The Best Anime Locations You Can Actually Visit
13 real anime locations that will inspire you to visit Japan
If you're an lover of manga and anime, there's nothing like visiting the real-life places depicted in your favorite shows. Japan is home to some of the most iconic and picturesque locations featured in some of the world's most beloved anime and manga, and each one is well worth a visit. From the mountain forests of "Princess Mononoke" to the neon streets of "Steins Gate" in Tokyo, here are 13 real anime locations that will inspire you to visit Japan.
1. Yakushima – the “Princess Mononoke” forest
One of the most iconic anime locations in Japan is Yakushima, which served as the inspiration for Hayao Miyazaki's "Princess Mononoke".
The island is part of the eponymous national park and is home to an ancient cedar forest, complete with towering evergreens, countless species of flora and fauna, and a mysterious atmosphere. The area is best explored on foot, so be sure to bring your hiking boots!
Yakushima is also home to a number of unique wildlife, including the endangered Yaku macaque, the Japanese serow, and the Japanese marten.
The island is also a popular destination for birdwatchers, as it is home to a variety of species, including the Japanese wood pigeon, the Japanese scops owl, and the Japanese pygmy woodpecker.
2. Dogo Onsen - Spirited Away
Another classic anime location is Dogo Onsen, located in Matsuyama, Ehime. It served as the inspiration for Hayao Miyazaki's "Spirited Away" and has been a popular spot for hot spring baths since 759 AD. The old-fashioned wooden bathhouse at Dogo Onsen looks exactly like the one shown in the movie (minus all the Yokai creatures) and is a must-visit if you're a fan.
The onsen is said to have healing powers, and it is believed that the gods of the area have blessed the waters with their healing powers. The onsen is also home to a variety of shrines and temples, making it a great place to explore and learn about the local culture and history.
3. Ghibli Park, Aichi
Opening in 2020, Ghibli Park is a brand new theme park style attraction inspired by the works of Studio Ghibli.
Located in Aichi Prefecture, it's an outdoor park filled with lush greenery, rides, and attractions inspired by the studio's classic films such as "My Neighbor Totoro". Ghibli Park will be the perfect place for Ghibli lovers of all ages to immerse themselves in the world of their favorite anime.
The park will feature a variety of attractions, including a replica of the Catbus from "My Neighbor Totoro", a recreation of the Soot Sprites from "Spirited Away", and a life-size replica of the castle from "Howl's Moving Castle".
There will also be a variety of shops and restaurants, offering a range of Ghibli-themed merchandise and food. Ghibli Park is sure to be a magical experience for all who visit.
4. Satsuki and Mei's House - My Neighbor Totoro (Nagoya, Aichi)
The house where Satsuki and Mei lived in "My Neighbor Totoro" can be found in Nagoya, Aichi. The house is actually a private residence but its distinctive shape makes it instantly recognizable to fans of the movie.
The house is located within a residential area, so be sure to respect the privacy of the homeowner when visiting.
The house has become a popular tourist destination for fans of the movie, and many people come to take pictures of the house and the surrounding area.
There is also a nearby park that was featured in the movie, which is a great place to explore and take in the atmosphere of the movie.
5. Hida-Furukawa & Tokyo - Your Name (Kimi no Na wa)
The hit movie "Your Name" (Kimi no Na wa) was set in both Hida-Furukawa and Tokyo. In Hida-Furukawa, you can see the real-life sites that served as inspiration for the film – from the old-fashioned buildings to the beautiful countryside.
Tokyo is also featured heavily in the movie and fans can recognize spots such as Shibuya crossing and Toho Cinemas from the film.
Visiting the memorable spots from Your Name is a great way to experience the beauty of Japan. The movie captures the unique atmosphere of both Hida-Furukawa and Tokyo, and fans of the movie can take a journey to the places they saw on the big screen.
Whether you're a fan of the movie or just looking for a unique experience, visiting the locations of Your Name is sure to be a memorable experience.
6. Akihabara, Tokyo – Steins Gate
Akihabara is a popular district of Tokyo known for its futuristic vibe and the capital of otaku culture. It's also home to many iconic locations from the sci-fi series "Steins Gate".
Fans can recognize spots such as the Radio Kaikan building, which featured prominently in the show. Akihabara is also home to countless arcades, stores, and restaurants that are sure to delight anyone familiar with this anime.
The district is also home to the Akihabara Electric Town, a tech shopping area dedicated to electronics and gaming. Here, visitors can find a variety of stores selling the latest gadgets and gaming consoles.
There are also several stores dedicated to anime and manga merchandise, as well as cosplay shops. For those looking for a unique experience, Akihabara also has a variety of maid cafes, where visitors can enjoy a meal served by a maid in a themed cafe.
7. Yufuin – Kiki’s Delivery Service
Ghibli village Yufuin is a small city located in Oita Prefecture, and it served as the main setting for Hayao Miyazaki's "Kiki's Delivery Service". The city is filled with traditional buildings and narrow streets – just like what was shown in the movie.
Yufuin is also home to many hot springs, making it a perfect place to relax after a long day of exploring.
8. Asakusa – Demon Slayer
The popular manga-turned-anime "Demon Slayer" contains many iconic locations throughout Japan – one of which is Asakusa. The district is located in Tokyo and is known for its traditional temples, markets, and alleyways.
