The beauty of anime is that it often copies the real world and showcases how magical real life can be. While there are a lot of fantasy shows, many of the anime, especially slice-of-life and romance anime, take place in the real world.
Anime Locations You Can Visit in Real Life
If you want an anime-inspired vacation, these are the top 25 anime locations you can visit right now. These are famous spots in some of the best anime TV series and movies. You can visit these locations on your next trip to Japan and feel like you are an anime protagonist.
1. Scramble Crossing
The famous (possibly infamous) Scramble Crossing is already known for its sweeping intersection as the busiest in the entire world. But there is much more to the story regarding anime like Your Name, Tokyo Revengers, Persona 5 The Animation, and many more.
Go ahead and see the also famous Hachiko statue while you're here. Walk outside of Shibuya Station, and you're in one of Japan's most famous spots.
- How to Get There: Scramble Crossing, Shibuya, Tokyo. Right outside of Shibuya Station.
While Scramble Crossing and Shibuya Station are worth a mention, the entire city of Shibuya is a hot spot for anime tourists looking for a place to visit. Everything from the Shibuya Parco shopping center to Yoyogi Park and more are worth checking out.
Shibuya is the playground for many anime, such as The World Ends With You, Tokyo Revengers, Love Live Superstar, and more.
The mecca for anime and the general otaku lifestyle is Akihabara. Found in the Chiyoda ward, Akihabara Station and the surrounding areas of Electric Town are filled with maids, themed anime cafes, and tons of merch. See the famous location from classic anime like Steins Gate.
- How to Get There: Akihabara, Chiyoda, Tokyo. Head to Akihabara Station.
4. Mt. Fuji
Mt. Fuji is the beloved symbol of Japan, being the most famous volcano and mountain in the nation. It is also a scenic spot in several anime, though only a few dare go up to the top. If you're an anime fan of Yuru Camp and others, this is a place to visit.
- How to Get There: Subaru Fifth Station. 2-3 hours via bus or car from Tokyo. Daily buses are available at Shinjuku Station.
5. Dogo Onsen, Matsuyama
This stunning onsen (hot springs) town, known as Dogo Onsen in Matsuyama, Japan, is the real-life recreation of the gorgeous town that Chihiro visits in Spirited Away. This is one of the most stunning locales you can see.
It magically transforms the striking style of the other world that Chihiro visits into the real world, and it's all the better because of that. This area truly feels like you've stepped into an entirely different world.
- How to Get There: Dogo Onsen, Matsuyama, Ehime, Japan. 3.5 hours from Tokyo via plane.
Odaiba is home to several anime-related goodies, such as the Unicorn Gundam statue, various anime goods shops, gachapon stores, and even Tokyo Big Sight, where many famous conventions happen. It is also where several anime, including Digimon and Love Live Nijigasaki, occur.
- How to Get There: Odaiba, Koto City, Tokyo. Go to Daiba Station.
Shinjuku is primarily seen as Tokyo's core downtown city area, where most business centers and government buildings are located. It is also famous for Kabukicho — the Red Light District — and many anime have appeared here. Most notably, there is Tokyo Ghoul.
- How to Get There: Shinjuku, Tokyo. Head to Shinjuku Station—approximately 30 minutes from Tokyo Haneda Airport and 1.5 hours from Narita International Airport.
On its own, Hakone is one of the most stunning places you could visit in all of Japan. The hot springs region is known for its hotels and Lake Ashi, where the famous Torii gate can be found in the middle of the water. Hakone has been featured in anime like Neon Genesis Evangelion.
- How to Get There: Hakone, Kanagawa, Japan. 1.5 hours from Tokyo via car or bus.
Enoshima is an unbelievably magnificent location right off the sea in southern Japan. This city and region have been the setting for Slam Dunk, one of the best sports anime. Even if you've never watched this series, you're in for a treat when visiting this underrated part of Japan.
- How to Get There: Enoshima, Kanagawa, Japan. Approximately 1.5 hours from Tokyo via car or bus.
10. Shizuoka Prefecture
Yuru Camp is a relaxing anime about girls hanging out near Mt. Fuji and camping all day. While you can visit Mt. Fuji, you may only want to be a part of nature with a nice view. In this case, head to Shizuoka Prefecture and hang out in the different forests and lakes surrounding one of Japan's most glorious symbols.
- How to Get There: Shizuoka City, Japan. Approximately 3 hours from Tokyo and 1 hour from Mt. Fuji via car or bus.
The time period of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba is one of the most memorable parts of the masterful series. Asakusa is one of the few recognizable places in the anime, and it is also surprisingly a place that looks somewhat similar to how it did back then, like in the case of Kaminari Gate.
- How to Get There: Asakusa, Taito, Tokyo. Head to Asakusa Station.
12. Tokyo Station
Tokyo Station is a place everyone should visit at least once on a trip to Tokyo, especially for its unique design, massive underground space, and proximity to the Imperial Palace. Tokyo Station has been seen in several anime like Your Name and Haikyu.
- How to Get There: Tokyo Station, Chiyoda, Tokyo. Approximately 35 minutes from Tokyo Haneda Airport and 1.5 hours from Narita International Airport.
