Rabid fans of the little white doggy are sure to go crazy over Tokyo's new Snoopy Museum, opened last weekend and displaying illustrations, personal sketches and all kinds of vintage 'Peanuts'-related items that Charles M Schulz, the mastermind behind the classic comic, created and owned throughout his life. A temporary satellite branch of the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa, CA, the Roppongi facility also houses a shop selling curios exclusive to the museum. Not convinced it’s worth checking out? Here are five reasons that'll change your mind.
1. You can look at Schulz's original illustrations
The illustrations on display were chosen among many candidates and revolve around the theme 'My Favorite Peanuts'. Whose favourite you say? The 60 or so pieces were the prized possessions of Jean Schulz, Charles's wife. You'll be able to peek at drawings presented by Charles to Jean as Valentine's Day gifts and then used as décor in the couple's bedroom before being unveiled to the public at this exhibition. The display theme is set to change every six months, giving you an excuse for repeat visits.
2. You can discover the roots of Sparky (aka Charles M Schulz)
'Sparky' wasn’t just a comic artist. Devoted fans will probably know he was also a huge bookworm and comic collector – an aspect revealed at the museum's displays of Schultz's comic collection and the work of illustrators that inspired him. You can also take a glimpse at Sparky's work from when he was 14, including illustrations he made for his friends and family.
3. You can stock up on exclusive Snoopy Museum merchandise
Talk about exiting through the gift shop: the Snoopy Museum's souvenir store is so big, it’s almost the same size as the galleries. Exclusive items here include fluffy Snoopy dolls, a chocolate chip cookie as big as your head (¥486), postcards with peanut illustrations (¥162), as well as brand collaborations like the Nakagawa Masashichi linen handkerchief (¥1,512) or the Le Creuset 'cocotte ovale' cooking pot (¥7,020). You sure won't be leaving empty-handed.
4. You can eat Snoopy pancakes and sandwiches
Once you’re done browsing through the exhibits, we recommend stopping by Cafe Blanket, where you can dine on delicious 'Peanuts'-themed sweets and savoury treats, courtesy of Nakameguro’s Peanuts Cafe. Bite into a voluminous sandwich or dig into a pancake decorated with Snoopy's likeness, accompanied by an ice cold milkshake.
5. You'll fall in love with 'Peanuts' all over again
Thanks to the museum's various interactive exhibits, you can take a trip down memory lane and reminisce about a time when your only worry was 'Peanuts' coming to an end. Feel free to hug the massively furry, white object placed in one of the rooms – it's supposed to demonstrate what Snoopy’s fur would feel like in reality – and take a look inside the Peek-a-boo Box, where you'll see illustrations of Snoopy and his friends. Keep an eye out for these holes scattered throughout the museum.
There are probably many people out there who consider themselves Snoopy enthusiasts but aren’t entirely familiar with the 'Peanuts' comics or Charles M Schulz. Take this opportunity to get to know your favourite character in more details and explore the world of its creator. And even if you’re not a huge fan of the loveable pup, the museum is still worth a visit for its cool illustrations and interactive exhibits.