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Shopping for anime merchandise isn’t always as easy as you’d think in Japan. While any toy store will be stocked with goodies from currently airing, elementary schooler-targeted TV series such as Pokémon or Precure, what if your tastes run towards more sophisticated fare, like the animated classics of Studio Ghibli?

If you’re looking for stuffed animals or accessories inspired by the films of legendary anime director Hayao Miyazaki and his cohorts, you can’t go wrong with a trip to Donguri Kyowakoku, a whole chain of stores that sells nothing but Ghibli items.

Unlike the gift shop at the Ghibli Museum in Tokyo’s Mitaka, Donguri Kyowakoku isn’t directly managed by the animation studio. Instead, Donguri Kyowakoku is operated by Benelic Co., which specializes in setting up dedicated stores for holders of popular intellectual properties. Benelic’s collaborations have included team-ups with Lego, video game maker Capcom, manga publisher Shueisha, toy manufacturer Bandai, and even Dutch picture book rabbit Miffy.

Benelic’s highest-profile tie-up is with Studio Ghibli, though. In addition to the 30 branches of Donguri Kyowakoku across Japan, there are also seven Donguri Garden locations, which also specialize in Ghibli merchandise.

With the pantheon of cute Ghibli characters, it’s to be expected that you can pick up stuffed animals at Donguri Kyowakoku, including many of Totoro. If functionality is important to you in your plush toys, Teto, the fox-squirrel companion of Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, is equipped with a chain that allows him to do double duty an adorable strap or key chain.

While the lion’s share of Donguri Kyowakoku’s merchandise is centered on Ghibli’s nostalgic hits from the late (80s and early ‘90s, more recent films are represented, too, such as this distinct calendar modeled the mobile fortress Howl’s Moving Castle. And what more appropriate shape for a cooking utensil than this spatula shaped like fire demon Calcifer, from the same film?

There are cute little recreations of Jiji, the black cat familiar of the titular witch from Kiki’s Delivery Service, have magnetized paws that let them cling to this flower pot, or, ostensibly, your refrigerator door. If your magnet needs are such that you need two Ghibli versions, Donguri Kyowakoku can also set you up with the gathering of little fish/little girl Ponyo’s little sisters.

Japan’s reliance on public transportation means having to carry a bag when you go out. Character pouches let you keep everything organized, while allowing you to show your respect for some of Japan’s most talented animators. A Totoro tote has both aesthetic and alliterative appeal.

If just being decorated with a Ghibli character isn’t enough, you can also find a coin purse shaped like Jiji at Donguri Kyowakoku. And if you’d prefer it be you, rather than your belongings, that look like an anime character, you could pick up a levistone pendant from Laputa Castle in the Sky, with a different marking on its front and back.

Finally, for those whose fashion tastes are a bit more playful, there’s this fetching hair bow, as worn by Kiki in her 1989 animated film (although notably not in her recent live-action movie).

A complete list of Donguri Kyowakoku locations can be found here, but for travelers to Tokyo, one of the most easily accessed is the branch in Ikebukuro, which is serviced by the Yamanote rail line that circles downtown. It’s open seven days a week, making it a convenient place to pick up last minute souvenirs, although with all the cool stuff they have, we recommend going early in your trip while you still have some cash to blow.

Shop information
Donguri Kyowakoku Ikebukuro Branch / どんぐり共和国池袋店
Address: Tokyo-to, Toshima-ku, Higashi Ikebukuro 3-1, Sunshine City Alpa Basement Level 1
東京都豊島区東池袋3-1 サンシャインシティ アルパB1F
Open 10 a.m.-8 p.m.

Related: Donguri Kyowakoku
Source: Mery
Top image: Donguri Kyowakoku