Ikebukuro is a place I love and recommend as my former home in Japan. It's also one of the less-popular locations in Tokyo for tourists, despite its anime connections. There are series like Ikebukuro West Gate Park set here. You can find intriguing stores like Animate and Mandarake in this underrated, grittier part of Tokyo.
- How to Get There: Ikebukuro, Toshima, Tokyo. Head to Ikebukuro Station.
Yakushima is a lesser-known island near Kagoshima off Japan's coast. This island was the inspiration behind the setting for the masterpiece Princess Mononoke. This jungle island is like another world. However, you'll have to take a ferry or plane to get here.
- How to Get There: Yakushima, Kagoshima, Japan. Approximately 2.5 hours from Tokyo via plane.
Yokohama is Japan's second-largest city, only about an hour from Tokyo. It is, sadly, one of the more underrated tourist destinations, despite having stunning places like Yokohama Chinatown and Minatomirai. Bungou Stray Dogs is an anime set here.
- How to Get There: Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan. Head to Yokohama Station, approximately 45 minutes-1 hour from Tokyo.
16. Harajuku, Tokyo
Returning to Shibuya one more time, the neighborhood of Harajuku is famous for its colorful atmosphere, crepes, wonderful cafes, and intriguing outfits. However, it was also featured in a few anime like Jujutsu Kaisen.
- How to Get There: Harajuku, Shibuya, Tokyo. Head to Harajuku Station.
Yufuin is a small town in southern Japan that is the setting that inspired the gorgeous place in Kiki's Delivery Service. To this point, this beloved anime film is celebrated with a bakery designed and named after Kiki. Head to Yufuin Floral Village in the town for the most picturesque locale that inspired the fabled Studio Ghibli movie.
- How to Get There: Yufuincho, Oita, Japan. Approximately 2 hours via plane from Tokyo.
18. Inokashira Park: Kichijoji, Tokyo
GTO, or Great Teacher Onizuka, is a classic anime from the past. It is fully set in Kichijoji, Tokyo, and features some gorgeous set pieces at Inokashira Park. Even if this is the first time you've watched this anime, this is an area you should visit on your next trip to Tokyo.
- How to Get There: Kichijoji, Musashino, Tokyo. Head to Kichijoji Station.
19. Chichibu Bridge: Onohara, Saitama
Chichibu Bridge is an actual location that you can visit that was featured heavily in the heartbreaking Anohana anime. It is found only a short walk away from Onohara Station in Saitama. More people need to see this gem of a location.
- How to Get There: Onohara, Saitama. Head to Onohara Station or drive approximately 1.5 hours from Tokyo.
Love Live Sunshine has one of the most gorgeous locales in anime, a waterfront setting where the idol girls start the road to their dreams. This location is based on a real place known as Numazu. It is a hidden gem that more foreign tourists should know about, with its waterfront views as part of a peninsula southwest of Tokyo.
- How to Get There: Numazu, Shizuoka, Japan. Approximately 1.5 hours from Tokyo.
21. Hida City
The other half of Your Name is set in the small town of Hida City, which was the basis for the fictional Itomori in the hit movie. Many spots like the train station and more from the film can be found here in this quieter, more laidback town.
- How to Get There: Hida City, Gifu, Japan. Approximately 2 hours from Tokyo via bullet train (Shinkansen).
Jojo's Bizarre Adventure is a fan-favorite anime for otakus (hardcore fans of anime and other elements of Japanese culture) around the world, and the setting for Diamond is Unbreakable happens to be the city of Sendai in northern Japan. This is a larger city that happens to have a mix of a relaxing feel to it that should be visited at least once.
- How to Get There: Sendai, Miyagi, Japan. Approximately 1.5-2 hours from Tokyo via bullet train (Shinkansen).
If you're looking for a horror-filled vacation, take a trip to Shirakawa-go, a small idyllic village in Gifu Prefecture, one of the lesser-known Prefectures (think states) in western Japan. This is where Higurashi's quiet town setting of Hinamizawa is based. Everything from the houses to iconic views in the anime was based on this unique town seemingly stuck in the past.
- How to Get There: Shirakawa-go, Gifu, Japan. Head to Gifu Station, approximately 2 hours from Tokyo via bullet train, and then travel about 30 minutes by car west of Hida City.
24. Yotsuya, Tokyo
One of the most unforgettable scenes in Your Name is the spot where the two characters meet atop stairs in the middle of Tokyo with red railings. This location has sweeping views of Tokyo in Yotsuya near the Suga Shrine.
- How to Get There: Yotsuya, Shinjuku, Tokyo. Head directly to Yotsuya Station.
25. Washinomiya Shrine: Saitama
Lucky Star is one of the goofiest anime, but its location is a real place. During the opening sequences, you can see Washinomiya Shrine, a real place in Saitama. Head to Washinomiya Station; it's a short walk away.
- How to Get There: Washinomiya Station, Saitama, Japan. Approximately 1 hour from Tokyo via car or 2 hours via train.
Visit These Anime Locations on Your Next Trip
This list can fill up your itinerary with plenty of destinations you should visit on your next trip to Japan. These give you a breadth of options, including the expected places that most people know about and some of the lesser-known locales that more people need to visit.
This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.