Here are 6 places that were the settings for various Japanese anime and manga. If you go here, you'll feel like you've been transported into those worlds.
- 1. Kochira Katsushika-ku Kameari Kōen-mae Hashutsujo (Kameari, Tokyo)
- 2. Spirited Away (Dogo Onsen, Ehime, and more)
- 3. Princess Mononoke (Yakushima, Kagoshima, and more)
- 4. Doraemon (Takaoka, Toyama)
- 5. Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon (Azabu-Juban, Tokyo)
1. Kochira Katsushika-ku Kameari Kōen-mae Hashutsujo (Kameari, Tokyo)
This comedy manga is based on the daily life of police officer Kankichi Ryotsu (known as Ryo-san) who works at the Kameari Kōen-mae Hashutsujo police station. The manga mostly takes place in Tokyo, in locations like Kameari and Asakusa. While Kameari Park exists, the police box does not. Starting with the area around JR Kameari Station there are various statues of Ryo-san (including in his police uniform) and other characters, and if you walk about 5 minutes from the station to the shopping center Ario Kameari, inside there's a Kochikame Game Park based on the manga. Also, there's a statue of Ryo-san at the Kameari Katori Shrine, which also appears in the manga. Please visit and check it all out!
2. Spirited Away (Dogo Onsen, Ehime, and more)
This is one of Studio Ghibli's long animated movies. It's a fantasy journey about Chihiro, a girl that gets lost in another world and begins working at Aburaya, a bathhouse for spirits and deities. The façade of Aburaya was inspired by a few places, including Dogo Onsen in Ehime, the Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum in Koganei, Tokyo, while the feast area inside the building was based off of Meguro Gajoen in Meguro, Tokyo. How does going to Dogo Onsen and soaking in a hot spring bath while enjoying the scenery reminiscent of Chihiro's Aburaya sound?
Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum
3. Princess Mononoke (Yakushima, Kagoshima, and more)
This is another one of Studio Ghibli's animated movies. This is a large-scale movie featuring a young man named Ashitaka and a girl that was raised by wolf spirits named San, and their fight with spirits against people who are trying to destroy nature. The setting of the movie is a beautiful, enchanting forest that is covered in deep greenery. That forest was designed with Yakushima, a forest in Kagoshima that has remained since ancient times and is a beautiful place full of moss and clear streams, as well as Shirakami-Sanchi, a forest famous for being a virgin Siebold's beech forest. Both of these areas still look like the main characters of the movie will suddenly appear.
4. Doraemon (Takaoka, Toyama)
The area related to Doraemon, an anime and manga series representative of Japan, is the author's hometown, Takaoka. There are plenty of places to check out, including the Fujiko F. Fujio Hometown Art Gallery where you can enjoy the author's other works, the Doraemon Sanpomichi where you can see statues of the main characters, as well as the Takaoka Otogi no Mori Koen, an area where the vacant land that appears in the series was faithfully recreated. Some of the tram that runs through the city are painted with Doraemon characters, so you shouldn't miss it!
5. Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon (Azabu-Juban, Tokyo)
Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, an anime and manga series that was explosively popular, is a story about teenagers that were reincarnated and protect the world when they transform into sailor soldiers.
The author lived in Azabu-Juban when she was writing the series, so various scenes in the manga and anime takes place there. Some popular spots are the Hikawa Shrine, which is a shrine based off of a shrine in the series where strategy meetings often took place, and the Sendaizakaue bus stop. The game center in the shopping arcade that often shows up in the series has unfortunately turned into a fast food restaurant, but if you go there you'll feel as though you've gotten a little closer to the everyday life of Sailor Moon!
6. Neon Genesis Evangelion (Hakone, Kanagawa)
This is a story of young men and women that pilot huge human-shaped weapons named Evangelion to fight against mysterious enemies named Angels. The city where it takes place, Tokyo-3, is in the area of Hakone in Kanagawa, so some places that appear in the story include Hakone Onsen Sengokuhara, Hakone Yumoto Station, Kowakidani, Lake Ashi, and more. Also, the Hakone Tourism Association released a stamp rally and AR collaboration called the Hakone AR Stamp Rally. AR is a type of technology that uses a computer to expand the limitations of people's perception of reality. If you use the smartphone app, your phone's GPS will give the app information about your location and where you're going. If you follow the stamp rally course of your choosing, you'll be able to see characters that are only available in certain spots, a life-size Evangelion Unit-04, and items. Why not enjoy the area around Hakone while searching for Eva-related things? *Since the Hakone AR Stamp Rally is only for a limited time but the ending date hasn't been announced, please check the Hakone Tourism Association official homepage before you go.
When you come to Japan, please visit these anime and manga related areas!
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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