The One about the Hello Kitty Store at Tokyo Solamachi

If you are heading to Tokyo Sky Tree, if there is one place that I recommend for souvenirs (may it be be for children or your lady friends), I recommend the Hello Kitty Store at the shopping area, Tokyo Solamachi.

May it be plush, cookies, chopsticks, pens, notepads or whatever Sanrio related, this store has it.  And the cool thing about this place is that you get free membership which you can own swag (think points card) and immediately with your first purchase, you can get free swag.

For those not familiar with Hello Kitty, the character is part of Sanrio Co., Ltd., a company founded back in 1960 by Shintaro Tsuji.  Originally called the Yamanishi Silk Company, Tsuji expanded his enterprise in 1962 from silk to rubber sandals with flowers painted on them.

Wanting to increase profits, he hired cartoonists to design cute characters for his merchandise and a little over a decade later, the company became known as Sanrio, derived from Yamanishi’s alternative on’yomi reading of “sanri” and the “o” was added from the sound people make when excited.

In 1974, Hello Kitty was added to the lineup of characters and since then, more characters have been added, including My Melody, Keroppi, Badtz-Maru, Tuxedo Sam and many more.  Currently, the more newer character added a few years ago that remains popular is the lazy egg yolk known as Gudetama.

If you are heading to Tokyo Skytree and are looking for small souvenirs that are not too expensive, I definitely recommend the Hello Kitty Store at Tokyo Solamachi.  Also, because a lot of the products featured are not sold in America or other stores in Japan.