Anime and Manga Locations in Japan

Anime and Manga Locations in Japan

If you are planning a trip to Japan, you want to make sure you hit up the places no manga and anime fan should miss. On this page, we'll discuss the following.

Exploring Anime and Manga

Anime and manga are popular Japanese forms of entertainment with a rich history and global followings. While both share a similar visual style, they are distinct art forms with their unique characteristics.

Anime features animated storytelling across various genres, from children's shows to epic dramas. Manga, on the other hand, is a form of comic book storytelling that is often serialized in magazines or released in individual volumes. Many anime series, such as Dragon Ball, are based on manga.

Where to go for Manga and Anime in Japan? We’ll answer later, first let’s explore a little bit of its background.

History of Anime and Manga

In Japan, anime and manga have a long and storied history, with roots dating back centuries. The earliest forms of anime can be traced to the Edo period (1603-1868), when artists created animated paintings called ukiyo-e. In the early 20th century, Japanese animators began experimenting with Western animation techniques, and by the 1960s, anime had become a dominant industry in Japan. Today, anime is a global phenomenon, with fans all over the world.

Manga also has a long history in Japan, dating back to the 12th century. The earliest forms were called emaki, illustrated scrolls that told stories. In the 19th century, comics began to appear in magazines and newspapers, and by the early 20th century, they had become a major part of Japanese culture. Today, manga is a prominent form of entertainment and pop culture in Japan, with millions of readers worldwide.

Below are the places to explore your beloved manga and anime series.


Bookstores, Anime and Manga Locations in Japan

If you are an older manga fan, you may prefer to browse comics in a bookstore. Japan has some great bookstores with manga in English, such as Kinokuniya, which has several branches in Tokyo. They also have locations in the United States and across Asia.

Manga Cafes

Manga cafes, or kissa in Japanese, are great places to relax and read manga. They typically have a large selection of comics and often offer food and drinks. Well-known manga cafe chains include GeraGera and MediaCafe Popye.

Anime and Manga Museums

Ghibli Museum, Mitaka, Anime and Manga Locations in Japan

Two standout anime museums in Japan are the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka and the Toei Animation Museum in Nerima. Additionally, the Kyoto International Manga Museum, with its extensive book collection and unique exhibitions, will fascinate even those with a remote interest in comics.

Anime Stores

Anime stores sell various anime-related items, including DVDs, Blu-rays, figures, T-shirts, art books, plush toys, and more. The number one anime vendor in Japan is Animate Ikebukuro. The highlight of the Tokyo store is its cinema and anime-themed café.

Anime and Manga Events

Anime and Manga Events, Anime and Manga Locations in Japan

Do you want to be a part of the event that celebrates all things anime or manga? There are a few to visit for inspiration! Comic Market, or Comiket, is the world’s largest dōjinshi fair, held twice a year in Tokyo. AnimeJapan is an annual anime convention at the Tokyo Big Sight Exhibition Center.

Real-Life Anime Places to Visit in Japan

For anime and manga enthusiasts, Japan offers a treasure trove of real-life locations to visit and immerse in the worlds of their favorite characters. For example, travel to the mysterious Itto-seki Split Boulder, which Tanjiro had to dissect into two halves. Explore the bustling streets of Tokyo's Akihabara district, the "Electric Town", which inspired the futuristic city in the anime series "Akira". Visit the Straw Hat bronze statues in Kumamoto, the hometown of One Piece's author. These are just a few examples of the many real-life places in Japan associated with celebrated anime and manga series.

Demon Slayer Places to Visit in Japan

Demon Slayer Places to Visit in Japan, Anime and Manga Locations in Japan

Are you a fan of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba? You are in luck because these manga-based anime series feature some of the most dazzling sites that have inspired the world of characters or are actually featured in the anime. Here’s a quick peek at two of them.

Ashikaga Flower Park

This beautiful park in Ashikaga city, only an hour and twenty minutes away from Tokyo, is featured as an outdoor scene where Tanjiro and his friends, the Demon Slayers, are tested on Mt. Fujikasane and where demons are captured. The mountain is covered with white, blue, and pink wisteria flowers the demons hate. In the evening, the park transforms into a magical world as almost every corner is illuminated with multi-colored LED lights.


