I'm a big Doraemon fan and grown up with Doraemon. I read all the Doraemon comics in Chinese, as well as some of the other works by Fujiko F. Fujio. I know all the stories by heart. I decided to visit this museum in Japan because I didn't have a chance to attend to any of the recent special exhibitions in various places in Asia celebrating the "100th Year Before Doraemon's birth". In comparison to experiences recounted by others who did manage to attend those special exhibitions, this museum was not nearly as exciting and didn't provide a lot of photo taking opportunities with the characters (although there are a few in the small rooftop area).
However, I did learn a few things about the artist himself and it was nice to see some original works on display. Given the volume of art that Fujiko F. Fujio produced, I was expecting that the museum would have more material (not only about Doraemon, but about his other comics as well). Overall, it was good but I wish there could've been more both from an educational point of view and the "fun" point of view. Also, there weretoo many toddlers running around who are too young to really appreciate or understand the exhibit part of the museum. This is not a theme park and I think some visitors thought it would be more fun for the children than it turns out to be. I went on a Thursday and it was fairly full but not too crowded.
If I could read Japanese, I would've stayed in the manga reading corner for hours! Unfortunately, they only have all of his works in Japanese. The same thing goes with the books in the gift shop; everything was in Japanese and I wish they had some translated versions in stock as those are hard to find even in the home countries where their sale is intended. I was hoping to buy a few missing volumes to complete my collection but did not manage to do so. Surprisingly however, the English audio guide for the exhibits was excellent! Also, I agree with other reviewers that the cafe is awesome!
Buying tickets at the Loppi machine was slightly complicated since I don't know Japanese at all, and everything at the point of purchase is Japanese. If you are from overseas, I would recommend that you try to navigate the Lawson i-tike website http://l-tike.com/fujiko-m/ (where Japanese residents can reserve tickets online before going to a Lawson store to pick up the tickets) hopefully with the help of Google Translate or someone who can read Japanese, so that you know how the system for purchasing works (like how to find the L-code, and get to know how to navigate the screens) as the Loppi machine has a similar architecture as the website. You cannot reserve tickets online if you're not in Japan, mostly because the system requires you to go to a Lawson store to pay within 2 days of making the reservation. Tickets on a weekday are almost guaranteed.
All in all, it was worth a visit, but don't expect too much!
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