ANIME LOCATIONS: TOP LIST OF REAL-LIFE ANIME PLACES IN JAPAN

Top list of real-life anime places in Japan.

Anime series are a fantastic way for fans to enter other worlds! With diverse characters, endless plots, and beautiful settings, it’s no wonder so many people enjoy watching them. Many of these worlds are fantastic, and although fans want to visit them, doing so is simply not possible. However, there are several series that take real places in Japan and use them as inspiration for their settings.

Fans who travel to Japan may choose to visit one or two locations, while others travel across the country to see as many locations as possible. Some of these places are huge and hard to miss, such as Tokyo, while others, such as remote villages, are easy to overlook. However, regardless of the size of the site, visiting these places in real life is a great pleasure for any enthusiast. Even if hiking is not possible now, fans can still make their wish lists for the future.

Real-life anime places in Japan

Steins; Gate – Akihabara

The popular anime Steins; Gate is set in Akihabara, Japan. This bustling district is a hub for anime and pop culture products, as well as electronics and video games, shopping, and even waitress cafés.

Possibly the most iconic location is the Radio Kaikan, a ten-floor building of trading cards, toys, and the like, which features prominently behind the characters in several shots, showing the popular time machine. Other real locations are the bustling Akihabara Station, Tokyo Times Tower, and Yanagimori Shrine, which can be visited in real life by this anime fans.

Real-life anime places in Japan: Steins; Gate anime, places in Akihabara.

Hanasaku Iroha – Kissuiso

Hanasaku Iroha is mainly set in Kissuiso, a hot spring inn located in a rural village. However, this inn is based on a real place, Yuwaku Onsen, a ryokan in Kanazawa Japan that has been gaining popularity since the anime aired.

This charming inn is a hit with fans, as they can enjoy the slower pace of the countryside, the beautiful scenery, and, of course, soak away their troubles in an onsen. The breathtaking scenery of the anime is true to reality, as this small village offers a picturesque view and a relaxing atmosphere for those doing an anime pilgrimage 😉

Real-life anime places in Japan: Hanasaku Iroha is mainly set in Kissuiso.

Love Live! Sunshine!! – Numazu

Fans voted for the setting of “Love Live! Sunshine!!” to be a city on the water, and Uchiura, part of Numazu in Shizuoka Prefecture, became the real-life location and inspiration for the anime. There are many parallels between the anime and the real city, and fans with a keen eye are quick to pick up on the small details that mimic the real-life setting.

The buildings, the beaches, and even the burger joint and coffee shop that the girls pass by as they chase Yoshiko are real places for fans to visit. The charming seaside town offers plenty of things to do and is a must-see for any Love Live! Sunshine!! fan in Japan.

Real-life anime places in Japan: Love Live! Sunshine!!

Zombieland Saga – Saga

The Japanese prefecture of Saga is experiencing a surge in popularity thanks in large part to the fact that the hit anime Zombieland Saga focuses on the area. The anime not only uses Saga as a setting but incorporates it into the plot, as the Franchouchou girls try to draw attention to the prefecture through their idol-like activities despite being zombies.

The real Saga prefecture is a busy place with lots of things to do. However, one of the most popular places for fans is the Drive-In Tori restaurant that appears in one of the episodes. This restaurant is very popular and often has a queue, but for fans of the anime, it is probably worth trying their famous chicken.

Real-life anime places in Japan: Zombieland Saga.

Hyouka – Takayama

The setting of Hyouka takes place in Takayama, Gifu Prefecture, Japan. This rural setting has old buildings and a slower lifestyle, but there are plenty of things for fans to do. Some of the places to visit include Hida High School, which inspired the anime Kamiyama High School, as well as Hiejinja Shrine and Yayoihashi Bridge.

Fans can also enjoy exploring the town and the older buildings, visiting the morning market each day and, if they are lucky, they can even take part in the Takayama Festival, which is held in spring and autumn for two days each year.

Real-life anime places in Japan: Takayama, Gifu Prefecture.

Lucky Star – Saitama

Saitama is the setting for the popular Lucky Star series. This anime focuses on the main crew of Konata, Kagami, Tsukasa, and Miyuki as they enjoy their daily lives. Saitama has enthusiastically welcomed their appearance in the anime and offers many nods to Lucky Star throughout the prefecture.

If this is your favorite anime, you can enjoy visiting many of the locations from the series, such as Washinomiya Shrine and one of the schools in the area, Kasukabe Kyoei.

Real-life anime places in Japan: Saitama.

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai – Enoshima y Fujisawa

There are two predominant areas in the supernatural hit anime Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai: Enoshima and Fujisawa. Fans will see several areas that look almost identical to real life throughout the anime. There is so much borrowed scenery that Crunchyroll released a 3-part series with both real and anime footage to show how meticulous the anime is in this regard.

Fans can visit everything from the JR train station to Benny’s restaurant, which is part of the real-life Denny’s chain.

Real-life anime places in Japan: locations in Enoshima and Fujisawa

Princess Mononoke -Yakushima Island

The beautiful wooded area of Yakushima Island is the inspiration for Studio Ghibli’s classic film, Princess Mononoke. Fans can get close to nature in the quiet woods or enjoy a long walk along the trails. Although this forest is not the same as the one in the animated film, Miyazaki has stated that it is the main inspiration for the setting.

This forest is said to be different from others, as the trees and plants grow so thickly that noise doesn’t reach it, making even birdsong disappear. In such a place, it would not be unusual to see a Kodama or two peeping through the trees.

Real-life anime places in Japan: Princess Mononoke

Anohana – Chichibu

The beautiful and heartbreaking Anohana series is set in a small town called Chichibu. To get there, fans have to take a train into the countryside from Tokyo, but it is well worth it. The town is beautiful and a must-see for fans of the series. Chichibu has embraced Anohana, so it is common to see products and images from the series in the shops in the area.

Fans will also be able to visit many of the locations from the series, especially the large bridge seen in the promotional art. Although Menma will not be walking along the railing in real life, fans will be able to feel as if they have entered the anime as they explore all that the city has to offer.

Real-life anime places in Japan: Anohana

Higurashi When They Cry – Shirakawa-go

Shirakawa-go is a small village in the mountains and is the inspiration for the horror series Higurashi: When They Cry. This village is very traditional, with several gassho-style houses, a small grocery shop, and several landmarks almost identical to those in the anime.

Fans can visit the Wada house, which is the inspiration for the Sonozaki house, as well as the real-life Furude Shrine, and can even venture upstairs to get a view of the entire town. Not only can fans enjoy the Higurashi experience, but the incredible local food is worthy of a trip to itself. Don’t worry, nothing bad will happen to you if you visit it… probably!

Real-life anime places in Japan: Higurashi When They Cry.

Some of these anime pilgrimage sites are a day trip from Tokyo, others may take you more… Are you ready to pack and start your adventure?

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