[Anime Culture Monday] Honey’s Anime Hot Spot: Sailor Moon Exhibit @Roppongi Hills, Tokyo, Japan

image8 AHS Sailor Moon Exhibit

Intro

For over twenty years, Sailor Moon has exposed many people of a small handful of generations from around the world to anime. For long time anime fans, this series along with the likes of Yuu Yuu Hakusho and Dragon Ball Z tend to stick with them. In celebration of its 20 year lifespan and to appreciate the artistic and historical value of the franchise, fans from around the world who happen to be visiting Japan between now and/or June 19th (the day of its closing) now have the opportunity to experience its legacy. So if you are an interested hardcore fan of Sailor Moon that is curious on what this exhibit is like, please feel free to use the following info in Honey’s exclusive and first hand review.

Sailor Moon Exhibit Info

Location Roppongi Hills Observation Deck Tokyo City View

  • 6-10-1 Roppongi Minato-ku Roppongi Hills Mori Tower 52F
  • 03-3571-6258

Train Lines

  • Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line Roppongi Station instant access from Exit 1C
  • Tokyo Metro Nanboku Line Azabu Juban Station 8 min from the Exit 4
  • Tokyo Oedo Line Roppongi Station 4 min walk from the Exit 3
  • Tokyo Oedo Line Azabu Juban Station 5 min walk from Exit 7
Cost of Admission
  • General admission (adult): 1800 yen
  • Children (from age 4 to 9th grade): 1200 yen
  • Senior (65 and up): 1500 yen
Hours of Operation
  • Open from April 16 – June 19
  • 10am-10pm
  • Everyday
Official Website (If available)

The Experience

image4 AHS Sailor Moon Exhibit

For starters, if you are a fan of Sailor Moon that pays attention to every detail, judging by the address, the location of the exhibit happens to be within the Azubu Juban district of Tokyo’s Minato Ward, which also serves as the main setting for the Sailor Moon series. So it is rather appropriate that the exhibit takes place within context to its source material. Depending on what day you go, it can get rather busy. During Honey’s trip to the exhibit, it happened to have fallen on May 5th, a national holiday, so it was rather busy going through the ticket line.

It took about 10 minutes to get through the ticket line, and after purchasing tickets, observers must go through a security scanner. After that, in order to get up to the 52nd floor to see the exhibit, is a much longer wait to get onto the elevator. The wait for the elevator ride took around 20-30 minutes. Now that the Golden Week holidays are passed, if you happen to have a day off on a general weekday, it should be easy to pass through. Usually, Wednesdays in Japan tend to be the easiest days for businesses. Weekends might still be a challenge, but should be easier compared to Golden Week.

image7 AHS Sailor Moon Exhibit

The elevator will go directly to the 52nd floor so you don’t have to wait between the 1st and 52nd floor while going up. After stepping off, you find yourself to the entrance where you present your ticket to the employee at the gate and you find yourself at a gallery of wall scrolls of the Sailor Senshi all painted by Takeuchi-sensei herself. This first exhibit is also accompanied by decorations of the Silver Millennium surrounding the windows which give you a gorgeous view of the Tokyo Skyline. From the windows of the first part of the exhibit, you get a great view of Tokyo Tower, which was also used in context to the storyline of both the old and original animated series of Sailor Moon.

In addition to the wall scrolls, you can take a picture of life board cut outs of Sailor Moon and the Sailor Senshi by a professional photographer. A business card size photo is free while a bigger picture would cost around 1300 yen. At the center of the first room is various related merchandise such as books, magazines, toys, and games. In this part of the exhibit, you are free to take pictures. For a large majority of the remaining exhibits you are NOT ALLOWED to take pictures.

image5 AHS Sailor Moon Exhibit

While transitioning from the first exhibit to a video room that shows images of the manga, there is a display on the wall that explains in perfect detail the story of Sailor Moon from the first story arc to Stars. Unfortunately, all the explanations are in Japanese and you cannot take pictures. Then as you enter the video room, it shows a brief two minute video about the history of Sailor Moon and how the Sailor Senshi came together. After the video is over, while heading towards the next exhibit are life size statues of Neo Queen Serenity and King Endymion. The statues are not in color and only in white. However, they are beautifully detailed as well as the costumes they are wearing. The good news is, you can take a picture of this part of the exhibit!

image9 AHS Sailor Moon Exhibit

The second part of the exhibit after the movie is that on the walls, you can see the original first story of the manga all in color! As stated, you cannot take pictures. Also along the walls are original 18 volumes of the Sailor Moon manga and the Sailor V manga. In the center in glass displays, it also has the original Nakayoshi Magazine that features the first story of Sailor Moon! In addition, it has general old school merchandise such as bags, stickers, pens, lockets and notebooks.

