Those oval dotted eyes, perky bunny ears and “x” for a mouth - who could resist the ever-adorable Miffy? While Miffy may have originated in the Netherlands (and known there in my adoptive home country as Nintje), internationally, this minimalistic cartoon character is even a bigger star outside - especially in Japan. When I first moved to Tokyo from the Netherlands, I was shocked to see how many places dedicated to Miffy there are. As I started to travel around Japan during my time off work, I realized that the Japanese love this bunny character just as much as I do - and moving to this country was a perfect match.
One by one, I made a pilgrimage around to the many Miffy sites dotted all around this wonderful country. From Miffy-themed bakeries to Miffy stand-alone stores to even Miffy cafes, I had to go to them all. Every time I flew back to the Netherlands, I brought home a luggage case filled with Miffy merchandise as souvenirs. Which is quite ironic, considering the Netherlands and Dick Bruna, invented Miffy. But the merch in the Netherlands doesn’t go all out as much as they do in Japan. The adoration for this bunny is just multiplied here on this side of the world. If you love Miffy just as much as I do, or just looking to get a slice of Dutch and (and now just more than ever) Japanese culture, here are the places to check out when you’re in Japan for Miffy-goodness. Curious? Follow me on Instagram and YouTube for more adventures!
1. Miffy Cafe Kamaishi - Omachi
Address: Japan, 〒026-0024 Iwate, Kamaishi, Omachi, 1 Chome−1−10 釜石情報交流センター内
The fact that there’s a whole official cafe in the name of Miffy in Japan while there isn’t any in Miffy’s home country of the Netherlands should be blasphemy enough. But to add salt to the wound - this cafe was established through a collaborative effort involving both the author Dick Bruna and the Dutch Embassy. Could you believe it?! While there’s a rotation of temporary Miffy-themed cafes happening all over Japan, there’s only one permanent one year-round, and this is it. This is where you can eat food in the shape of Miffy (think rice balls, chocolate-shaped Miffy) and have desserts and coffee with Miffy as the design. The cafe itself also looks like what I picture to be like a real-life Miffy house. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped into the world of Miffy and friends here, as you sip on a Miffy latte art and take photos with Miffy sculptures.
2. Flower Miffy Asakusa Shop
Address: Japan, 〒111-0034 Tokyo, Taito City, Kaminarimon, 2 Chome−19−7 相磯ビル 1F
Living in the Netherlands, one of the things I treated myself to every two weeks were a bouquet of fresh cut flowers. A lot of Dutch people do, to add a splash of colour and nature into our homes. It’s quite an affordable gift compared to other countries, and just part of the Dutch way of life. So when I moved to Tokyo, to find a whole flower shop dedicated to Miffy was mindblowing. This is a florist with Miffy as the theme - from Miffy colour-coordinated bouquets to little unique floral Miffy merchandise that you can only get in the Flower Miffy shop, you simply can’t skip out of this place when you’re in Tokyo. Though do note that Asakusa can get super packed throughout the day, since it’s quite a popular neighbourhood in Tokyo. My favourite time of the day to visit this Miffy florist is around 10:30am, up to before 12pm. Then you can take your time perusing the flowers and Miffy items without feeling claustrophobic! There’s also a second Flower Miffy store in Sunshine City in Ikebukuro that is worth seeing too.
3. Miffy Style - Tokyo
Address: Japan, 〒100-0005 Tokyo, Chiyoda City, Marunouchi, 1 Chome−9−1 一番街地下一階 東京駅
Miffy Style is a series of shops all over Tokyo and Japan the stocks Miffy plushies, Miffy water bottles, Miffy designed stationery, Miffy-stamped bags, basically anything you can think of that you want with Miffy on it - you got it! The address above is to one of the Miffy Style stores, a well-known location on Character street but feel free to Google Map the closest one to you. While these stores are very similar to the Miffy stores they have in the Netherlands, the thing is - there are often collection of Japanese exclusive Miffy merchandise that you can only get here. Like Miffy wearing a kimono plush! It’s simply an irresistible shopping experience if you’re a Miffy lover. Since this specific store is in the underground of Tokyo Station, if you spend 5,000 yen or more - you can go upstairs to the first floor and get a tax refund! Be sure to bring your passport for that.
4. Miffy Sakura Kitchen - Kyoto
Address: Sagatenryuji Tsukurimichicho, Ukyo Ward, Kyoto, 616-8384, Japan
Buckle in for this place, because I think out of all the cool unique Miffy spots in Japan, like a florist or a cafe, this one if my favourte. It’s a whole Miffy cherry blossom theme kitchen! Talka bout cuteness overload personified in one place! This spot creates fresh Miffy-designed treats daily, from their most famous Miffy anpan (which an authentic Japanese red bean filling bread in the shape of Miffy) to Miffy stuffed sandwiches (in the shape of Miffy’s head of course) to so many other treats you can eat. While you may be use to a seated cafe or restaurant like the above Miffy Cafe in Kamaishi, this spot is a takeaway place where you can get your orders to go in a cute Miffy takeaway bag.
Arashiyama Miffy Sakura Kitchen616-8384, Japan
5. Miffy storehouse kitchen & bakery - Kawagoe
Address: Japan, 〒350-0063 Saitama, Kawagoe, Saiwaicho, ８−5
I didn’t think I would end up waiting in line in the early wee hours even before this spot opened its doors, but there I was, 8th in line with a queue of Japanese people that snaked down the historical heritage streets of Kawagoe. This was a day trip from Tokyo that I took, and while its very similar to the Miffy Sakura Kitchen, this one is a specific bakehouse/bakery just for Miffy. It offers fun edible things like Miffy bread in a can - (yes you read that right… bread… in a can… and when you open the can, a bread tube slides out in the shape of Miffy’s head) along with the classic Miffy red bean paste bun. If you can get to this bakery a.s.a.p then do it the first thing you do when you arrive in Kawagoe, since once their freshly baked Miffy goods are sold out - that’s it, and there’s no restock until they bake again the next day.
6. Dick Bruna Table
Address: 3-1-1 Sannomiya-cho, Chuo-ku, Kobe 650-0021
Dick Bruna is the creator of Miffy, from a cosy historical canal-lined city called Utrecht in the Netherlands. There’s a whole cafe in Kobe that is dedicated to the famous author and father of Miffy - even though this cafe isn’t solely about Miffy itself. Having said that, if you find yourself in Kobe, it’s still a treasure to pop in, since there are sketches and illustrations that are on display in the cafe by Dick Bruna of Miffy. There are some dishes and food that are packaged with Miffy design, and you can get of course uniquely exclusive Miffy tote bags and merchandise that are only available from Dick Bruna Table. Also, if you want to get a true taste of Holland, this cafe serves up contemporary spins on Dutch cuisine - serving authentic dishes like pannenkouken and even kapsalon!
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