Looking for some entertainment the whole family can enjoy? Well, your kids will likely enjoy it more, but who doesn’t love a day spent with the little ones entertaining themselves with some of their favorite Japanese characters? If you’re near Kobe, making a trip to the Anpanman Kids Museum and Mall promises to be a real treat.
The building is divided into two floors, the first being more of a mall with shops and restaurants, and the second is dedicated to the museum. If you want to spend a few hours exploring the character-related shops downstairs for toys and memorabilia, you could easily do so. There are around 20 shops to check out, including some favorites like “Uncle Jam’s Bakery” and “Anpanman Salon” so be prepared to come home with some tasty treats and sweet souvenirs. If you head to the bakery, make sure to try out one of the adorable and delicious Anpanman baked goods, which the merchants do an entertaining job marketing! A custard bun costs around 300 yen.
One great thing about the first floor mall area is that the characters often make surprise or timed guest appearances, so you might just get a photo opportunity with one of the members of the Anpanman crew! Even if you don’t see a character wandering around, there are many cute and fun permanent characters conveniently displayed for striking a pose on the first floor!
Heading up to the second floor will bring you to the unique exhibits and attractions available in the museum. Though the cost of admission is a bit pricey (1,500 yen per person over 1 year old), if you or your children have any interest in Anpanman, it can be a fun and interesting way to spend some time. Exploring the different attractions will bring you information concerning the history of this widely known cartoon character, as well as random fun facts regarding the creation and legacy of the brand. The museum experience also offers many opportunities to take photos both with the exhibits and the characters themselves.
Anpanman is one of Japan’s most popular anime series running from 1973-2013, which gives it cross-generational and international notoriety. Due to this, regardless of day of the week, the Anpanman Kids Museum and Mall can get quite crowded. Luckily, due to the location’s proximity to the harbor, if the crowds become unbearable for you and your family, you can always opt instead for a stroll along the marina or get a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants surrounding.
Where: From Harborland Station, walk 8 minutes or walk 10 minutes from Hankyu/Hanshin/Kosoku Kobe Station, Higashi Kawasaki-cho 1-6-2, Chuo-ku, Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture
Admission: Under 1 years old: 600 yen, Over 1 years old: 1,500 yen
Hours: 7 days a week (closed on January 1st)
Museum: 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. (last admission is 5:00 p.m.)
Shopping mall: 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Reference Website (Japanese): http://www.kobe-anpanman.jp/
English Informational Brochure: http://www.kobe-anpanman.jp/pdf/foreign_brochure.pdf