If you happen to be a fan of cats, have a penchant for ridiculously cute Japanese idol culture, and will be in Tokyo later this week, then there’s an event you simply have to check out! Sanrio Puroland, an indoor theme park dedicated to the characters of Sanrio (think Hello Kitty!), will be hosting a “Neco 1 Grand Prix” on Saturday, March 29 focusing on “necogirls.”
The necogirls (neko = cat in Japanese) are a group of young women who express their love for cats in their adorable and quirky fashion style, which you can bet will always include a pair of cat ears. This event will serve as PR for the girls and will include a special contest held onstage. You can even interact with them and take cutesy pictures together. Just be ready to dodge the hordes of Japanese girls screaming kawaiiiii (cuuuute!) at the top of their lungs!
About 40 necogirls will be present to introduce themselves and participate in the Neco 1 Grand Prix on Saturday. Audience members will be able to chat one-on-one with them, take photos together, and cast a ballot for their favorite necogirl.
The girls themselves are a mix of cat-loving high school and university students, regular workers, and actual models. They want to spread the charm of their feline fashion genre worldwide, which always includes cat ears and cat-themed accessories. Online, they are described as “girly and cool, at times gorgeous, and of course casual. Making a big impact with their free style…Those are necogirls!”
The admission ticket to Sanrio Puroland on Saturday will be valid for both the Grand Prix event and entrance to the regular park attractions. A special “necogirl admission ticket” for 2000 yen (US$19.56) will also give you a cute headband with cat ears.
You can view profiles and individual video clips of all the girls on the official necogirls website. Start searching for your favorite now so you don’t have to waste precious time on the actual day before the balloting.
Here are sample photos of three resident necogirls. Kawaii ne!
And here’s a short promotional clip:
By the way, the necogirls are still looking to recruit new members. If you think you’ve got what it takes to be a necogirl, check out the application details (Japanese only, sorry!) on the official website. And if you’re looking for inspiration, perhaps check out the vast array of neko mimi on display at Tokyo Game Show a couple of years ago.
Location: Sanrio Puroland, Tama New Town, Tokyo.
Access information for Sanrio Puroland (in English) can be found here.
Neco 1 Grand Prix: 1st floor Chie no Ki stage, 1:35 PM-2:05 PM
Necogirl Greeting: Everywhere within the building
*This event is open to the public
*The scheduled time of the Neco 1 Grand Prix may change. Please double-check the time on the day of the event.
*Please be considerate to others around you if you plan on taking photos or videos.
*Admission to Sanrio Puroland will be until 7 PM on March 29. Certain areas may close at different times.