The Hell of Hello Kitty Land

Recently, thanks to pair of free tickets, I found myself heading to an amusement park named “Sanrio Puroland”, with expectations of thrilling roller-coasters and ferris wheels. Upon arrival, I was disappointed to discover that there were no such exciting attractions, and the whole place was a small, indoor fun-park aimed squarely at three-year-olds. Everything inside was painted bright pink, irritating jingles were blasting out of loudspeakers, and impish toddlers were scurrying around everywhere. It was like Dante’s “Inferno” as envisaged by an infant on hallucinogens. To make matters worse, I spent the day being stalked by a costumed character which looked like a gingerbread man, who mimicked my every action, like a mime.

Sanrio is a popular Japanese company which created a host of popular kids’ characters, including Kerropi the frog and, most famously, Hello Kitty. In Puroland, Kitty is inescapable. The walls are plastered with images of the anthropomorphic cat, there are musical dance numbers by kitty-costumed performers, and you can get your photograph taken with a person dressed as a cat for one thousand yen.
The whole place is a vast shrine to Hello Kitty. In fact, there actually is a shrine, where you can bow down before the cute white one, and write your prayers on pieces of wood which you tie to a plastic tree. This was a little tasteless (even for me!)
I’ve heard of “worshipping false idols”, but this was ridiculous! I’m sure John Waters would approve. The Kitty shrine is pictured below:

There is a certain amount of fun to be had in Sanrio Puroland. There’s a rather trippy boat ride, featuring robotic characters singing and dancing, and you can pose for fantastical pictures, wearing surreal animal costumes.

The highlight of Sanrio Puroland, for me, was the toilets. This is where the psychedelic tastelessness of the place reached its peak. Toilets and urinals are surrounded by leering toads, gargoyles and trees with eyes. I opened the door to a cubicle, and there was an animatronic grizzly bear sitting on the toilet, taking a dump, and it roared at me for intruding.

Sanrio Puroland is, of course, a fine place to take young kids, and is also fun for adults with a taste for the surreal and absurd. After about an hour, however, the overwhelming visual stimuli, repetitive songs, and artificial lights, start to make you feel like you’re descending into madness, like Jack Nicholson in “The Shining.”

Info:
Here is the Sanrio Puroland Website in English.

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14 Responses to The Hell of Hello Kitty Land

  1. […] Hello Kitty Hell Recently, thanks to pair of free tickets, I found myself heading to an amusement park named “Sanrio […] […]

  2. clarkebruce says:

    What, no photos of the grizzly bear taking a dump?

  3. ramblingsofaculturefreak says:

    creepy indeed.

  4. roaf says:

    Yeah, weird place! Sadly, the picture I took of the grizzly on the crapper came out blurred.

  5. clarkebruce says:

    I’m not surprised, your hands must have been shaking in terror 🙂

  6. azumarisan says:

    My favourite place in the world!! My hubby took me when we went to Japan and we also dressed up and had our photo taken. 🙂 hehe…just imagine a japanese man dressing up as cinnamoroll and you have my hubby!! I like to take that photo out as a surprise! haha 🙂

    I think i spent about 50 thousand yen that day…

    I love the lottery! I won heaps of plate sets though so then we had to carry them back to tokyo on the train. oops.

  7. The trees remind me of a sort-of trendy wallpaper in some clubs here, of 2x life-size women, all staring downwards looking shocked, impressed, thrilled, or some combination of those. It’s especially popular in mens bathrooms, where the pressure of going while your member is being admired by a 10-foot woman was apparently never thought of by the designer.

  8. roaf says:

    that bar sounds like a good place for exhibitionists with a fetish for Amazon women.

  9. simaldeff says:

    Isn’t there a United Nation convention or a Human Rights article those kind of place are violating? I don’t think you can call the Kyoto convention : firstly because Japan didn’t fully ratified it and secondly it only rules on where that grizzly’s sh1t is heading. Maybe the thing about mistreating children … it’s called unikref or something like that … but it’s not an organism important enough to close those hellish places!
    We need a plan!
    Any ideas?

  10. roaf says:

    Haha! yeah, we could say that bear sh*t is pollutin the rivers of Japan.

  11. nick says:

    my you do have a way with words!

  12. roaf says:

    Why, thank you! You most certainly are are a scholar and a gentlemen.

  13. I don’t like the disapproving looks from the trees while I’m taking a leak. Who are they to judge? I mean, size doesn’t matter, does it?

  14. roaf says:

    haha! I’ll try to resist a pun about “getting wood.”

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