Although talk of the high street diminishing has existed for centuries, it is nice to support brick and mortar shops if you can. I recently visited Manchester again, so here are some of my favourite kawaii shops in central Manchester.
Manchester of course has a lot of chain stores, including Kenji. It has whole walls of plushies, I’d love one of the dinosaurs! There’s also lots of Japanese snacks and drinks, and my personal favourite part- all the keychains. I especially like the reversible plushie ones that look like tamagotchis. Two doors down from the Arndale location there’s also a Kenji Outlet which I hadn’t seen before. It’s very much worth checking out, especially if you like stationery.
Afflecks Palace & Luna
Afflecks Palace is an emporium of alternative indie businesses. One of these is Luna, which stocks so many accessories, including necklaces, earrings, patches and pins. If you like the Decora or Fairy Kei aesthetics, you will love Luna!
My favourite thing I found was these frog coin purses.
Thunder Egg has a store in Afflecks and another storefront on the nearby Oldham Street. They sell lots of clothing, featuring brands like Run and Fly and Hell Bunny, along with homewares and gifts.
For more inclusive sizes however, you may want to use the brands’ own websites.
Animaid Cafe is a Japanese inspired maid cafe specialising in anime themed bubble tea. They also sell lots of anime and kawaii merchandise- I was very excited to see their Japanese Sanrio imports! You can also get your photo taken with the maids.
Since I was last there it has doubled in size- it now has a big seating area where they sometimes hold events like cosplay competitions and anime showings.
I would also like to give an honourable mention to the blind box vending machine in the Arndale Center as I was so excited to see a weird vending machine!
These are only some of the kawaii shops you can find in Manchester, I hope you like them! They all have websites too if you’d like to visit yourself or check them out from afar.
Gabriel is a contributing writer from Yorkshire who loves everything creepy cute. You’ll usually find them crafting, and trying to keep yarn away from Kiki, their tortoiseshell cat. When they’re not creating super cute amigurumi, they’re probably trying to figure out how to dress as a kawaii vampire or dreaming about visiting Tokyo.