The third part of the exhibit shows some various toys on displays such as the original dolls by Bandai, costumes for children, the statues released back in 2000, manga releases from various countries such as Brazil, Mexico, the US, and Germany. It even has an official Sailor Moon Tricycle on display! On the walls, they are COVERED in various concept art and character designs from the 1992 original anime series in addition to designs of the environments such as Usagi’s house! Unfortunately, this is also a nice place you cannot take pictures despite the never ending temptation to photo a great part of history!

image3 AHS Sailor Moon Exhibit

The fourth room contains animation cells, storyboards, and original trading cards. Above the trading cards, is an HD monitor playing all the opening and ending theme songs from the original series up to Stars, the final season. Unfortunately, this monitor does not play any of the songs from Crystal. Some hardcore fans whether Japanese or foreign will happily sing the songs just for fun such as the iconic Moonlight Densetsu or the catchy Rashiku Ikimashou from Sailor Moon SuperS. While entering the fifth room, along the wall are props from the musicals such as the weapons of the Outer Sailor Scouts. Also while entering the fifth room on the entrance wall is a painting of the logo of the exhibition and an autograph by Takeuchi-sensei herself in alphabet letters! The good news, you can take a picture of this part!

The fifth room contains original art by Takeuchi-sensei of the Sailor Senshi. So if you want a more artistic experience, this is the spot! One painting of Sailor Saturn and another painting of the Sailor Senshi are masterfully colored in glitter. The sixth and final room contains newer merchandise such as the Figuarts action figures, pamphlets of the recent musicals, a display of Prince Endymion’s costume from the musical, a display of an official marriage certificate under Japanese law, posters of Sailor Moon Crystal, and a monitor that plays the songs and trailers to Sailor Moon Crystal.


Additional info

image2 AHS Sailor Moon Exhibit

Even though a majority of the exhibit is in Japanese, there are some signs at the entrance that do have some English, but the English is a little broken. Some of the staff members can speak English so if any of you readers choose to visit and do not speak Japanese, do not be hesitant to ask a staff member for help. As for any other language, we can not confirm that. Usually other businesses or exhibits in Japan will wear tags on what language they speak but this exhibit won’t. Staff members came up to us and openly talked to us in English.

image1 AHS Sailor Moon Exhibit

After enjoying the exhibit, you are free to enjoy the official exhibit shop. In order to enter, you must present your ticket or you can't get in! Upon getting in line, you can grab a brochure of what you can buy. Even if you can't read Japanese, there will be pictures of what the items you can buy are. Fans familiar to the franchise can instantly tell what they are. The line to get into the shop depending on what day and time you go can and will be busy.

As stated, Honey’s visit was on a national holiday so waiting in line just to get in was pretty hectic. Once you get in, you will see a giant monitor that will also play the songs from the original series and you will be exposed to what you can buy. At the shop you can buy Sailor Moon cookies and marshmallows, folders, pens, figures, CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray, manga, T-shirts, jewelry and so on. Upon exiting the shop, employees will give you a free energy drink containing Vitamin B6 with Sailor Moon on the cover!

In addition to the shop, there is also a café that sells gimmick burgers and drinks in relation to the Sailor Moon franchise. One is a parfait called the Miracle Romance, a play on a lyric from the original theme song. Unfortunately, it was very difficult to visit due to the very long lines and there was a sign that disclaims in Japanese that the wait in line would take over two hours! Due to this long wait, we decided not to attend. So if you are ever in the area on a less busier day, please feel free to try it.

After the exhibit, you can check out the rest of Roppongi Hills. It also serves as a shopping mall you can find just about anywhere. If you want a piece of your home country, maybe you can find yourself to the Starbucks and or McDonald’s. Tokyo Tower is a relatively close walk so please feel free to check it out and see if the real Tokyo Tower compares to what you may have seen in Sailor Moon.


Final Thoughts

Despite missing out on the café, this experience is a must for ALL hardcore Sailor Moon fans. Think of it as a pilgrimage. By visiting, you get to meet other fans from both Japan and around the globe of ALL ages. Some elders visit because they have fond memories watching the series with their children twenty years ago. Some just happen to be fans! Some fans from other countries will share their stories of what it was like in their home countries. So this is a great opportunity to connect with other fans. So when you’re in the neighborhood, check it out!

Justin

Writer

Author: Justin "ParaParaJMo" Moriarty

Hello, I am originally from the states and have lived in Japan since 2009. Though I watched Robotech and Voltron as a child, I officially became an anime fan in 1994 through Dragon Ball Z during a trip to the Philippines. In addition to anime, I also love tokusatsu, video games, music, and martial arts. よろしくお願いします

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