Here's how I spent a day at Sanrio's Hello Kitty theme park in Japan.
How I Spent A Day At Sanrio's Hello Kitty Theme Park In Japan

Kim K and North West are fans.

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Rachel Chapman/Elite Daily

You’ve probably heard of Tokyo Disneyland and Universal Studios Japan, but did you know there’s a Hello Kitty theme park you can visit as well? Sanrio Puroland is an indoor amusement park themed to Hello Kitty and other Sanrio characters like My Melody, Cinnamoroll, and Kuromi. The park, which Kim Kardashian and North West have visited, is located within Tokyo. Since I consider myself a theme park connoisseur who also happens to have a nostalgic love for all things Sanrio, I knew it was a must for my first trip to Japan. However, every vlog I saw on TikTok could not prepare me for everything there was to see at Sanrio’s Hello Kitty theme park.

Just like any other theme park, Sanrio Puroland has Insta-worthy food and thrilling rides as well as some adorable character meet and greets that include both popular and more obscure characters. There’s also plenty of shopping to be done at the Hello Kitty theme park, which includes some exclusive merch that can only be found in Japan. The park itself covers just four floors and only has two rides, but I ended up spending my entire day at Sanrio Puroland and still didn’t get to everything I wanted to do. To help you better navigate your trip, here are some Sanrio Puroland tips to keep in mind.

Figure Out Your Ticket Situation Ahead Of Time
Rachel Chapman

Something that was slightly frustrating about planning a trip to Japan was that a lot of things you couldn’t buy until you got to Tokyo or you had to reserve several months in advance. Getting tickets to Sanrio Puroland was just as confusing. In order to purchase tickets yourself, you have to register for Sanrio’s fan club before reserving a visit for the specific day you want to attend the park. Then, you can purchase a passport (aka a ticket). The price per day varies depending on which day of the week you want to go, and ranges from around $25 to $34.

I had my friend from Japan handle getting the tickets since there were so many steps and she was a little more familiar with the process. If you’re also struggling, getting your tickets from a third party site like Klook can save you the stress.

Factor In Travel Time

Sanrio Puroland is in Tama, which is around an hour away from Tokyo Station on the train. Just be mindful of how far you might have to travel when planning your day. After all, you want to make the most of your time, so getting there earlier before the crowds can help make sure you see and do everything you want to. Something that I loved was how the train station near Sanrio Puroland was Hello Kitty-themed, so you already felt like you were there as soon as you arrived.

Schedule Your Character Meet And Greets Early

Instead of having characters out and about for you to take pictures with, Sanrio Puroland currently has a scheduled meet and greet section of the park called the Character Greeting Residence. Each day, they’ll have a list of the characters who are available to meet, and you’ll need to book a time slot to come back and get a picture with them.

You can only book one character at a time, since it’s based on a single QR code sent to your phone, and slots fill up quickly. If you want to see a ton of characters, you’ll want to schedule your visits early in the day and have every single person in your party book a different character on their phone. It honestly felt like scheduling meet and greets at a Comic Con-like event, but with my group of four, we were able to get three meet and greets with Dear Daniel, Badtz-Maru, and Pochacco.

Prioritize The Rides
Rachel Chapman

There are only two rides at Sanrio Puroland, and they’re popular. After scheduling your meet and greets with characters, I recommend going to either of the rides and waiting in line. We only had to wait about 20 minutes for the My Melody and Kuromi Mymeroad Drive ride since it was the first thing we did. Later in the day, the wait time was much longer and over an hour.

The Sanrio Character Boat Ride was probably the most popular of the two, and had a super long line the entire day. To avoid having to wait, we purchased a Puropass. It’s like Sanrio Puroland’s version of a FastPass, and allows you to bypass waiting in line. This was only $10 and included up to four people, so it was perfect for my group. All you had to do was book a time to come back to the ride from a kiosk.

Shop For Cute Sanrio Character Accessories

You want to fully immerse yourself in the world of Hello Kitty, so it’s a must to stop by the Entrance Shop right away to pick up a Sanrio character headband. These headbands are like Mickey Mouse ears at Disneyland, and you’ll see almost everyone wearing one. You can also shop for souvenirs and exclusive Sanrio Puroland merch here as well as the other stores in the park, but you don’t want to be carrying that around all day. This stop in the morning is just for accessories to wear.

Plan For The Parades And Shows

The best way to see as many Sanrio characters as you can is to camp out for one of the parades or shows at Sanrio Puroland. The Miracle Gift Parade is a must, so I highly recommend getting a good spot. Unfortunately, you do have to camp out if you want a front row seat, but there are Puropasses that range from $7 to $21 per person, depending on the view.

There are also stage shows that happen throughout the day, but you have to keep an eye on the schedule. Even though Sanrio Puroland is pretty small, we had a difficult time seeing everything we wanted to because of the crowds and trying to fit everything into our schedule of character meet and greets.

Check Out The Different Cafes For Insta-Worthy Food
Rachel Chapman

There are five restaurants at Sanrio’s Hello Kitty theme park. The Restaurant Yakata is a character dining experience, but the rest are more like cafeterias and cafe-style places. All restaurants have adorable and Insta-worthy food, so foodies will not be disappointed wherever they go. My friends and I stopped at the Character Food Court first for some curry. I got the pink My Melody, while my friend got the green Pochacco curry. Both were tasty, but more cute than they were delicious. Later on, we stopped by the Cinnamoroll Dream Cafe for cappuccino jelly lattes and Cinnamoroll desserts.

Visit Hello Kitty’s House

Hello Kitty isn’t available to meet at the Character Greeting Residence, because she has her own attraction — Lady Kitty House. This walkthrough experience lets you see Hello Kitty’s mansion IRL, which has photo opportunities throughout. At the end, you’ll get to meet Hello Kitty and snap one professional pic with her.

Unfortunately, you can’t take pics with your own camera and you have to pay for the pic they take. However, they give you a digital download of your pic, so if you’re in a group, you can split the cost (which was about $7).

Bring Money And Wear Comfortable Shoes

Two major Sanrio Puroland tips I have for anyone wanting to visit is to bring money and wear shoes you don’t mind walking in all day. Since the theme park is located in one building, it’s a lot of walking up and down flights or stairs. There are escalators but you’ll be doing a lot of walking. My feet were pretty tired at the end of the day, so to make sure you can keep going, opt for the comfy shoes in your luggage.

The money is so that you can take advantage of things like the Puropass kiosks and arcade games. Japan is known for their capsule and vending machines, which are all over Sanrio Puroland, so you’ll need some yen in order to use them. I also used my money for one of the Hello Kitty popcorn machines, which was a delicious decision.

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