Best Anime Locations to Visit in Japan

Best Places to Visit in Japan for Anime Lovers with Anime List

Best Anime Locations in Japan

Japan has been one of the most popular travel destinations all over the world for years, and lots of international travelers visit Japan for the delicious Japanese food, historical attractions, traditional cultures, changing seasons, and so on.

For those who like Japanese pop cultures such as anime and manga, their target is going to the locations that inspire their favorite anime and manga. Visiting the anime locations, which is known as an anime pilgrimage or anime tourism, has got more popular among both domestic and international tourists recently.

Here is the list of anime locations in Japan by city which you can see in popular anime series from Tokyo to less known places. Check the anime locations inspiring your favorite anime before you travel to Japan.

Check the anime locations by anime series, too!

Tokyo

Tokyo Tower
Tokyo Tower

Tokyo, the capital of Japan, is the most famous and popular travel destination for both domestic and international tourists. The largest city consists of many attractive areas such as Shibuya, Shinjuku, Akihabara, Ginza, Asakusa, Ueno, Harajuku and so on.

For anime fans, there are a large number of places to visit in Tokyo. Lots of popular anime are inspired by real-life locations in Tokyo.

For instance, the famous modern anime director Makoto Shinkai’s anime movies including Your Name and Weathering with You are based on the Tokyo’s towns. The pop culture town Akihabara is the well-known Anime Tourism destination for fans of Love Live! and  Steins;Gate.

The renowned Studio Ghibli’s romance movie Whisper of the Heart is set in the Hachioji are (the west side of Tokyo).

Other Tokyo Anime: 5 Centimeters per Second, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Wolf Children, The Boy and the Beast, Sword Art Online, Durarara!!, Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend, A Certain Magical Index, A Certain Scientific Railgun, etc.

If you like some of the Tokyo-inspired anime and plan to visit Tokyo, you should check the best things to do in Tokyo on this bucket list. And then, make an ideal itinerary with the anime locations and popular tourist sites added.

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Kanagawa

Mikasa Park in Yokosuka
Mikasa Park in Yokosuka

Kanagawa is a metropolitan area next to Tokyo, including the prefecture’s capital Yokohama, the port town Yokosuka, the Onsen town Hakone and the beach side Shonan.

There are quite a few anime series that are inspired by the real-life spots in Kanagawa. The futuristic city Tokyo-3 in the legendary anime Neon Genesis Evangelion is based on Hakone. The port city Yokosuka, where Yokosuka Naval Base is located, is related to the fleet-themed anime series Kantai Collection and High School Fleet.

You can see many locations in the beach area Shonan in the modern fantasy romance anime Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai and the basket ball anime Slam Dunk.

Each of the anime cities are also popular among tourists. Before visiting your favorite anime places in Kanagawa, check out where to visit in Yokohama, Kamakura, Shonan, Hakone, and so on.

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Saitama

Kawagoe, Saitama
Kawagoe, Saitama: “埼玉県 川越祭り” © MitsunoriEgawa (Licensed under CC BY 4.0)

Saitama is a big prefecture situated adjacent to Tokyo. From historical towns to rich-nature places, there are a variety of popular tourist sites in Saitama, which are accessible from Tokyo.

Traveling with the theme of anime has got more popular recently partly because of a comedy anime aired in 2007: Lucky Star. The anime based on Kuki, Saitama has made quite a few fans visit the related location in the city.

Chichibu, located in the west of Saitama, is famous for the two popular anime titles: Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day and The Anthem of the Heart. The comedy and romance anime series Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend is inspired by Wako, Saitama. You can see many spots in Kawagoe, one of the most popular tourist towns in Saitama, in the romance anime Tsuki ga Kirei.

Chiba

Ferris Wheel at Kasai Seaside Park in Chiba
Ferris Wheel at Kasai Seaside Park in Chiba

Chiba, located in the northeast of Kanto Region, is famous for the largest international airport Narita Airport and the popular amusement park Tokyo Disney Resort.

Chiba is also a pilgrimage for anime fans, especially for those who like these two romance and slice-of-life anime series OreGairu: My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU (My Youth Romantic Comedy Is Wrong, As I Expected) and Oreimo. You can see lots of landmarks of Chiba such as Makuhari Messe and Makuhari Seaside Park.

