’ve found, such as Sailor Moon, in the future though!

See you across the pond!

Sincerely, Annie

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