From Slam Dunk to Kimetsu no Yaiba: 7 Anime Pilgrimage Locations
Many fans of popular anime, dramas, or movies enjoy making “pilgrimages” where they travel to famous real-life locations in the story. This article will show you some well-known pilgrimage spots in Japan from popular anime.
- 1. Slam Dunk - Kamakura Kokomae Station (Enoshima Railway) Railroad Crossing (Kanagawa)
- 2. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba - Kamado Shrine (Fukuoka)
- 3. KochiKame: Tokyo Beat Cops - Kameari (Tokyo)
- 4. Chibi Maruko-Chan - Shimizu-shi (Shizuoka)
- 5. Crayon Shin-chan - Kasukabe-shi (Saitama)
1. Slam Dunk - Kamakura Kokomae Station (Enoshima Railway) Railroad Crossing (Kanagawa)
Slam Dunk is a show about Hanamichi Sakuragi, a juvenile delinquent who joins his high school’s basketball team. It focuses on the challenges he faces and his growth as a person. It is a well-respected show in Japan that is still popular to this day.
The most popular pilgrimage spot for this show’s fans is the Kamakura Kokomae Station Railroad Crossing #1. In the show’s opening, Hanamichi stands in front of this crossing as a train passes by, while Haruko Akagi, the show’s heroine, stands on the opposite side. This scene, in which the two wave to each other as the crossing gates rise, made a large impression on fans. I myself have visited the location, where one can see the blue ocean unfold beyond the Shonan coast, in front of their very eyes. It is a highly recommended location to visit.
Access: 100m from Enoshima Electric Railway Kamakura Kokomae Station
2. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba - Kamado Shrine (Fukuoka)
In its first 39 days since its release on October 16th, 2020, the movie adaptation of the hit anime series Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba has grossed more than 25.9 billion yen.
Kamado Shrine in Fukuoka, from which the main character Tanjiro Kamado gets his name, has gained attention as a pilgrimage spot for Kimetsu no Yaiba fans. This historical shrine is famous as a sightseeing spot for its cherry blossoms and autumn leaves. Every day, fans of the series gather there, and you will find many ema (wooden plaques on which visitors write wishes, or express gratitude for wishes that came true) decorated with Kimetsu no Yaiba illustrations. This is the spot that I am most interested in visiting.
Access: 10-minute ride on the community bus Mahoroba from Nishitetsu Dazaifu Station
3. KochiKame: Tokyo Beat Cops - Kameari (Tokyo)
KochiKame: Tokyo Beat Cops is a slapstick comedy anime that follows an unusual police officer named Kankichi Ryotsu, familiarly known as Ryo-san. (The original manga lasted 200 volumes.)
The police box in front of Kameari Park that Ryo-san works at is based on the real-life Kameari Station North Exit Police Box. This police box, along with Kameari Park, are among the many locations in the area associated with the manga.
About three minutes from Kameari Station’s South Gate, at Kameari Katori Shrine, there is a bronze statue of Ryo-san, as well as a map showing locations relating to the manga. Visitors can also buy Ryo-san-themed ema. There are various bronze statues of characters throughout the town, so why not use the fan map and enjoy a stroll around Kameari?
Nearest station: Kameari Station on JR Lines
4. Chibi Maruko-Chan - Shimizu-shi (Shizuoka)
Chibi Maruko-chan is a warm, friendly series about the daily life of a third-grader named Maruko and her family. My favorite character is Maruko’s grandfather, Tomozo. The series was made into an anime in 1990, and went on to become a hit all over the world.
The series takes place in the area of Irie in Shimizu-shi (now known as Shimizu-ku within Shizuoka-shi), in Shizuoka. The area is full of locations from the series for fans to visit, from Tomoe River, to Irie Elementary School where Maruko was a student, to the World Heritage Site scenic area Miho no Matsubara.
Nearest station: Shin-Shimizu Station on the Shizuoka Railway Shizuoka-Shimizu Line
5. Crayon Shin-chan - Kasukabe-shi (Saitama)
This series follows Shinnosuke Nohara, a preschooler whose strange and unnatural behavior often confounds the adults surrounding him. It is popular all around the world.
There are plenty of pilgrimage spots around Kasukabe-shi, Saitama, but a particular highlight is Kasukabe Station on the Tobu Skytree Line. Not only are there characters from Crayon Shin-chan at the station’s entrance, platform, and other areas, but the departure melody is the theme song from the anime. This is a must-see spot for Crayon Shin-chan fans!
Nearest station: Kasukabe Station on the Tobu Isesaki Line
6. Digimon Adventure - Odaiba (Tokyo)
Digimon Adventure is an adventure series about eight kids who suddenly find themselves transported to a digital world, where they come across mysterious creatures known as “Digital Monsters.”
Digimon’s pilgrimage site, Odaiba, is filled with sightseeing locations that show up in the anime, such as the Rainbow Bridge, Daiba Park, the FCG Building, and Tokyo Big Sight. These are ordinary sightseeing locations, but I recommend taking photographs that match angles shown in the anime. Make sure to give it a try!
Nearest station: Odaiba-kaihinkoen Station on the Yurikamome Line
7. Atashin’chi - Tanashi-shi (Tokyo)
Airing from 2002 to 2009, this show follows the comical daily life of a highschooler named Mikan and her family.
The series takes place in the area surrounding Tanashi-shi (now Tanashi-cho in Nishitokyo-shi). Locations such as the north gate of Tanashi Station and the ticket gate have the exact same atmosphere in real life as they do in the anime, so if you visit, scenes from the anime will flash in front of your eyes as soon as you see them.
The location I want to visit most is the Skytower West Tokyo, a radio tower that appears in the original anime. It stands 195 meters tall. From nightfall until midnight, the tower is lit up with colors that reflect the current weather forecast, and citizens of the area have come to rely on it as a weather forecasting tower.
Nearest station: Tanashi Station on the Seibu Shinjuku Line
Did any of those interest you? If you are a fan of any of these shows, take the time to make a pilgrimage to some of these locations!
*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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