Brace yourself. It's the Disney of Hello Kitty. Everything inside is whimsical, sparkly, and/or cute and cuddly. And probably lights up.
Just inside the front gate
The escalator moves down a level and this whole world opens up.
Totem pole at the entrance to the boat ride.
Even the bathrooms were whimsical!
I hope you appreciate these, because it was kind of weird to be taking photos of the ladies' restroom, even if nobody was in it at that moment.
We saw two shows. The first one was in the main area, but we didn't have a good enough spot to be worth taking photos. But now we know where to stand when someone comes to visit and we go see it again. The costumes alone were something to see. It was all the magic of forest animals, acrobats, cupcakes, and Cirque du Soleil rolled into one surreal parade and show with Princess Hello Kitty dropping from the ceiling.
The second show we saw, which we were allowed to film/photograph as long as there was no flash, was Hello Kitty's Adventures in the Magical Land of Oz. I can't even guess if they paid any royalties at all, the plot was that far away from the original Wizard of Oz.
It starts with a birthday party for Hello Kitty and her twin sister (whose name escapes me). They got cell phones! And books.
Kitty wanders off to read her book, and a tornado takes her by surprise and whisks her away to Oz!
Some dwarves (played by normal-sized people through clever use of large skirts and rolling stools) hook her up with silver shoes. Poor Kitty has no cell phone reception.
She meets the Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Cowardly Lion more or less as you'd expect.
Then they trot off to meet the Wizard. Who is fabulous.
Instead of the Wicked Witch of the West, it's the Wicked Witch of the Junk Food, who appears to have kidnapped delivery girls from the pizza place, burger joint, doughnut shop, hot dog stand, and ice cream parlor and forces them to constantly serve her large plastic food.
Kitty and friends are brought to the castle by punk monkeys, the witch takes a look at Kitty's strawberry phone charm and eats the whole digital contraption in one bite. And blows up. Kitty gets her phone back, all the trapped wait staff are released, they see the wizard again, and live happily ever after.
Then, for reasons I don't quite understand, there are a series of dance numbers with fancy dresses and ostrich feather fans.
The entire show is available on DVD in the Sanrio Puroland gift shop. I was tempted, but it's just not the same thing as seeing this craziness live.
There's a section called Kitty Lab. The idea is that Dr. Kitty is researching the Essence of Cute to better connect with her people, and you can participate. The lab is full of little stations modeled after a cafe, hospital, police station, travel agency, college, stuff like that. Each station has a challenge, half of which we failed because we couldn't figure out what we were supposed to be doing until it was too late. But it was still fun.
I just liked the little doctor-mechanic bears scattered around. They're so little!
This is inside the hospital station. Note Kitty's X-ray. Evidently the bow is part of her skeletal structure.
Yes, the travel agency has a Hello Kitty UFO on the roof.
I just wanted my picture taken with Mocha because I've never seen a mascot costume with someone inside who was so small. So small!
And that was our visit to Sanrio Puroland.
Having a free evening, we ate at a burger joint (observation: when the Japanese do American food, it's way better than actual American food) and got some phenomenal crepes from a street vendor that cooked them on the spot.
Pineapple and whipped cream in a sweet, ultra-thin pancake and topped with sprinkles? Hell effin' yeah. The Mew got a coffee crepe (it looked the same on the outside or I would have taken a picture of that, too) that had as much whipped cream and delicious crepe-ness, but where mine was pineapple rings, his had a blob of black coffee gelatin. Not necessarily my cup of tea, so to speak, but he was pleased.