Live Entertainment: Sailor Moon in Japan

Promotional photo for Universal Studios Japan and their limited time ‘Sailor Moon’ event. Copyright goes to Universal Studios Japan.

Hi! It’s Annie!

Firstly, Happy Changkyun Day! It probably isn’t the most fitting to do a Sailor Moon themed post on his birthday (pastels versus his usual all black), but I didn’t want to start my post today without saying that first! I promised to do a post about Sailor Moon events in Japan that I’ve looked up over and over out of pure jealousy. Most of these were limited time events and because of that actually are not still open. But I wish they were because now I won’t actually be able to go to many, if any of these at all, when I eventually take my trip to Japan. A few of these limited events I’m hoping will come back eventually and I especially hope that one of these that is actually permanently closed will eventually open again. Or at least something like it. And I promise I did actually include some experiences in here that are still available. I want to be able to do something Sailor Moon themed in Japan, so some of this is stuff that I’m hoping to actually do! I’m just going to get into it!

Sailor Moon Universal Japan:

This was a limited time event at Universal Studios Japan that included a ride, shop, and cafe. Universal Japan is partially known for its commitment to anime and that includes their attractions. They have one specific ride that’s always anime based, but which anime it’s based on changes all the time. In fact, usually the ride hosts two different anime experiences at the same time and it switches between them depending on the day. This is possible due to the fact that Universal mostly has digital and screen based rides. These rides are more like a show with moving seats than a full fledged ride. Sailor Moon was there for a good amount of time, but by now another anime has replaced it. Still, I love going to Youtube and watching as many videos as I can of all of the experiences that this involved. The ride itself features all of the Sailor Scouts and was even marketed with all of them in mind. Getting off at the train station closest to Universal Japan meant seeing posters of every single Sailor Guardian covering almost the entire station. And that included Sailor Neptune and Uranus! The ride itself also highlighted each Guardian and featured them all fighting crime in their original Guardian forms as well as transforming into their gorgeous Princess forms. The store itself also sold merch of all of the Sailor Scouts. While, as always, they focused mostly on the Inner Senshi, they did have some selections for the Outer Senshi as well including adorable hair bows for each of the Guardians. The Sailor Moon food specifically focuses on sugar, which I’m sure especially Usagi and Minako would approve of. The savory food seems to be more focused on Mamoru, but the deserts are mostly strawberry based with sugary drinks for each of the Inner Senshi based off of their colors. While the food didn’t have many options for Outer Senshi fans, I’m pretty sure there was a joint jello-like dessert for Haruka and Michiru. So plenty for fans of any of the Guardians to enjoy!

Sailor Moon Cafe in Tokyo:

This opened only a few years before the pandemic as what was supposed to be a permanent Sailor Moon cafe. Unfortunately, the pandemic put this permanent cafe into permanent closure it seems. Some hold out hope that they may eventually get the money to bring this back, but we’ll really have to see what happens. Nothing has happened to bring back this cafe yet. And this wasn’t your usual cafe. This boasted the general cafe merchandise you would expect as well as the Sailor Moon themed food you would expect. You could order the food on collectible plates and shop in the store, where they had Sailor Moon outfits on display, while you waited for the big event. Because here, the big event was actually a show where the Inner Senshi as well as Tuxedo Mask would all come out to perform for a bit and then greet guests. I heard nothing but good things about this experience and it’s such a shame that it didn’t last as long as everyone hoped it would. Maybe something like it will come out soon!

Sailor Moon Museum:

