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Japan offers an incredible variety of ways to enjoy its internationally acclaimed anime movies, series, and video games. However, some of these pop culture shows are based on real life places in Japan that you can visit. If you’re a fan of the recent Suzume no Tojimari movie, you’ll love this list of places to visit. If they are not necessarily decorated with elements from the movie, the decorations from the movie are really real and usually have remarkable qualities!
1. Bungo Mori Roundabout
If you are a fan of the movie and also of trains, this is a great opportunity for you! The Bungo Mori Rotunda in Ōita is a great place to visit. Oita is a prefecture of Kyushu, the most southwestern of Japan’s four main islands and a wonderful place to visit on your own. The Roundhouse is something of a tribute to the era of steam locomotive trains. There is also a park nearby, as well as another place called Bungo Mori no crayon, where you can enjoy a meal while watching the trains go by.
2. Yunohira Onsen
Are you curious why people say that Oita is a wonderful place to visit? Well, it is home to some of the best onsens in the country! These public hot springs are an integral part of Japanese culture and are often featured in all kinds of entertainment, such as animated movies. One who appeared in Suzume no Tojimari is Yunohira Onsen. This Edo-style town has a long history of 800 years and is full of historical and traditional atmospheres! It’s easy to see why this place was featured in the movie as it has so much character. The sheer novelty is only dwarfed by the incredible selection of hot springs and inns and you’re sure to feel like an escape from reality here.
3. Yawatahama Harbor
A few hours from Beppu (another place near Oita) by ferry is a sleepy port town called Yawatahama. This port city is a great place for those who are fans of the movie, as well as to watch the ships. The relaxed atmosphere here is ideal for taking a break from a long day of travel, perhaps to/from Oita or Kyushu in general!
4. Yawatahama Station
Another place to visit in Yawatahama is the station! It offers excellent access via the Yosan Line to get around the rest of Ehime, which offers exciting activities such as canyoning, visiting the traditional Dogo Onsesn and even a virtual reality experience. While there are some great activities, taking the train itself is actually a great experience, as it follows the coastline and offers beautiful views of the Seto Inland Sea. if you like too Taken away as if by magicthere is a station on the way to Takamatsu called “Shimonada” which is similar to the one in the movie.
5. Brazilian Washuzan Highland Park
Another great attraction near the sea is an amusement park called Washuzan Highland. The park’s Brazilian theme is alive and well, unlike some of the more low-key traditional venues we’ve seen so far! It’s a bit further north and across the sea, but definitely a good stopover between Kyushu and Kanto!
6. Rokko Island
Further down the same coast as Okayama, to the east, is an artificial island (like Odaiba in Tokyo) called Rokko Island. It’s a great place to visit if you’re also visiting Hyōgo Prefecture, and it’s very close to Kobe! The island was built for territorial expansion purposes in the 1970s, but due to negative impacts, both economic and environmental, the area has become incredibly quiet. That’s probably why it was featured in the movie and it’s an intriguing place to visit!
7. Akashi Kaikyo Bridge
Another point of interest in Hyogo is one of the longest suspension bridges in the world! If any bridges interest you, Japan has plenty, so be sure to check them out. This nearly 4,000-meter bridge connects Kobe to Awajishima Island. There is also a viewing area on the bridge, making the bridge even more versatile between practicality and sightseeing! If you can drive in Japan, it’s a wonderful experience.
Going even further east on our Suzume no Tojimari adventure, Kiyosu Castle in Aichi is our next stop! This castle was once the home of the infamous warlord Oda Nobunaga. If you don’t know, be sure to brush up on your History of Japan before you go; This will certainly make the visit more interesting! Either way, to say the least, this castle has a history of dynamic political events and is an exciting place for all Japanese history buffs.
Ochanomizu is surprisingly a great place to buy second-hand musical instruments and snowboard/ski gear! The name itself means “tea water” and was so named because water from the nearby Kanda River was used to make the Shogun’s tea. The area is an interesting place to visit, and there are also many things to do and restaurants to visit! A popular geeky spot, Akihabaran is also just a short walk away.
10. Oya Kaigan
Our last stop, much further north in Miyagi Prefecture, is Oya Kaigan. This place used to be a train station, but it was severely damaged along with the nearby train tracks by the 2011 earthquake. Since then, it has been converted back into a bus transportation line. Miyagi, in general, has a diverse nature, with mountains and lakes while being on the coast. It is as much a place to visit as it is to live, especially if you love nature!
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