If you've watched anime before, you may have watched or heard of Doraemon. Doraemon is a cat-robot that has been extremely popular in many countries for its cute character and its ability to take out absolutely anything from its own pocket. Even if you currently don't watch or read Doraemon, there is a high chance that ou have during your childhood - and this is what makes the Fujiko.F.Fujio museum attractive to all generations.
The museum is located near the Kawasaki City of the Kanagawa Prefectue. You will need to hop off at the Noborito station, where you can find the bus stand fo the direct bus to the museum. As you can see in the photos above, its quite obvious which bus to take with special Doraemon character designs (even the stop bell is with Doraemon's face!). Before you go to the museum though, make sure you have booked and purchased your entry tickets in a Lawson convenience store as the museum does not sell walk-in tickets. The bus ride is around 10 minutes, until you are greeted by a building full of surprises.
When you enter the museum, they will provide you with spoken guides (you can choose from a few languages) that will guide you through the entire museum. Though the museum is commonly referred as the Doraemon museum, it is actually a museum that focuses on Fujiko.F.Fujio's (author of Doraemon) life and his works. You will first enter a hall of fame where you can view is real artworks of different comics that he has written. It is an interesting experience to be able to have a guided device that explains to you what meanings are behind each work. You then pass through an entire replica of Fujiko's office where he spent years just drawing. There are also exhibitions available which changes every season. When I visited in July of 2015, they had an exhibit about one of Fujiko's major works on Doraemon - "The Birth of Japan". One you pass through this, there is a hall where you can see how Fujiko spent his days off.
When you have finished walking through the hall of fame and Fujiko's life and work exhibits, you are then greeted by a load of fun, both indoors and outdoors. Indoors, there is a cinema where you can view a 5 minute screening of a special animation of all of Fujiko's characters combined. There is also a reading corner where you can find ever book Fujiko has written There is also an area where you can take Purikura photos (photo stickers) with Doraemon backdrops. And of course, being in Japan, you can't forget the Gashapon (capsule toy machines). When you head outdoors, you can see amazing sculptures of Doraemon, Nobita, the Dokodemo-Door (the door tool that Doraemon takes out to let him visit anywhere in an instant), and many more for great photo opportunities.
At the museum, here is also a Doraemon Cafe, which is a definite must-visit when having your lunch or early dinner. Everything on the menu is inspired from Doraemon's stories and includes small surprises here and there. We ordered the Summer Burger which also included small bits of pasta in the shape of Doraemon's face. The Gratin had a seaweed shared in Doraemon wearing the outfit from The Birth of Japan exhibition earlier on. It is recommended that you visit the Cafe before you enjoy the outdoor areas as it can get extremely crowded and you will need to take a ticket number - this can be tracked through a link where you can use your smartphone to check how much longer it will take until your table is ready. Once your table is ready though, its a joy!
Before you finish your tour, don't forget to visit the souvenir shop where you can find hundreds of exclusive Doraemon merchandise that can only be found in this store. I ended up purchasing some snacks - the memory shortbread that was in an episode where Nobita had to memorise everything before his maths test, and Doraemon's favourite Dorayaki. But trust me, there is just too much to choose from and I regret not buying more!
Address: 2 Chome-3-4 Shinko, Naka Ward, Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture 231-0001, Japan
Opening Hours: Each day, entrance time is divided into quarterly time-schedule.
(1)10:00 (2)12:00 (3)14:00 (4)16:00
Access: 10 minute bus ride from Noborito station via direct bus.
Born in Japan, brought up in Hong Kong and currently living in Sydney, Australia.
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