This was a temporary exhibit in Tokyo that included merchandise and a cafe! The museum also changed depending on the month that you were there so that the museum could focus on different seasons of Sailor Moon. If you’re wondering what exactly this museum focused on to showcase, the answer is absolutely everything. The museum focused a lot on the art of Sailor Moon and showcasing some of the story boards and art from the manga, to the 90s anime, to Crystal, all the way to Eternal. The art was what changed depending on what month that you were there. The museum also had a section for the Sailor Moon musicals that occasionally go on in Japan; showcasing costumes, props, and even some stuff from the actresses themselves (Mamoru has gone between being played by men and women, but is mostly played by women). The museum also has an entire section dedicated to Sailor Moon merchandise through the years, from the very first dolls to the intricate dolls and plushies that we see on the market now. The shop after the museum was insanely large and mostly pink (Yay!) and had the DVDs of all of the Sailor Moon musicals. (One of these DVDs is well known for having the only canonical Haruka and Michiru kiss as the actresses decided to do it as a surprise for the audience.) The Sailor Moon cafe here was known for having the best food of any Sailor Moon cafe to come out for a while. The food was thoughtfully prepared, the desserts were delicious, and when they started with the art for the last part of Sailor Moon, they included a bunch of Outer Senshi items on the menu. I’m just sorry I missed it!

Sailor Moon Musicals:

If you’re lucky, you might be able to visit Japan when they’re doing a brand new Sailor Moon musical. I know that if this suddenly cropped up during a trip, there’s no way I would be able to resist. Whether I know the language or not. The Sailor Moon musicals have been known to be fun and extremely good productions at the same time. Don’t think of these as novelty, you have to think of these as Off-Broadway production level. Because that’s the amount of work that goes into them. Most fans of the musicals have watched many different iterations of the characters and most have a favorite that speaks to them the most! While I am just starting my research and deep dive into the musicals, I am already a huge fan of Shuu and Sayaka, the adorable best friends who have most recently played Haruka and Michiru respectively. (I just want someone to look at me the way Shuu looks at Sayaka!) I also have immense respect for Nao and Yuuka who are the actresses who made liking Haruka and Michiru as a couple a less controversial opinion and were the actresses I was talking about earlier who brought us our first canonical kiss between the couple. There’s so much good content from the musicals and I absolutely encourage you to look them up if you haven’t already! The songs and acting are amazing! It’s the perfect way to bring these characters to life.

Sailor Moon Store:

This is a permanent Sailor Moon Store in Harajuku and is still open and fully functioning! Yay! Finally! The store was opened because of the immense success and popularity of Sailor Moon and features two distinct sides. One side of the store is night blue and focuses on clothing, including providing a fitting room. The clothing here is pretty generic, but still cute! And this side has some jewelry that often seems to focus on each individual Guardian, so if you want something for your favorite Guardian they might have it. My favorite side of the store is pastel pink and focuses on all the other types of merch, and some of the cuter merch in my opinion. This is more of where you’ll find pieces dedicated to specific Guardians. They have plushies of each of them as well as art pieces, pens, and really anything else you can imagine. But the store feels like it’s as much for the aesthetic as it is for the merchandise. The night blue side seems to depict Sailor Moon while the pastel pink side shows the aesthetic of Usagi in her casual form. It almost looks like a candy shop; it’s so cute in there! I already wanted to visit Harajuku at some point, so this is absolutely on my list now!

Sailor Moon Cafes:

Usually there will be some major cafe in a major area doing something Sailor Moon themed. It’s still one of the most popular anime to ever be created, so there’s a chance you may find something open that I haven’t mentioned. I’m certainly hoping to! While cafe food isn’t necessarily known for being great (unless you go to very specific cafes), most people say that the aesthetic and merch alone are worth going to a cafe for your favorite anime. So I’m hoping to find something Sailor Moon themed like this while I’m there! It might be difficult though because it’s far easier to find something when a piece of media for it has recently come out. So I guess I’ll have to cross my fingers for another Sailor Moon movie to come out soon!

I’m already so excited for this trip and I’m hoping that all of it works out so we can go when we have it planned! While it doesn’t look like there’s much Sailor Moon stuff to do right now, you never know what might pop up between now and when I end up taking my trip! And while I am hoping some more experiences might crop up; I still have plenty of things on my list to do in Japan. Between sight seeing, general exploring, and theme parks, there might not be enough time for everything that I want to do. But I know that I will probably at least be able to fit in the official and permanent Sailor Moon store! This show has come to mean so much to me in such a small amount of time. Probably because it reminds me of all of the magical girl shows I used to watch as a kid that were actually based off of this. But the original material is so much better than those shows were! Seriously, where has Sailor Moon been all my life?

See you across the pond!

Sincerely, Annie

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