Totoro and Catbus bus stop outside Donguri Republic in Kawagoe (Photo: Lynda Hogan)

Donguri Republic, Kawagoe Branch

A must visit for all Ghibli fans for Ghibli souvenirs

Totoro and Catbus bus stop outside Donguri Republic in Kawagoe (Photo: Lynda Hogan)
Lynda Hogan   - 2 min read

Donguri Republic is a mecca for Ghibli fans visiting Japan, since it is the official store of Studio Ghibli. The branch in Kawagoe is quite small, but packed with souvenirs from all the classic Ghibli movies. It is a great spot to pick up some exclusive Ghibli goods which can be difficult to procure outside Japan.

The Kawagoe branch of Donguri Republic has a wide range of goods from the movies 'My Neighbor Totoro', 'Kiki's Delivery Service' and 'Spirited Away'. The popular characters Totoro, Catbus, Mei, Jiji and No Face are well represented. Apart from plush toys and figurines of the characters, you can purchase smaller items such as chopsticks, phone straps, hand towels, key rings, and stationery with the characters on them. They have some clothes, but that category mainly consists of t-shirts. The shop also has a small range of household items. Smaller items start from as little as 200 yen. Typically the larger the product, the higher the price tag. Specialty items such as cuckoo clocks or baby toys tend to be expensive, but often worth the price tag. They also have a smaller range of products from other Ghibli movies such as 'Laputa' and 'Mary and the Witch's Flower'.

The branch is located on the main tourist strip in the area known as Ichibangai, which is near Kawagoe's landmark Bell Tower. The store itself is very picturesque, housed in one of Kawagoe's Edo period buildings. You can't miss it with the large Totoro and Catbus bus stop outside. The shop is open from 10 am to 5.30 pm seven days a week.

Getting there

By public transport: Donguri Republic is about a 20 minute walk from Seibu Hon-Kawagoe station. It takes about 25 minutes on foot from Tobu Tojo and JR Kawagoe Station. Kawagoeshi station is about 20 minutes walk away. All the Kawagoe tourist buses pass the store - alight at Ichibangai.

By car: there is no official car park for this store. There are dozens of coin parking lots in Kawagoe. The closest is the one for the bank about 500 meters down the road. However, that is the one most expensive car park in all of Kawagoe. I recommend any of the Rakuda coin parking lots, they tend to be the most reasonably priced. There is one near the Penny Candy Alley which is only a five minute walk from this store.

Lynda Hogan

Lynda Hogan @lynda.hogan

Lynda has been in Japan for 20 years and blogging about Saitama on her personal blog for 14 of them.  Despite its central location, just North of Tokyo, Saitama is still quite unknown to the international tourist, but frequented by domestic travelers. It is a great place to experien...