Meet Your Favorite Anime Characters
Many people love watching anime and reading manga. As entertainment goes, what enthusiastic fan at some point hasn’t wished that the characters in the stories would burst off the page or jump off the screen? Well, there are a number of theme parks and museums around Japan designed for fans to “meet” or better get to know their two-dimensional friends.
These facilities are the perfect place for fans to learn more about their favorite characters or watch them come to life on large screens. These locations have given fans a new way to enjoy anime and manga. Such places are particularly popular with kids, who can lose themselves for hours on end, making these a popular destination for many families when preparing travel plans.
Playing with DORAEMON!
The Fujiko F. Fujio Museum located in Kawasaki City, Kanagawa Prefecture, where Fujiko F. Fujio lived for many years. The front window frames of the building are designed to look like the panel-frame layout of the first Doraemon story.
One of Japan’s most beloved and iconic anime characters is Doraemon. He has a large following overseas, and its anime version of the same name has been aired in many countries abroad. A popular destination for Doraemon fans is the Fujiko F. Fujio Museum, built to commemorate the creators of Doraemon. The museum opened in September 2011 and is located in Kawasaki City, Kanagawa Prefecture, next to Tokyo.
Doraemon, that famous robotic cat from the future, uses gadgets from the future to help Nobita out of difficult situations.（©Fujiko-Pro）
Much of the museum focuses on Doraemon, a robotic cat from the future. Episodes of the eponymous manga and anime center on the life of Nobita, a hapless elementary school student, and his adventures with Doraemon, who has come from the future to help him. Measuring 129.3 cm tall, Doraemon has all manner of secret devices from the future that anyone would love to have. Perhaps most famous among these are his dokodemo door, which transports the user to wherever he or she wants to go, and the propeller that lets him fly through the sky when attached on his head. Almost everyone in Japan has at one time or another wished in their childhood they could encounter a real Doraemon or wondered if there were a real Doraemon out there somewhere.
However, there is more to what makes Doraemon stories so engaging. While Doraemon, often with the best intentions, tries to use his tools or gadgets to get Nobita out of tight spots, they often create more trouble that Nobita, who has the worst of luck although a kind and strong child, has to take care of himself. The stories are entertaining and include a moral lesson about life values such as the importance of courage, honesty and respect for others. That they can be enjoyed on a number of levels is one factor behind the universal appeal of the stories and has helped to drive their popularity overseas.
Located in the garden, Doraemon and this door are two great photographic spots.
The third-floor cafe has a menu with a number of unique dishes. Pictured here is a rice casserole with white sauce, topped with an image of Doraemon.
The museum has on display about 50,000 original pictures as well as varieties of items, including a desk and materials used by Fujiko F. Fujio — the pen name of one half of the writing duo that penned Doraemon. Visitors can learn about the approach behind the works and how manga are created. Those eager to have their picture taken with Doraemon head straight for the garden, where Doraemon awaits. Here they can take a picture next to a statue of Doraemon and, if for a moment, feel a bit like Nobita. On the third floor, the museum cafe offers up a creative menu with unique items such as a Doraemon rice casserole which is so visually appealing that it seems almost a shame to eat.