Thank glob for Sanrio Gift Gates, those heavenly pink portals into an alternate universe, where money seems to float from your pockets as your arms grow heavier and heavier with the weight of totally unnecessary, unbearably adorable things. Rejoice, people of Seoul, for deep inside the shopping haven that is COEX lays a Sanrio Gift Gate of our own! (It is, as far as I know, the only one in Seoul…possibly the only one in Korea?!)
COEX Mall has been around for a while now, but somehow I’d never heard that it contained a Sanrio Gift Gate until my coworkers took me there (which was either a huge mistake or a beautiful blessing.) I spent well over 100 bucks during that first visit, I was just so overcome by feelings of joyous surprise, and every little trinket and cuddly toy seemed to be stretching its pudgy arms out and squeaking “buy meee, buy meee!”
Everybody has a favorite Sanrio character, c’mon now. When I was a child it was Badtz Maru, when I was a teenager it was Chococat, and now it’s totes Cinnamoroll all the way.
Of course, it’s pretty easy to find Hello Kitty stuff in Korea, but most of it has been made specifically for sale abroad (outside of Japan.) Not in the Sanrio Gift Gate, though; nearly everything here is the proper, authentic Japanese merch. Is my inner Sanrio fangirl showing?!
Because of this, some stuff here is pretty pricey, depending on how much you love Sanrio, I guess. 24 bucks for the cutest pink Kitty dressed as a bow-covered bunny, accessorized with pastel pom poms?! No biggie!
Or how about this ridiculously teeny tiny My Melody coin purse key chain?! Sure, who needs to carry around more than two coins anyway?!
Halloween-themed plushies all year ’round!
I have a watch, and a clock on my phone, and my computer…but I’m sure I could always use another way to keep an eye on the time…
I already have a perfectly decent phone case and I don’t own a car, but OMG THE CUTENESS.
The stationery section is where I do the most damage. As a doodler, scribbler, and teacher, I always need more pens and paper (at least, that’s my excuse!)
So, if you’re searching for wall…
…to wall Sanrio stuff in Seoul, this is definitely your destination.
There’s even a section dedicated to Korean Kitty stuff! So if your significant other, travel buddy, or whoever isn’t as excited about Sanrio as you are, you can defend yourself in the name of tourism! On today’s itinerary, Gyeongbokgung, Cheonggyecheon, Namsan Tower, and the Korean section at the Sanrio Gift Gate!
Just look at that big Kitty cut-out, beckoning you into her pearly pink dreamland…
And if your cuteness quota somehow hasn’t been met, there’s always Artbox right next door!
I’m just looking, I swear…
Samseong Station, Exit 6. Walk straight and look for the COEX entrance:
Don’t go up those escalators. Instead, turn left into the mall. There are handy interactive map kiosks all around the mall, which are available in English, Chinese, and Japanese, and will give you speedy routes from your location to your destination! Just use the “Store Search” button and select “Sanrio Gift Gate.” Happy shopping! ❤