Meet the Characters that Japanese Kids Love at the Nippon Animation Official Shop, Ani*Cute
Nameko and Rascal are two Japanese characters that are much-loved by kids all over Japan but, unlike Hello Kitty or Little Twin Stars, unknown in rest of the world. Let’s change that. Say hi to these sweet and gorgeous new friends at the Nippon Animation Official Shop in Sunshine City.
Located on the 2nd floor at Shop 15, you can’t miss it because there’s heaps of kids milling about. It’s close to the Pokemon shop too, down the right of the mall as you head out of Namco Namja Town amusement park.
The main characters you’ll find here are:
- Nameko – the now famous cuddly character based on the slightly slimy nameko (or “pholiota nameko” to be exact) variety of mushroom that’s often used in dishes like miso soup. Born in 2012.
- Rascal the Raccoon – is a Japanese anime series by Nippon Animation based on the 1963 autobiographical novel, Rascal, Memoir of a Better Era by Sterling North.
- Funassyi – is a Japanese mascot character, unofficially representing the city of Funabashi Chiba. It was created by a citizen of Funabashi with the objective of cheering up local residents and to help promote its hometown. It has subsequently appeared at events and festivals, as well as on numerous TV programs and commercials, gaining popularity around Japan. It has also issued a CD album and several singles, DVDs, starred in its own anime series and opened its own character goods store. While it remains an unofficial character, Funassyi is used frequently in official events for Chiba prefecture, the city of Funabashi and Japan itself due to its popularity and high name recognition.
- The sweet Japanese girl, Momoko “Maruko” Sakura (and her family members) from the cartoon, Chibi Maruko-chan. This is a series written and illustrated by Momoko Sakura. The series depicts the simple, everyday life of Momoko Sakura, a young girl everyone calls Maruko, and her family in suburban Japan in the year 1974. The series is set in the former city of Shimizu, now part of Shizuoka City, birthplace of its author.
We think the kids will find it hard to resist making a new friend or two in this place!
The Inside Scoop for the Nippon Animation Official Shop, Ani*Cute
Opening Hours & Entry Fees
- Open 10am to 8pm
Travel options to the Nippon Animation Official Shop in Sunshine City Tokyo Japan, 2nd Floor.
- 3 minutes on foot from Higashi-Ikebukuro Station (Tokyo Metro Yurakucho Line)
- 8 minutes on foot from Ikebukuro Station (JR, Tokyo Metro, Seibu Line, Tobu Line)
- 4 minutes on foot from Higashi-Ikebukuro 4-Chome Station (Toden Arakawa Line)
From Ikebukuro Station
- Go to exit 35 of Ikebukuro Station. Walk down Sunshine 60 Dori, and the underground entrance (escalator) to Sunshine City will be visible on the right-hand side next to Tokyu Hands.
From Higashi-Ikebukuro Station
- Walk toward exit 6.7, and a sign should direct you to the “Underground Passage” to Sunshine City.
Location and Map
- Address: 3−1−3 Higashiikebukuro, Toshima-ku Tokyo 170-0013
Toadstool Rating (by the kids)
The characters are super cute but if your kids don’t know who they are, the connection – and perhaps the attention span – is somewhat lost.
Family Travel Ideas with Roam the Gnome
We love to share the SUPER FUN kid-friendly stuff we find around the world, so you can go there too!