When the young people of Tokyo want to go shopping, they head for Harajuku.
This new store, called Line Friends, is different, to put it mildly.
For one thing, it’s not owned by a retailer but by a social media company called Line, which in less than four years has become Japan’s hottest phenomenon by offering an app that provides free messaging and video and phone calls.
Those characters are two of the cartoon personalities who live in the app as giant emoji called stickers that Line offers for use when texting.
The shoppers jammed inside the story are snapping up a beguiling, bewildering range of items featuring the characters from the stickers.
For ¥200 ($1.66) you can buy a pad of sticky notes in the shape of that bear, who's known simply as Brown.
If you spend ¥390,000 (,238), you can take home a Swarovski crystal-encrusted version of Cony, the rabbit.
The check-out queue snakes all the way down the stairs to the far corner of the lower level.
Pop music with squealing, Alvin-and-the-Chipmunks-on-helium vocals pulsates through the aisles: Line’s ultra-expressive, supersized emoji are extremely popular, and good business.
2 billion: Approximate number of stickers that Line users send each other daily.