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See Places that Appear in Anime First-hand Top 5 Post-worthy Spots at Tokyo’s Anime Sacred Sites

Taking a pilgrimage of anime sacred sites is a travel favorite among both Japanese tourists and international visitors. Everyone from avid anime fans who want to stand in the same places as the characters in their favorite anime, to anime beginners who want to check out the sacred sites of anime they have seen or heard of, can have fun touring the actual places the settings in anime were modeled after. Tokyo is a treasure trove of prominent anime sacred sites, with a wide range of destinations for anime fans. In this article we’ll introduce several post-worthy anime sacred sites that you’ll want to share with everyone on social media. And while you’re on your pilgrimage, be sure to check out the surrounding areas too.

Setagaya Ward—Gotokuji Station

Post-worthy Spots Appearing in Anime by Makoto Shinkai

5 Centimeters per Second

Makoto Shinkai is an anime director known for the hit films Your Name and Weathering with You. It is well known even among non-anime fans that many places in Tokyo have appeared in his films. Shinkai’s animated film 5 Centimeters per Second premiered in theaters in 2007. Gotokuji Station, a train station on the Odakyu Odawara Line in Tokyo’s Setagaya Ward, and the surrounding area appears in the first segment of that film, titled “Cherry Blossom,” when the station is used by the main character Takaki Tono.

The station has one ticket gate, and right outside the exit there is a granite maneki neko (often translated as “lucky cat”) statue associated with the maneki neko legend of the Soto Zen Buddhist temple Gotokuji, which the station is named after. After you pass through the ticket gate, you can exit to the right or left. The left side leads to a shopping district. The views of the station’s elevated rails from both sides appear exactly as they do in the film. If you want to take an amazing photo, the best time is in the evening when the street lights of the shopping district create a romantic atmosphere. Yamashita Station (on Tokyu Setagaya Line) is located nearby, and if you time it right, you can see an old-fashioned tram pass by.

Gotokuji Station (Odakyu Odawara Line)

Address 1-43-4 Gotokuji, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
Website https://www.odakyu.jp/english/sightseeing/sidetrips/
Setagaya Ward

Gotokuji Temple

The most post-worthy spot near Gotokuji Station is the Soto Zen Buddhist temple Gotokuji. Formerly the family temple of the Ii clan, the daimyo clan of Hikone Domain, in Edo (present-day Tokyo), it is one of the largest nationally-designated Historic Sites in the area. According to legend, Hikone daimyo Ii Naotaka was beckoned by a cat in front of the temple gate on his way home from falcon hunting and decided to stop by the temple. Ii marveled at his luck that thanks to the cat he not only escaped a sudden thunderstorm, but also had an enjoyable talk with the temple priest. After that, the cat came to be called maneki neko (literally, “cat that invites luck”) at the temple and a hall was built in dedication on the temple grounds. The temple has many unique features, including the hundreds of maneki neko figurines left by visitors in thanks for making their wishes come true, ema (small wooden plaques where people write prayers and wishes) with pictures of cats instead of the usual horse, and maneki neko-themed amulets you can buy at the temple office. It is very popular as both a power spot and for taking pictures among cat-lovers and Japanese culture enthusiasts alike.

Setagaya Ward—Gotokuji Temple

Address 2-24-7 Gotokuji, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
Phone 03-3426-1437
Hours Open every day 6:00–18:00 from late March and 6:00–17:00 from late September
The temple office is open 8:00–16:30 (open until 17:00 in the summer)
Website https://gotokuji.jp/en/

The real joy of taking the pilgrimage of anime sacred sites is that by touring the locations appearing in anime, you learn more about the surrounding areas. Next we’ll introduce some other areas and sites in Tokyo that locations in anime have been modeled after.

NEXT:Shinjuku Ward—Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building
An Amazing Post-worthy Spot that Captivates Japanese and International Visitors Alike
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