Regardless of the day, Tokyo's Asakusa area is filled with tourists. There are many popular restaurants and gift shops near Asakusa. However in recent years there has been a jump in the number of official character shops, based around anime, manga, and more.
We want to cover some shops that have the best product lineups and which offer special Instaworthy drinks and more that recreate the world of the characters.
Atom Do Honpo: “God of Manga” Osamu Tezuka Official Merch Shop
Atom Do Honpo, which opened in July 2019, is a shop themed after products created by the “God of Manga”, Osamu Tezuka (1928 - 1989) who made great achievements in the history of comics. The shop is in Asakusa Nishi-sando Shopping Street located to the west side of Senso-ji Temple, and it is the first character shop that opened on this shopping street
The shop’s theme is "Japanese Culture.” The shop has many official goods of works Mr. Tezuka created such as Astro Boy, Black Jack, Princess Knight and The Three-Eyed One. The shop has various types of goods like T-shirts, sukajan (souvenir jacket) key chains, cookies, and event instant curry, barbeque sauce, and traditional crafts.
The second floor is the character cafe with a Japanese design. Along the wall are snippets of characters from their comics, which creates a cute atmosphere. The cafe offers collaboration menus such as the “Atom Do Curry” with large ingredients (1,296 yen), and the “Masu Iri Tiramisu” with cocoa powder drawing of Astro Boy and Leo from Kimba the White Lion (972 yen), these dishes allow you to feel the world of Osamu Tezuka much closer.
By the way, Atom Do Honpo offers a service where you can read English and Chinese versions of Tezuka comics for free on your smartphone; it is like a bookstore cafe. Enjoying a refreshing drink while reading Tezuka comics is an amazing service for fans.
On the third floor, there is a gallery where you can find works of Mr. Tezuka such as prints. Gallery entrance is free, and they plan to hold limited events. The shop is made in a way where people who are not familiar with the works can still enjoy it to the fullest!
Atom do honpoアトム堂本舗
- Address 2-7-13 Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo 111-0032
6-minute walk from Tokyo Metro Ginza Line, Tobu Isesaki Line, Toei Asakusa Line “Asakusa Station” (4-minute walk from Tsukuba Express “Asakusa Station”)
- Phone Number 03-5246-4891
Hours: 9:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. (Cafe last order 5:30 p.m.)
Toys Terao 2: Gathering Monchhichi Fans From Everywhere
Monchhichi first appeared in 1974, and their cute appearance became a mega-hit. From the late 70’s to the 80’s it became a hit overseas, especially in Europe, and they have had animations and doll animations created in various countries.
Toys Terao is a toy shop that opened in 1885 near Senso-ji Temple; currently, store No.2 is attracting attention as it has a great lineup of Monchhichi goods. The 5th generation owner Mayumi Terao said, “My mother loved Monchhichi, and when we renovated the store in 2003, it was the same time as the 30th anniversary of Monchhichi, so we turned this store into a Monchhichi themed shop.”
In the store there are over 100 various sized Monchhichi goods such as the “Omatsuri Monchhichi” wearing a happi (traditional Japanese festival coats) and hachimaki (headband) (2,200 yen, tax included) which is a limited item to Toys Terao No.2, and the “Ninja Monchhichi” in ninja attire with a katana (3,080 yen, tax included), standard Monchhichi, and various other items. This is probably the only store in Japan with such a large selection.
When we visited, there were visitors from Australia looking for Monchhichi goods. “My wife loves these, and we came to Asakusa for this. The Monchhichi in traditional Japanese clothing is very cute.” said the man as he took the product in his hand. Ms. Terao said, “There are many people who had one of these as a child and are still in love with it after many decades. I am one of those people.”
Here you can find stands for Monchhichi (330 yen, tax included), pouches, tote bags, and other related times. We recommend stopping by to find cute gifts here.
Toys Terao 2トイステラオ 2号店
- Address 1-36-1 Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo 111-0032
3-minute walk from Tokyo Metro Ginza Line, Tobu Isesaki Line, Toei Asakusa Line “Asakusa Station” (7-minute walk from Tsukuba Express “Asakusa Station”)
- Phone Number 03-3841-8422
Hours: Weekday 12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. (Saturdays and Sundays, 11:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.)
Closed: not scheduled
Moomin Stand: Enjoy a Super Cute Moomin Drink!
Moomin Stand Asakusa is a character drink stand that opened in July 2019, and it is a minute away on foot from Asakusa Station. The store has a cute exterior like the Moomin House. And when you enter, it has an atmosphere that is irresistible to Moomin fans.
One of the more popular drinks is themed after the Moomin character Hattifattener. There are around 20 types of drinks, including sweet and sour berry and rich brown sugar caramel. Each drink has Hattifattener seeds inside.
When you suck up the seed with the straw, it has a chewy texture like tapioca, and is quite sweet. It is made to mix with the sweetness of the drink and makes a perfect snack or dessert.
There are about 20 flavors such as the popular “Mix Berry Milk” (417 yen), “Matcha Milk” (399 yen), “Mix Berry Yogurt” (417 yen) and “Royal Milk Tea” (390 yen) - it is hard to pick just one! The “Ichigo Daifuku Milk (Strawberry Soft Rice Cake Stuffed with Sweetened Bean Jam Milk)” (700 yen) is exclusive to the Asakusa store, and it is a popular drink due to the Japanese style taste (all prices include tax).
One thing you want to remember when visiting the shop is the special straw that comes with the drink. The Hattifattener on the straw is detachable, and it can be used as an accessory for lip balm or pens.
There is total of 5 Hattifattener with different expressions. The attention to detail such as how the eyes are pointing different directions hits home with the fans. Also the store focuses on recycling, and if you return your drink container, you receive 100 yen cashback. Make sure you removed the Hattifattener before you return your container!
(At the end of September, they plan to renew their menu and adjust the price. This article is based on the interview conducted on September 10, 2019.)
moomin standムーミンスタンド 浅草店
- Address 1-1-12 Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo 111-0032
1 - 2 minute walk from Tokyo Metro Ginza Line, Tobu Isesaki Line, Toei Asakusa Line “Asakusa Station” (7-minute walk from Tsukuba Express “Asakusa Station”)
- Phone Number 03-6231-7663
Hours of operation: 11:00 a.m - 7:00 p.m.
Other than what we have covered in this article there are other character shops that are popular with foreign visitors, such as Sanrio Gift Gate Asakusa with various Sanrio character goods like Hello Kitty and My Melody, and the flower shop Flower Miffy.
We recommend visiting Asakusa to purchase popular Japanese character goods at official shops for gifts!
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.
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