O-Totoro -- complete with umbrella -- greets visitors
at the entrance to the new Donguri Republic in Causeway Bay!
Yes, many people can't resist the urge to stroke the catbus
and other plushies in the store!
Less than two years after the first branch of Donguri Republic outside of Japan opened in Tsim Sha Tsui, a second Hong Kong branch of the Studio Ghibli character goods store has opened -- this time over on Hong Kong Island, specifically the ninth floor of Times Square in Causeway Bay!
I first got wind of this development when I spotted a tram with images of Totoro emblazoned on it a couple of weeks or so ago. (As luck would have it though, I only saw the tram with the catbus image on it for the first time yesterday!)
This new branch of Donguri Republic is smaller (maybe just half the size?) than the one at Tsim Sha Tsui's LCX Harbour City. But there's this plenty in there to please fans of Studio Ghibli, especially those who particularly love My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki's Delivery Service's Jiji and Howl's Moving Castle's Calcifer. (Fans of a certain Ponyo, on the other hand, will find themselves wishing that the fiesty character was represented more -- as was the case in the Donguri Republic stores I came across in Kyoto in September 2013!)
Something that both the Donguri Republic stores in Hong Kong share is the staff being perfectly okay with people taking photos in front of and inside the store -- of items that are available for sale as well as otherwise. This is actually in contrast to the "no photography" policy of many other stores in Hong Kong (whose owners and staff are afraid that allowing photography will encourage piracy of their items by unscrupulous folks) -- and is something that I think is in keeping with friendly, welcoming feel of the Donguri Republic stores, where it often can feel like one is visiting old friends (and then is tempted to bring one, two or a few home)! :)