Anime Spots in Tokyo

For fans of Japanese animation

By Elena Lisina    - 3 min read

My introduction to Japanese animation occured in the mid-1970s, when the animated film 'Puss in Boots' was released in cinemas. I was struck by the graphics and incredibly interesting characters, particularly the three Musketeer mice. After that, I tried not to miss any new Japanese anime, which at the time, could only be watched in the cinema. I still enjoy anime and so made a search for anime-related places in Tokyo:

1. TOEI Studio Museum, with its magnificent displays, presents favorite TV characters, a 'kitchen' of animation with film storyboards, sketches and other things. The museum is located in Nerima, near Oizumi-gakuen station (Seibu Ikebukuro Line).

2. The Sunrise Studio museum was stablished in 1972. One of the most iconic characters of the studio is the robot warrior Gundam. The museum is a 15-20 minute walk from Nishi-Ogikubo Station (JR Chuo Line). This free museum is open from 10-6pm with Mondays closed.

3. The giant GUNDAM transforming statue is located in Odaiba, a short walk from Tokyo Teleport Station (Rinkai Line) or Daiba station (Yurikamome Line). Transformations occur daily at 11am, 1pm, 3pm & 5pm. Next to the statue is the Gundam Cafe.

4. The famous GHIBLI Museum was created by director Hayao Miyazaki in 1985. A unique atmosphere has been created here where visitors seem to be immersed in an animated film with exhibits, displays and even a short animated film within a special cinema inside the museum. The museum is located in Inokashira, about 10 minutes on foot from Mitaka or Kichijoji stations (JR Chuo Line).

5. Anpanman Museums are located in Yokohama, Kobe and Sendai. Anpanman, a hero whose head is made of a muffin, was created by artist Yanase Takashi in 1968 and is still one of the most popular children's TV series in Japan. Museums are combined with themed shops, special Uncle Jam's Bakery and play areas for children. The Yokohama location is 3 minutes from Shin-takashima station (Minatomirai Line).

6. Anime stores where you can buy collectibles and costumes of anime characters for cosplay are located in Akihabara, Shibuya, Ikebukuro, Tokyo Dome City. In these areas, you can even walk around in costumes while in Odaiba, an Anime Convention is held each year.

7. Every year, from August 10 to August 16, Yokohama hosts the impressive Pikachu Parade. Pikachu was created by Japanese computer game designer Sugimori Ken in 1996 for the Pokemon (Pocket Monsters) series of games by NINTENDO. There were (and still are) many varieties of Pokemon, but it was Pikachu who gained worldwide fame. During the parade, hundreds of cute yellow Pikachu life-sized 'dolls' walk the streets and perform throughout the city.

8. Fans of world animation will certainly be interested in visiting Disneyland and DisneySea. Naturally, the characters are not Japanese ones but their popularity here is undeniable.

9. A surreal touch if you want to feel like the hero of the animated film 'Kotoba no Niwa' is to visit Shinjuku Gyoen Park on a rainy day. Here you'll see how subtly and accurately the atmosphere of the park in the film is conveyed, absolutely deserted and incredibly beautiful in the rain.

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Elena Lisina

Elena Lisina @shiroi.tenshi

I am interested in Japanese art, crafts, history and Shinto religion. Photography is my hobby, and there are many amazing places to capture in Japan.

Original by Elena Lisina