Must-Visit Spots in Japan for Anime and Manga Lovers
Anime and manga have played huge parts in our childhood. The characters we watched on television and saw in comic books while growing up immensely entertained us and massively fueled our imaginations. For most of us, our fascination for anime and manga never really stopped even as we grew older.
Most of us are still enthralled with the adventures and stories of our favorite characters. We even dream of someday traveling to Japan to visit shops that sell the latest manga releases or spend a day in amusement parks where the thrilling rides and attractions are inspired by our favorite anime shows.
If you are an anime and manga lover who dreams of visiting Japan soon, here are five spots you should visit:
1. Pokémon Center
Pokémon Centers are located all over Japan. These places offer a wide array of items that will satisfy your love for Pokémon. Some of them even have merchandise only available for purchase in certain areas of Japan, which makes visiting different Pokémon Centers worth the trip.
Aside from the huge selection of merchandise, you can also play interactive games with your family and friends inside these shops. In some of the Tokyo and Osaka locations, there are cafes that serve sumptuous meals and desserts. Pokémon events are also held from time to time, so you can meet, interact, and play with fellow fans. How cool is that?
Don't forget to bring your camera, too, because there are giant Pokémon statues in these centers that are perfect for photos and videos!
Filipino actor and host Robi Domingo, a big Pokémon fan, visited one of the Pokémon Centers during his recent trip to Japan. He even vlogged about it on his YouTube channel.
2. Fujiko·F·Fujio Museum (Kanagawa)
Most of us grew up watching the adventures of Doraemon and Nobita, and until now, these characters still hold a special place in our hearts. Did you know that there is a museum dedicated to this well-loved anime show and its creator?
Also known as the Doraemon Museum, Fujiko·F·Fujio Museum is an art museum that is home to the works of the creator of the popular anime series and is located in Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan.
Not only does the museum display Fujiko·F·Fujio's original “Doraemon” artwork, but it also showcases artworks from other series he created.
A big selection of merchandise is also available in the museum. If you are feeling peckish, you can dine at the museum's cafe that offers Doraemon-themed meals. There are Doraemon statues around the museum that you can take pictures with as well.
3. Hita City, Oita Prefecture
If you are a big fan of "Attack on Titan," take a trip to Hita City in Oita Prefecture, the beautiful hometown of its creator, Hajime Isayama.
To pay tribute to the successful series, statues of its three protagonists—Eren, Mikasa, and Armin—were built at the foot of Oyama Dam. When visitors use the "Attack on Titan in HITA" app, an augmented reality image of the Colossus Titan appears on the screen above the dam, similar to the scene from the series. Sounds awesome, right?
Aside from taking photos with the statues and reliving the exciting scene from the show, you can also visit the “Attack on Titan in HITA Museum,” which puts on display the original artworks of Isayama. At this free-to-enter museum, the works of Isayama during his younger years are on display.
4. NARUTO & BORUTO SHINOBI-ZATO (Hyogo)
Many of us have daydreamed about becoming ninjas at some point in our lives because of the "NARUTO" series. Well, you can finally fulfill that dream of yours at NARUTO & BORUTO SHINOBI-ZATO (Ninja Village).
Located in Nijigen no Mori (Awaji Island Anime Park) in Hyogo Prefecture, the attraction is home to life-size statues of the characters from "NARUTO" and "BORUTO: NARUTO NEXT GENERATIONS." Visiting this attraction is like stepping into the world of your favorite ninja characters.
There are various activities you can do to put your "ninja skills" to the test, like doing a mission in mazes and answering quizzes. To top it off, you can also use augmented reality in taking photos, making it seem like you are using your ninjutsu techniques in the picture.
Additionally, you can buy various NARUTO merchandise, that you would not be able to find elsewhere, in a souvenir shop here. Ichiraku, Naruto's favorite ramen, is also available for you to savor and wolf down after enjoying the attraction’s adrenaline-pumping activities.
5. Ashikaga Flower Park (Tochigi)
In the hit manga series “Demon Slayer,” wisteria trees are known to be poisonous to demons, and many fans yearn to see such a tree in real life. If you are one of those fans, you can visit Ashikaga Flower Park in Ashikaga, Tochigi Prefecture, where you will instantly be transported to the fictitious, wisteria-covered Mt. Fujikasane.
Ashikaga Flower Park is home to a Great Wisteria Tree that is about 160 years old. While it is only in full bloom during spring, the park found an innovative way to let visitors experience the lilac-colored flowers of the popular tree all year round. They installed over five million LED lights on wisteria trees in the “Garden of Illuminated Flowers.” At night, the park looks majestic with all the trees lit up, especially when you look at their reflection in the water.
Many other types of seasonal flowers can also be found in the park such as tulips, roses, and hydrangeas.