Demon Slayer Places to Visit in Japan, Anime and Manga Locations in Japan

Venture to Asakusa, a famous Tokyo spot known to Kimetsu No Yaiba’s fans as the place where Tanjiro first met his fierce enemy Muzan Kibutsuji. You can see the Sensoji Temple in the surrounding area, with its famous Kaminarimon Gate and rows of shops that still retain the scenery of the Taisho Period (1912-1926), in which the story takes place. Experience the world of Demon Slayer while sightseeing in the older Tokyo.

One Piece Experience in Japan

One Piece is among the best-selling manga series in history, with 490 million copies sold worldwide. The story follows the adventures of Monkey D. Luffy, a young man who sets out to sea to become the King of the Pirates. It has been adapted into an anime television series, several films, and video games. The anime series is one of the longest-running in history, with over 1,000 episodes.

What are some of the destinations in Japan that bring out One Piece?

Monkey D. Luffy Statue in Kumamoto

Monkey D. Luffy Statue, Kumamoto, Anime and Manga Locations in Japan

In Kumamoto City, the hometown of the One Piece creator Eiichiro Oda, bronze sculptures of the Migawara pirates are scattered throughout the city, including a towering 174-meter-tall statue of Captain Luffy. This initiative started as a tribute to the terrible earthquake of 2016 that sadly took 273 lives. The city now draws many tourists who grew up watching the beloved One Piece series.

One Piece Mugiwara Stores

Head to Tokyo’s Shibuya Parco to find the Straw Hat Store and get some souvenirs and gifts. It shares the same anime floor with Nintendo, Capcom, and Pokemon stores.

Pokemon Centers in Tokyo

Tokyo boasts four Pokemon Centers: Pokemon Center Mega Tokyo, Pokemon Center SkyTree Town, Pokemon Center Shibuya, and Pokemon Center Shibuya DX. The items sold at these centers are similar, but each store has a distinct interior design. So, if you or your children are Pokemon fans, you’ll want to visit all of them.

Shinobi-zato – Naruto Theme Park

Created by the brilliant Masashi Kishimoto, Naruto has amassed a massive following and won numerous accolades, including the Quill Award for graphic novel in 2006.

It has fame in the USA and Europe. Naruto merchandise, such as figurines, clothing, and video games, is a hot commodity among fans. Countless cosplay events where fans dress up as their treasured Naruto characters bring the anime world to life.

For the ultimate Naruto experience, a pilgrimage to Shinobi-zato, the Naruto theme park on Awaji Island, is an absolute must. This incredible park is a true paradise for Naruto enthusiasts, featuring attractions inspired by the anime series, including life-size replicas of iconic locations, interactive experiences, and Naruto’s praised Ramen Ichiraku spot.

Akira Cel Exhibition

Akira is a groundbreaking anime that revolutionized the anime industry with stunning visuals, complex storytelling, and unforgettable characters, paving the way for global recognition of Japanese anime from the 1980s onward.

Keep an eye out for the next Ottomo The Complete Works - Akira Cel Exhibition, where you can witness this legendary anime's original art and cels up close. While we don't have any news on when the next one is happening, the last exhibition in Tokyo in October 2023 was very impressive! Keep checking so you don't miss out on this incredible opportunity.

Dragon Ball-Related Spots

Dragon Ball-Related Spots, Anime and Manga Locations in Japan

The brainchild of the renowned author Akira Toriyama, Dragon Ball began as a manga series published in 1984. It soon exploded into a sprawling epic, transcending language and borders.

Akira Toriyama, a fan of Hong Kong martial arts films, drew inspiration from these cinematic spectacles to craft his own unique brand of action-packed storytelling. His characters, particularly the iconic Saiyan Son Goku, embody the values of courage, friendship, and unwavering determination.

In 1986, Toei Animation adapted the Dragon Ball manga into an anime series, captivating international audiences with fast-paced battles, compelling storylines, and memorable characters. It became a global phenomenon, with the manga comics selling in over 40 countries and the anime broadcasted in over 80 countries.

For more than three decades, Dragon Ball has continued to enthrall generations of fans. It has inspired countless spin-offs, video games, and merchandise. Its legacy is cemented in pop culture, with iconic moments and characters becoming instantly recognizable symbols.

From the epic Tenkaichi Budokai, modeled after the breathtaking landscapes of Bali, to the enduring popularity of Dragon Ball Z and experiences in the immersive world of Universal Studios Japan, Dragon Ball's impact is undeniable. The journey continues with a dedicated Goku Day celebrated on May 9th and an ambitious plan to construct the world's biggest Dragon Ball theme park in Saudi Arabia.