The Sites of the Popular Video Game The World Ends with You! (Shibuya, Tokyo)
The World Ends with You is a game set in Shibuya that is beloved by fans all across the world. From the most well-known locations to those known only by a select few die-hard fans, you are sure to be surprised at how closely the recreations in the game resemble the real-life spots. This article will introduce you to the must-visit hallowed grounds for fans of TWEWY.
What is The World Ends with You?
The World Ends with You (abbreviated as TWEWY) has become a smash hit, not only in Japan, but all around the world.
TWEWY is an action RPG set in Shibuya, Tokyo, in which the protagonist, Neku, is given a number of tasks by a group known as the Reapers. The game almost perfectly recreates Shibuya of the time of its release, which first appeared on the Nintendo DS in 2007. The game has several humorous aspects by slightly altering the names of well-known buildings, such as the famous 109 department store becoming the 104 department store and the Parco department store becoming the Malco department store.
There are also a number of interesting and unique characters in the game, such as Neku's friend Shiki and the cafe owner Sanae Hanekoma, who gives out advice.
This game has once again garnered attention in more recent times, following its re-release in September 2018 with new scenarios on the Nintendo Switch.
The Hachiko Statue - Where It All Began
The Hachiko statue appears at the start of the adventure in the pivotal scene when Neku makes his pact with his partner Shiki. It's situated in a square nearby the famous scramble crossroads in Shibuya, and it has stood in the same spot for years, casting a protecting eye over the bustling city district. The Hachiko statue was built as a symbol of loyalty in honor of the story of Hachi, an Akita dog who came to Shibuya Station every day for 10 years to wait for his owner to come home, despite the fact that the owner had died of an illness. It is now famously recognized as a meeting spot. Right next to it you will find the entrance to the Tokyu department store which appears in the game world as "SHIBUKYU."
The Shibuya River - Do You Want to Dive In?
The Shibuya River, the location of the entrance to the last dungeon in the game, is situated close to the South Exit of JR Shibuya Station.
In September 2018, a large complex building called Shibuya Stream was opened along the river. This means that the area on the banks of the river has been completely transformed since the game. However, the subterranean drain that leads to the dungeon can still be seen clearly to this day at the foot of the Inari Bridge. If you want to take a picture, you should take it from the next bridge over at the Konno Bridge.
The Shibuya River has previously had a reputation as being something akin to a ditch for drainage water, but it has been regenerated with reclaimed water. Now visitors can enjoy the sight of a more refined waterway, featuring a man-made waterfall over a dike. The area is also bustling with stylish restaurants where you can grab a bite to eat.
The Place Where Neku First Meets Minamimoto
As a fan of graffiti, Neku often visits the tagged wall of Udagawa-cho, and it is here where he first meets popular character and Reaper, Minamimoto. This spot is held particularly close to the hearts of fans and is beloved as a symbol of the game.
The wall is situated on a gentle slope and you will be sure to feel as though a number of sections of the street art seen here have been closely represented in the game. Of course, it can also be simply appreciated as art.
It can be found about a 10-minute walk away from the Hachiko Exit at JR Shibuya Station. On your way to the wall, you can also see a number of sites from the game like the stairs in the Udagawa Back Streets area.
The Wild Cat Cafe on Cat Street
The in-game Wild Cat Cafe, run by Mr. Hanekoma, is located on Cat Street. The building that inspired the design of the cafe and the Y junction that appears in the game actually exist in real life.
Cat Street is a pedestrianized street that connects Shibuya with Harajuku, about 1km away. The area is a hub for the latest trends in youth culture. Unique secondhand clothes shops, brand name shops, cafes, and the newest food stands can all be found here. How about enjoying a cup of bubble tea or some take-out while you stroll along the street and reminisce about the game?
Chitose Hall - The Inspiration for the Tipsey Tose Hall
The Tipsey Tose Hall appears at a number of important moments in the story. Its name in real life is the "Chitose Hall." This 8-story complex building contains a plethora of different shops such as restaurants and cafes, izakayas, and a manga cafe. Many of the businesses here have quite reasonable prices, so it is popular with office workers and students. Even within the busy streets of Shibuya, this is a particularly bustling spot given that it faces the Spanish Hill and Inokashira Street.
Chitose refers to the tottering footsteps of drunk people. You are sure to be ecstatic upon finishing your pilgrimage of the real-life sites of TWEWY at Chitose Hall, but be careful not to end up tottering home after one too many drinks!
Shibuya is constantly changing in the face of renewal and reconstruction projects. You may not have long left to see the sites of TWEWY in Shibuya, so be sure to take a trip over to experience this game world in real life while you still can.
*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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