Fans can easily recognize spots such as Sensō-ji Temple and Nakamise Street from the anime.
9. Awajishima – Naruto/Boruto
The Naruto anime theme park is an amusement area in Japan that is based on the popular anime and manga series Naruto. It is located in the city of Hyogo, in the region of Kansai.
The park features a variety of attractions and experiences based on the world of Naruto, including character meet-and-greets, live action shows, and immersive exhibits. Visitors can explore the park and interact with their favorite characters from the series.
There are several reasons to visit the Naruto anime theme park. One reason is for the opportunity to experience the world of Naruto in a new and exciting way. The park is designed to be immersive and interactive, allowing visitors to fully immerse themselves in the world of the series.
Another reason to visit the Naruto anime theme park is for the chance to participate in a variety of activities and events. The park hosts a range of events and activities throughout the year, such as live action shows and special events featuring the characters of Naruto.
Additionally, the Naruto anime theme park is a great place to meet other people who grew up on the series. The park attracts a large number of Naruto lovers from around the world, making it a great place to connect with like-minded individuals and share your love of Naruto.
Overall, the Naruto anime theme park is a must-see destination anyone interested in the series. It offers a chance to experience the world of Naruto in a new and exciting way, participate in a variety of activities and events, and connect with other fans of the series.
10. Hakone (Kanagawa) - Neon Genesis Evangelion
The popular mecha anime "Neon Genesis Evangelion" features many places throughout Japan, but one of the most iconic can be found in Hakone, Kanagawa. Hakone is home to Lake Ashi, which was featured prominently throughout the series. Visitors can explore the lake by boat or cable car and enjoy breathtaking views of Mount Fuji in the background.
There are countless other anime spots around Japan waiting to be discovered. Whether you're a fan of classic series like "Spirited Away" or modern hits like "Demon Slayer", there's something for everyone when it comes to exploring real anime spots in Japan. So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable journey!
11. Pokemon Centers Throughout Japan - Pokemon
If you're a fan of Pokemon and anime, or just love to shop, you'll be excited to know that there are Pokemon Centers in Japan.
The first Pokemon Center opened in Tokyo back in 1998. Since then, the franchise has grown and there are now pokecenters throughout the country.
Each Pokemon center has everything from anime goods to character-themed restaurants and cafes.
12. Universal Studios Japan - Attack on Titan (Shingeki no Kyojin and Other Featured Anime and Manga
Universal Studio Japan (USJ) is known for its immersive and exciting exhibits based on popular manga and anime. These exhibits allow visitors to experience the thrill of their favorite anime in a way that feels like they are living in the world of the show.
One of the most popular anime-based exhibits at USJ is the Attack on Titan area. This exhibit transports visitors into the world of the popular anime and manga series, with towering walls and realistic-looking Survey Corps uniforms worn by the actors. Visitors can even participate in a simulated Titan attack, using special equipment to take down the giant humanoid creatures in a simulated combat scenario.
Another popular anime-based exhibit at USJ is the One Piece area. Based on the popular pirate-themed anime and manga, this exhibit features a number of interactive elements that allow visitors to experience the adventures of the Straw Hat pirates. Visitors can explore the world of One Piece and even participate in a simulated treasure hunt.
Overall, the anime-based exhibits at USJ are a must-see for anyone into these popular series. With their immersive storylines and interactive elements, these exhibits truly capture the excitement and action of the anime in a way that feels like real life.
And of course, you can always go home with some unique merchandise based on your favorite characters.
13. Yokohama - One Punch Man
One Punch Man is a popular anime and manga series that follows the story of Saitama, a hero who can defeat any opponent with just one punch. While the series is set in a fictional world, it is actually based on real locations in Japan.
One of the real-life locations featured in One Punch Man is the city of Z-City, which is based on Yokohama in Japan. Yokohama is a city located south of Tokyo that is known for its port and multicultural atmosphere. In the series, Z-City is depicted as a bustling metropolis with tall skyscrapers and a vibrant nightlife.
Another real-life location featured in One Punch Man is the Hero Association headquarters, which is based on the Yokohama Landmark Tower. The Yokohama Landmark Tower is a tall skyscraper located in Yokohama that is known for its distinctive triangular shape. In the series, the Hero Association headquarters is depicted as a high-tech facility where heroes can train and plan their missions.
Whether you are a fan of the series or just interested in exploring the real-life places that inspired it, visiting Yokohama and the Yokohama Landmark Tower is a must for anyone interested in One Punch Man.
Where is your favorite anime series location?
There are so many Japanese shops, villages, and cities to explore that have directly inspired anime manga and video games. We have covered a few of the most famous examples, but there are many more towns, prefectures, stations, and stores to explore!
If you're an anime or manga fan, visiting real-life locations in Japan that inspired your favorite series is a total must. Not only do you get to see the places that inspired some of your favorite characters and storylines, but you can also learn about the culture and history of Japan. Plus, it's a great way to connect with other people and share your love of all things anime and manga. Even if you're just a casual admirer, visiting these real-life locations is sure to be an experience you won't forget. So why not add a few of these spots to your bucket list and make your love of anime and manga a part of your travels?