Fujiko F. Fujio's Doraemon Museum, Kawasaki
My love of Doraemon started many years ago when I was still in primary school. My mum bought me a comic book called Doraemon and she told me to read it quietly when we visited grandma's house. I recall very vividly the little me sitting on the tiled stairs near the kitchen reading my first Doraemon comic very carefully. I finished it and started to re-read it again from the beginning. That was the day Doraemon captured my heart.
When I had a chance to visit Japan, I added the Doraemon Museum to my 'must-see' list. Rain or shine, sick or healthy, I had to visit the museum! Hubby didn't have any nostalgic feeling towards Doraemon like I did but he liked the friendly face of the cute and round blue robot cat. I bought my Doraemon Museum ticket through Voyagin and they delivered it to my hotel in Shinjuku.
Japan makes it very easy for tourists to get around independently. We took the express train from Shinjuku station on the Odakyu line to Noborito Station in Kawasaki. The express train took about 20 minutes to get there. We saw a lot of Doraemon related decorations once we arrived at Noborito station.
From the train station we walked down to the outside area of the station. A shuttle bus to Doraemon Museum will be available every 10-15 minutes.
The Museum - 1st Floor
When we first arrived at the museum, we were told not to take photos in some of the rooms. If you're not sure about this, please check with the staff first before you take any photos. The first room that we entered was filled with the archive of Fujiko F. Fujio's original colour artworks. The exhibition was numbered and the English audio guide was really helpful as well. One of the amazing pieces that I saw was the comic book with a story that was centred around the topic of fossil fuels. Unfortunately I don't remember the name of the comic book.
In the second exhibition room we saw the temporary exhibition of Doraemon original drawings. There were a lot of drawings that evoked heartwarming stories from the comic books that I read. I remembered in the first manga, Doraemon's body was filled with lines instead of having a solid colour. Those lines were made one by one using a ruler. It must have been a gruelling task because later on they filled in Doraemon's body with his iconic blue colour.
The museum created a replica of Fujiko F. Fujio's work place which showed a couple of two storey tall book shelves in different topics from dinosaurs to space. He even had a mini replica of Nessie (the cute Lochness monster) on his desk.
The Museum - 2nd Floor
On the second floor, we learnt more about the life of Fujiko F. Fujio as a husband and father. He was a very creative father and he created mini paper crafts for his three daughters. The whole family spent a lot of time outside and he always tried to draw his own Christmas postcards for his girls. Fujiko F. Fujio created Doraemon after he heard the sound of cat fights when he fell over his daughter's toy one day. He thought a character that can solve any problem will be a great new character for his manga.
From here, we walked past the manga corner which housed all of Fujiko F. Fujio's mangas. A few kids sat to read some mangas when we were there. If only they can eat a dorayaki when they read their manga... ;-).
There's a Fujiko F. Fujio theatre inside a museum. It's a mini cinema that can sit 100 people. We went into the theatre to watch one of the original Fujiko F. Fujio short movies that wasn't shown anywhere else. The one that we watched was the new short movie with Doraemon and Pokonyan as the main character (movie images taken from the Museum website).
The rooftop playground was really adorable. There was a Giant statue that was created from the Woodcutter's Spring story. We also found Perman #2 and Perman #1 statues on the lawn, they were waving at us. The rooftop playground was definitely a perfect spot to take many photos. We took some photos with Korosuke, Q-taro and Dorami as well.
We took more photos outside of the restaurant especially after I saw the big Nessie and Doraemon statue (yas, I was a bit obsessed!). I was so looking forward to the themed restaurant. I knew that the food price would be pricier than non-themed restaurants but it was definitely worth it for me.
I ordered the Pokoritan which was Pokonyan in creamy Neapolitan sauce (1,200 yen). This dish also came with a mini dog and a bowl of salad. Hubby ordered the Christmas special which was Doraemon's rice in beef stew (1,650 yen). This dish came with a bowl of salad in the shape of a Christmas tree. Both dishes were delicious even though we wished to see more beef slices in the beef stew (hahaha).
There was a small souvenir shop that sold food related items such as ankipan (memory bread) from toasted maple rusks and the famous dorayaki. We didn't buy any because I wouldn't want to eat it and probably would keep it forever. We also didn't want to risk breaking the food items when we put them inside our luggage.
We really enjoyed the half day that we spent at Fujiko F. Fujio's Museum. It was a very relaxing time especially since the museum was surrounded by beautiful views. The restaurant also had access to the outdoor park and was quite airy. This museum is definitely a must visit especially if you had a lot of nostalgic memories of Fujiko F. Fujio's works.