5 Real Life Anime Locations in Tokyo
Tokyo has something for everyone, from the gourmand to the history enthusiast. Hidden amidst Tokyo’s shimmering towers, concrete blocks and heaving rush-hour trains are real-life inspirations behind many anime locations. Check out which anime was set in 5 of Tokyo’s most popular travel destinations below! Share your travel experiences on Youtube with these anime locations for anime lovers and not only. Guaranteed greater visibility on your content, here’s how to accomplish it: buy youtube subscribers.
Akihabara, known for its electronics markets, maid cafes, and anime collectible stores, is a must-see in the otaku’s pilgrimage. Retro gamers should head to Super Potato and figure collectors need to visit Radio Kaikan and Mandarake.
Akihabara is a district in Tokyo, Japan that has been featured in several anime series. The most famous of these is Steins: Gate, which is based on events that happened between 2000 and 2001. The characters in the series touch on the moe culture of maid cafes, geeky collectors, and techies, along with mad scientists with large personalities.
The time machine crash landing on top of Radio Kaikan in Akihabara — Steins: Gate screencap
Radio Kaikan did have decorations that gave a nod to Steins: Gate, but they’ve cleared it now!
Akiba no Gotoku’s electronics market is still strong, as evidenced by Electric Town just outside Akihabara JR Station and other stand-alone gadget shops in the area. Be sure to check them out if you’re going to cosplay anywhere near Tokyo.
The Crossfield sky bridge above Akihabara JR Station is a landmark for travelers and animators alike, who often use it as a setting for their films. It’s also an iconic crossing in Shibuya, where people walk over the bridge’s tracks during rush hour and cars swarm over its roadways during weekends when tourists flock to Tokyo.
Shibuya is a popular setting for movies like The Boy and the Beast (Bakemono no Ko), Tokyo Ghoul, Tokyo ESP, iDOLM@STER- Cinderella Girls—and even Blood C. It’s a great place for slice-of-life and sci-fi anime.
Bakemono no Ko (The Boy and the Beast) screencap
Bakemono no Ko, a Japanese rock band, has a poster on the Shibuya Scramble Crossing. Turn slowly 360 degrees and note the following destinations in clockwise order: the second-floor Starbucks, the JR tracks with trains passing by every few minutes, the Hachiko dog statue, and Shibuya 109 fashion shopping centre.
Tokyo Ghoul screencap
Tokyo Ghoul has plenty of references to the city of Shibuya in its world. Take at least half a day to explore the district. The area is known as a shopping district, but the various shops are also clues into Japanese contemporary culture. Visit a local independent cafe such as Sarutahiko Coffee or Fuglen. Check out some quintessential lifestyle products, stationary and other designed household products at LOFT. Get lost in the household department store Tokyu Hands or CD megastore Tower Records.
Modi is the former Marui City
While Shibuya Scramble Crossing is the place people go to see the crowds of Tokyo’s busiest station, Shinjuku Station is by far the busiest in the country. As of 2007, it had over 3.6 million people transiting every day, 50 platforms and 200 exits.
Shinjuku is best known for its association with Makoto Shinkai, director of 5 Centimeters per Second, Garden of Words and Your Name. However, many other titles have featured this commercial area; among them are UNGO, X TV, Darker than Black, Tokyo ESP, Tokyo Godfathers (by the same director as Perfect Blue and Millennium Actress), Sacred Seven and COPPELION.
Shinjuku JR Station north train overpass
The Death Note anime series is one of my favourites. It follows a high school student’s attempt to cleanse evil by killing people with a magical notebook. Fans should take a ride on the JR Yamanote Line and get off at Shinjuku Station to get a sense of the characters taking the public trains. Then, head to Shinjuku West Exit’s underground mall to get a sense of the ambiance the anime portrayed.
Other places to visit include the Kabukicho red-light district, department stores such as Isetan and Takashimaya, the tiny bars of Golden Gai, and the lively street hustle in Omoideyokocho (aka Yakitori Alley).
Shinjuku Station is Tokyo’s largest station, and it is a common transit point for many animes.
In Tokyo, Ikebukuro is jokingly referred to as the gateway to Saitama, a prefecture neighboring the northeast area of greater Tokyo. However, Ikebukuro is also one of Tokyo’s most cosmopolitan areas. With its traditionally low land prices and its proximity to stations on the Yamanote Line and JR East lines, the area has attracted international immigrants and artists. Some people whisper about yakuza associations in this district, but strolling through its main shopping streets, one feels as safe as any other district in Tokyo.
For fans of the Durarara!! anime, Ikebukuro is synonymous with the beloved character Mikado. When you arrive in Ikebukuro, head out the east exits heading towards Sunshine City. Walking through the streets will feel like you are reliving all your episodes with Mikado, Masaomi, Anri and—who can forget the favourites—Celty and Shizuo.
Ikebukuro Station East Exit intersection is a popular location for the Durarara!! series. It’s where most of the action takes place, so if you’re interested in the show, it’s worth checking out. Electronics shops can be found on the highway just outside Sunshine City; BiC Camera and LAOX are also nearby. If you want to eat, there are small alleys full of international restaurants. There’s a slightly rougher edge to this area compared to Shinjuku or Shibuya but there are also many regulars who have a down-to-earth relationship with this part of town. In the evening, head up to the rooftop of Seibu Department Store to enjoy drinks above the urban crowds below you.
Durarara has many scenes around Sunshine City
Ginza is not the first place one would associate with pop culture and anime, but several of the world’s most famous fictional characters have passed through its trendsetting stores. The Wako department store clock, facing the red Mitsukoshi circular sign, is a Ginza icon. The famous anime Read or Die (ROD), Paranoia Agent and Tokyo Godfathers sketch the various moods that Ginza can invoke: sometimes glitzy, other times a bit lonely and dark, and still others a shining beacon of modernisation.
Ginza is more than just brands and glamour. The thriving heart of central Tokyo is also home to a Sony Building, where visitors can try the latest lifestyle gadgets. The Sanrioworld Ginza is an unexpected discovery for Hello Kitty lovers; it’s near its designer flagship stores, upscale bars and high-end shops—but it’s not what you might expect!
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