The Student News Site of Clague Middle School

The Cougar Star

The Student News Site of Clague Middle School

The Cougar Star

The Student News Site of Clague Middle School

The Cougar Star


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Totoro: a unique, cozy restaurant serving Japanese cuisine

Located on the bustling street of State St. in Downtown Ann Arbor, sandwiched between Ama Bistro and the Get Up Vintage, is Totoro, a unique and cozy Japanese restaurant. Other than serving delicious food, there is also something that sets Totoro apart from the many other Japanese restaurants located in Ann Arbor– its theme revolves around famous Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki’s iconic film, “My Neighbor Totoro.”

My father and I went to Totoro for lunch, and we ordered the Chicken Katsu/TonKatsu Bento Box as well as a tuna roll. The bento box beholden an array of diverse flavors and foods. The tuna roll was decently fresh– a well made basic tuna roll has no flaws.

Totoro offers a large selection of food and great combos, from udons and sobas to unique Japanese specialities such as edamame–boiled immature soybeans left in pods and Yasai Korokke–Japanese potato croquettes.

I believe ambiance and environment is just as important to a restaurant’s food. While “My Neighbor Totoro” is quite obviously the restaurant’s namesake, Totoro doesn’t just stop there. The restaurant is fully decorated with decor based around the 1988 film– from puzzles depicting scenes from the film, to cute ceramic Totoros peeking out from booths.

The lighting is warm and welcoming, and the staff is extremely friendly as well. It’s clear that Totoro’s ambiance truly augments the experience.

To both the students and residents of Ann Arbor, Totoro is also a longtime favorite. For three consecutive years, it has received the Best Sushi of Ann Arbor award and numerous raving reviews from both locals and tourists.

To Annabella Mi, a current seventh grader at Clague, Totoro holds a special place in her heart. She’s known the place since she was small, and she has multiple good memories with her family from the restaurant.

“I love the vibes of the restaurant– it’s very comforting and nostalgic,” said Mi. “Not only because I’ve been there multiple times in my early life, but because the restaurant holds this sort of ambiance.”

I would definitely recommend checking Totoro out whenever you’re downtown or simply looking for a place to eat. It is a dream for all Studio Ghibli lovers– yet you don’t need to qualify in order to fall in love with Totoro. The food is delicious, the decorations pretty, the environment warm and cozy– what else could someone want? Totoro is open all throughout the week, except for on Tuesdays.

The Return of Jane Kim

Best Sushi: Totoro

Best Sushi: Totoro

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About the Contributor
Amelia Bai
Amelia Bai, Editor in Chief
Amelia Bai is an eighth grader at Clague Middle School, and this is her third year writing for the Cougar Star. In her free time, she reads, obsesses over all things matcha, and prides herself on being a music fanatic.

Comments (2)

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  • A

    Annabella MiFeb 10, 2024 at 10:22 am

    I love this place so much!!

  • D

    Darwin EverestFeb 7, 2024 at 8:08 pm

    Steller photos, amazing work!