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Cute Overload: Japanese Characters Gift Shop

Hello Kitty’s, robot key chains and  cute back to school stationary direct from Japan line the walls up to the ceiling.


Upper East Siders beware, there’s a new, kitschy and totally addictive Japanese characters gift shop in town. Situated next to Collegiate and a throng of schools and day care centers on 82nd Street between 1st and 2nd Avenues, Ebisu Gift Shop will be drawing in kids of all ages after school.  The store continuously offers a quickly evolving inventory of 200+ well curated, gift-able goods from Japan that are sure to keep fans on their feet.  The store is a perfect solution to address the endless series of birthday parties that commence with each school year, where novel gifts are highly valued.

Character goods, at least when we stopped by, include plush Totoro’s of varying sizes, Hello Kitty x Ugly Doll collaboration dolls, Rilakkuma bento boxes and lunch food design accessories, such as a plastic mold that shapes boiled eggs into bunny and bear faces.  The biggest challenge is deciding between the fruit-smelling pens, tiered bright folders, fun textured stickers, candy-looking erasers, or the only-in-Japan Green Tea KitKat’s.

The boutique will also offer free weekly origami classes starting September, to be held every Wednesday from 3pm to 4pm.  Stop by the store or call to sign up and secure your space.

While the intended customer profile is elementary and middle school kids, the store is already a magnet for adults that want to add some charm and whimsy to their office desk, key chain and  apartment, too. Stepping into a treasure trove of a boutique, one wonders why such a collective character goods store offering the best in Japanese cute-ness didn’t exist in this big city until now.


Hard to choose: Whimsical animal shaped erasers or colorfully detailed charms that can brighten any mood.


Oddly charming and huggable Totoro dolls from the classic anime film go quickly, the biggest one already sold out.


Assemble-your-own robot key chains that showcase your Japanese-style creativity are popular with boys.


Ebisu Gift Shop
351 E. 82nd St., (bet. 1st & 2nd Aves.), New York, NY 10028  |  TEL: 646-287-7162