Japan is world famous for its innumerable manga and anime production, as it is the largest producer in the world. For some tourists, this could be the main reason for visiting Japan, and for others, just an added entertainment factor. Akihabara, especially Electric Town, is considered the biggest gathering place for anime fans. But have you ever wondered where all your favorite manga/anime scenes take place?
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered, buddy! Here is our list of 10 of the best manga and anime sites in Japan!
1. Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni (Quand ils pleurent)/Shirakawago
Shirakawago in Gifu Prefecture is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is illustrated as the village of Hinamizawa in the anime Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni. From the elevated viewpoint you have a great view of the city as you can see in the photo. Many other places in the city also appear in the anime, such as the Hachiman Shrine, the Suspension Bridge, and some houses and buildings. It feels like you have been teleported into the anime. If you haven’t seen Higurashi and you like gory scenes, this is for you!
2. Bungo/Yokohama Stray Dogs
Bungo Stray Dogs fans will no doubt know that this anime was set in Yokohama due to the number of times the city had to be saved from destruction. All the major tourist areas are represented in the anime, such as the Red Brick Warehouse, Chinatown, Ferris Wheel, Piers, Bridge, and Yokohama Marine Tower.
Another interesting thing to see when visiting Harbor View Park, where Dazai Osamu had a nervous breakdown (the scene with the gun), is the amazing view of the city. The park is located on a hill and can be accessed by stairs or by walking up the hill. If you don’t like walking uphill, good luck!
3. Princess Mononoke/Yakushima
The fairy tales and magical landscapes featured in Princess Mononoke exist in real life! The Ghibli film was heavily inspired by the pristine nature of the Yakushima forests. The island has an ancient forest with Yakusugi cedars over a thousand years old! It is located south of Kagoshima and is accessible by plane from Tokyo and by boat from Kyushu.
The setting for this cyberpunk anime is Japan’s second largest metropolitan city, Osaka. You can see the obvious similarities though, since Akudama Drive is a sci-fi anime, everything is heavily transformed with neon lights, holograms, and flying objects… like Dotonbori and Nanba.
The Tsutentaku Tower is depicted as a large billboard towering over the city, and Osaka Castle is transformed into an extremely secure and impenetrable station for the Shinkansen. If you’ve seen this anime, it’s great to see where the inspiration for the anime came from. And if not, we highly recommend it! It’s only 12 episodes long, and the visuals and story are amazing!
In this time travel mystery, the main character is sent 18 years back in time to his hometown, Tomakomai in Hokkaidō. Tomakomai, 4me Hokkaido’s largest city, it was awarded by the Anime Tourism Association for being a place anime fans should visit. Various locations inspired the anime, such as the elementary school, the shopping street, and the tech center where Satoru brought Kayo.
6. Terror in Resonance / Tokyo
This anime begins with the bombing of the Tokyo Metropolitan Building, which is the main stage of this show. Many of the locations featured in the anime are very popular, such as Shibuya Scramble Square, where the group meets, as well as near billboards in the Shinjuku area. Roppongi The police station in the anime is said to be the Azabu Police Station, also located in Roppongi. Some other places include the Maruhachi restaurant in Shibuya and the Shirahige shrine in Katsushika.
7. The Tokyo Avengers/Tokyo
Another very popular anime that of course takes place in Tokyo is Tokyo Revengers. One of the most famous places is the place that also appears on many anime posters, Shibuya Scramble Square. The place where Takemichi was badly hit by the stairs is the Parthenon Tama located on the outskirts of Tokyo, and the gang’s meeting place is the Musashi Shrine. Of course, we can’t leave out the Shinjuku station where Takemichi was pushed off the platform and sent back in time.
The restaurant where Mikey and his sister ate ice cream is located in Harajuku and is called Eggs ‘n Things. The other restaurant where Mikey wanted a flag on his son’s food was Jonathan’s family restaurant in Koganei. Unlike the anime, in real life, sadly, adults can’t get a kid’s meal with a flag.
I’m sure everyone remembers the scene where Yuji and Nobara were excited to go to Tokyo. This scene was set in Harajuku on Takeshita street, where Yuji was wearing ridiculous glasses and eating snacks. The anime’s opening also features popular locations such as Roppongi Hills and the Sendagaya Tunnel in Shibuya.
If you are a manga reader, you must know about the Shibuya arc. Yes, I know it’s traumatic. And guess where it is? If you guessed Shibuya, then you are a genius!
9. Death Note/Tokyo
Death Note is set in Tokyo, with Hibiya Park being one of the best known locations. They prominently illustrate the fountain that Naomi and Light were walking by. The scene with Light and Ray Penber takes place at the Shinjuku station along the Chou line.
The task force met with L at the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, which is brought to life in exactly the same way. Some of the scenes are believed to be inspired by famous Shibuya landmarks such as Scramble Square and the bus station.
10. Attack on Titan / Hita
Head to the south of Japan, where you can visit the hometown of the famous manga author Isayama Hajime, known for Attack on Titan. Bronze statues of the figures were erected in his honor. Right in front of the Oyama Dam in Kyushu’s Ōita Prefecture, the statues of the trio face the dam as if it were Wall Maria. At Hita station, you can admire the statue of Captain Levi. There’s also a free Attack on Titan museum, and since it’s the author’s birthplace, you’ll find plenty of anime-related shops and stores!
If you like animation even a little bit, we highly recommend you visit one of our anime tours in the Suginami district of Tokyo! With many animation companies and studios based in the area, it’s pretty much anime heaven. Learn about the history of anime as you explore the area on foot, head to a famous animation museum, and experience creating your own animation alongside an English-speaking guide! It is an experience not to be missed.
▶Book here: Suginami Area Secret Anime Tour
Japan Merveille Voyage is a travel agency that offers guided tours throughout Japan.
From private walking tours to delicious food tours, we can help you put together the best tours just for you! If you want to explore Japan and learn more about the history and stories of each region you visit, our knowledgeable and friendly English-speaking guides will be happy to take you to the best places!
Also, we can provide any assistance you may need for your next trip to Japan, so please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or need help!
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