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North Kanto Region (Ibaraki/Tochigi/Gunma)

Oarai Isosaki Shrine in Ibaraki
Oarai Isosaki Shrine in Ibaraki

A lot of popular anime are inspired by the real-life locations in North Kanto Region including Ibaraki, Tochigi and Gunma. The military-themed comedy anime Girls und Panzer is related to Oarai in Ibaraki, located in the northeast of Kanto Region.

Tochigi Prefecture, which is famous for the historical site Nikko, has many places to visit for anime fans. Especially, if you are a fan of Makoto Shinkai, it is recommended to visit Tochigi. Iwafune Station is a symbolic place of Cherry Blossom from 5 Centimeters per Second.

Gunma, a nice day-trip destination from Tokyo, has several famous onsen towns like Kusatsu. The prefecture has got more attention lately for the slice-of-life adventure anime Place Further than the Universe.

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Mt.Fuji

Mt.Fuji
Mt.Fuji

Mt.Fuji is a perfect travel destination for not only major tourists but also anime lovers. Quite a few famous anime are inspired by the symbol of Japan Mt.Fuji. The camping anime Laid-Back Camp is based on Minobu, Yamanashi Prefecture. The characters go camping to various sites around Mt.Fuji including Fuji Five Lakes.

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Central Japan (Shizuoka/Nagano/Gifu/Toyama)

Murodo in Tateyama Kurobe, Toyama
Murodo in Tateyama Kurobe, Toyama

Each of prefectures in Central Japan are related to some anime series. Here is the list of anime which are inspired by the real-life places in Central Japan. If you likeLove Live! Sunshine!!, the second title of Love Live! series, you should visit Numazu, Shizuoka.

One of the most famous anime directors Mamoru Hosoda has made some renowned anime that are inspired by the countryside scenery in Nagano and Toyama. Summer Wars is inspired by Ueda, Nagano. The rich-nature village in Wolf Children is based on Kamiichi,  Nakaniikawa District in Toyama.

Gifu, one of the most popular travel destinations among ordinal tourists and anime fans, is worth visiting. The famous Your Name, the masterpiece of Makoto Shinkai, and the mystery and slice-of-life anime Hyouka are modeled on Takayama in Gifu.

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Western Japan (Kyoto/Hyogo)

Shukugawa Park in Hyogo
Shukugawa Park in Hyogo

Western Japan including Osaka, Kyoto, Nara and Hiroshima is one of the most famous and popular areas for foreign tourists to travel in Japan.

Kyoto, one of the most popular cities among foreign tourists in Japan, is depicted in a modern anime movie Hello World. The fantasy and romance anime is totally based on Kyoto City. There are Kyoto Station, Fushimi Inari Shrine and other famous location in Kyoto in Hello World.

If you are a fan of the classic popular anime series The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, it is recommended to take a trip to Nishinomiya, Hyogo. You can see many locations near Nishinomiya-kitaguchi Station in the anime.

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Hokkaido

Hokkaido, located in the northernmost of Japan, is a well-known travel destination to both domestic and international travelers. They visit Hokkaido for seasonal attractions such as colorful flowers in summer and powder snow in winter.

There are not so many places related to anime, but the popular mystery anime Erased is inspired by Tomakomai, Hokkaido.

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Tohoku Region

Shirakami Sanchi in Aomori
Shirakami Sanchi in Aomori

Tohoku, which is located in the northeast of Japan’s main island, is getting more and more popular among tourists.

The world’s renowned Studio Ghibli film Princess Mononoke is related to Tohoku Region. It is said that the Studio Ghibli movie is inspired by Yakushima Island in Kagoshima (Kyushu Region) and Shirakami Sanchi in Aomori. Shirakami Sanchi is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, where you can experience the world of Princess Mononoke.

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Kyusyu Region

Yutoku Inari Shrine in Saga
Yutoku Inari Shrine in Saga

Kyushu Region is located in the west of Japan’s Main Island consisting of seven prefectures. Some popular anime have good relationships with the prefectures in Kyushu.

The fleet-themed anime Kantai Collection is partly inspired by the port town Sasebo in Nagasaki as well as other port places all over Japan such as Mutsu in Aomori, Yokosuka in Kanagawa and Maizuru in Kyoto.

The unique idol anime Zombie Land Saga is completely based on Saga Prefecture. And, the famous Studio Ghibli movie Princess Mononoke seems inspired by Yakushima Island in Kagoshima as well as Shirakami Sanchi in Aomori.

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If you have some favorite anime and plan to visit Japan, complete the perfect itinerary with those anime locations added in advance.

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