As many of you know anime is one of things that sparks many people’s interest in Japan. Due to this, every year many travel to Tokyo in search of anime themed shops, places and cafes and frequently visit places such as Akihabara or Ikebukuro. But what if I told you you can experience anime in REAL LIFE?! Many anime set their scenes in REAL LIFE locations, meaning you can visit these places!! These places are very popular for Japanese cosplayers and anime fans but, unfortunately, there is not much information available in English to tourists. That’s where we come in! We’ve created this handy blog post to give you a tour around the BEST real life anime spots in Tokyo. If you’re traveling to Japan and you love anime, you HAVE to check out some of these places!
We have to, of course, start of the tour with one of the most iconic real life anime places ever! The Suga Shrine Steps, also known as the ‘Your Name’ steps due to them gaining fame from the anime film titled ‘Your Name’ or ‘Kimi No Na Wa’. If you’ve seen the film, you know that this scene is the most emotional and climatic scene of the whole film! It’s right at the end of the film and it’s when Taki and Mitsuta FINALLY meet each other in real life after they’ve grown up and started working! The film then sadly ends on a massive cliff hanger. After the film came out, people flocked to these steps to recreate this beautiful scene with there partner or friends and they still do to this day!
These stairs are located close to Yotsuya Station which can be accessed via the Chuo Line. We’ve decided to include this as the first place quite early so you can get an amazing picture of the stairs whilst no one else is there! Although it depends on the day, there are usually people around the steps so it’s best to go in the morning to get some amazing shots!
Although I’ve written a whole blog post about Sailor Moon Real Life Locations, I had to include them in this tour too! Sailor Moon is one of the most iconic animes ever which is still super popular no matter how old it gets! Azabu-Juban is an area in Tokyo that is known as the ‘Sailor Moon’ area of Tokyo, due to the majority of the anime being set in an area known as ‘Juban’, which is clearly inspired by Azabu-Juban. Due to this, there are TONS of Sailor Moon real life locations there. Today I’ll run you through a few to go to whilst in the area!
Azabu-Juban Station: As you can see from the images above, the station itself was featured in the anime and is known as ‘Juban Station’. The station can easily be accessed from Yotsuya Station by taking the Namboku Line to Azabu Juban Station. After arriving at the station and taking some pictures, the other real life locations are just a short walk away!
Azabu-Hikawa Shrine: Located a short walk away from the station, this is the shrine that Rei Hino and her grandfather work at in the anime. The shrine in the anime is called ‘Hikawa Shrine’ but in real life it is called ‘Azabu Hikawa Shrine’. As you can see from both images the shrine looks almost identical, just like the name suggests! This is a pinnacle place in the anime as the girls often gather and hang out there!
Kimi-Chan Statue: The Kimi-Chan statue is a statue in the Azabu-Juban area which featured in Sailor Moon (as you can see from the pictures above). The statue is easy to access from Azabu Hikawa Shrine.
10 Azabujūban, Minato City, Tōkyō-to 106-0045
Take the Namboku Line from Yotsuya Station to Azabu-Juban Station.
Cafe Mai:Lish is a maid cafe located in Akihabara. This is a real life location from the maid cafe that is featured in the anime Steins:Gate. In the anime Mayuri and Faris Nyannyan work at this cafe and it is frequently visited by Daru. The cafe in the anime is clearly based off of this cafe in Akihabara due to them looking almost identical to each other and them both being maid cafes! The cafe has fully embraced this and have Steins:Gate posters up around the cafe and recently had a Steins:Gate themed limited edition menu!
We chose this place at around lunch time so you can stop off there to grab some food and a drink! A maid cafe is a super unique thing that can only really be experienced in Japan and Asia so it’s divinely something you should try whilst you’re in Tokyo, and better yet…this one featured in an anime!
〒101-0021 Tokyo, Chiyoda City, Sotokanda, 3 Chome−6−2 FH協和スクエア 2F
From Azabu-Juban Station take the Namboku Line to Tameike-sanno Station. From this station then take the Ginza Line to Suehirocho Station. The cafe is a short walk away.
Kanda Shrine is located very close to Akihabara and so can be walked to after your lunch at the maid cafe. Kanda shrine has been featured in many animes due to it’s location however a recent one has been ‘Love Live’! In the anime ‘Love Live’, most of the scenes are set in Akihabara and so it makes sense that the girls often hang out at Kanda Shrine. Another reason the girls often hang out there is due to it being Nozomi Toujou’s home! Nozomi is often seen there in a maiden’s uniform cleaning the shrine.
Another reason this shrine is somwhere you have HAVE to go is that they sell original Love Live merchandise! All the things you usually buy from shrines (such as Mamori and Ema) you can buy love live versions of!! Even if you’re not a Love Live fan, the shrine is super pretty and worth the visit!
2 Chome-16-2 Sotokanda, Chiyoda City, Tokyo 101-0021
walk 3 minutes from the maid cafe. (it’s literally just around the corner)
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Otaku in Tokyo is a travel website dedicated to helping your trip to Japan with tips and information on where to visit. With particular focus on real life anime locations, pop culture and Tokyo’s hidden gems!
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