8 Real Life Locations Used in Anime “Love Live!” (Tokyo, Akihabara, Okinawa)
Love Live is a project name which was jointly planned by a production company, publisher and music company. In this anime, schoolgirls form a music group hoping to debut and become an idol group. But at the time the group name was not decided yet and they took the name Love Live, the project name. Later on the group changes the name to “μ’s (muse)” after soliciting ideas from fans.
This time I am introducing 8 real life locations used in the popular anime “Love Live!” from the 1st season, 2nd season, and the movie version shown in 2015.
1. “Takemura”, the Japanese Sweets Shop
This is “Takemura”, the model of the Japanese sweets shop “Homura” operated by Honoka Kosaka’s family in the story. Takemura is a venerable store founded before the Second World War. It is still in business today so how about enjoying their sweets while you are on the pilgrimage?
Takemura appeared frequently not only in the 1st but also in the 2nd season. If you are a fan of “Love Live!” this is a place you would like to visit and take a look.
3 minute walk from Awajicho Station
2. Kanda Myojin Shrine
This is Kanda Myojin and it is the place Nozomi Tojo’s family was supposed to live. It is a famous shrine and the place is also utilized for the coming-of-age ceremony for those who turn 20 years old (It is a Japanese public holiday and ceremonies are held across the nation).
These steps are called Otokozaka of Kanda Myojin, and this is where members of μ’s in the story trained in order to improve physical fitness.
How about running up these long stairs and experiencing the training menu of μ’s?
From Hijiribashi exit of Ochanomizu Station, walk for 5 minutes.
Take Denkigai (electronics store district) exit of Akihabara Station and walk for 7 minutes.
3. “Akihabara GAMERS”
Electronics store district in Akihabara is a very popular sightseeing spot in Tokyo! “Akihabara GAMERS” is a store that appeared in a scene where girls worked handing out flyers in order to cure Umi’s shyness. There are many stores related to anime and there is always some kind of event being held in this town.
It’s a great idea to purchase Love Live! themed goods in Akihabara in addition to the pilgrimage.
Immediately outside of Akihabara Station
4. Marunouchi North Exit of Tokyo Station
In the 10th episode of Love Live!, Marunouchi north exit of Tokyo Station was used as a place for the members to meet before leaving for a training camp. This station is used by many people in real life, and please be careful when you are taking photos.
5. Shoheibashi Bridge
Shoheibashi bridge frequently appeared both in the 1sst and 2nd seasons of Love Live! It first appeared in the 1st episode of the 1st season in a scene where Honoka was running to her school. Design of the trains was also reproduced quite faithfully.
3 minute walk from Hijiribashi exit of Ochanomizu Station.
From Denkigai exit of Akihabara Station, 8 minutes on foot.
6. Nikomaki Koen Park
This is a small park located in front of the Shoheibashi bridge introduced earlier. Fans of Love Live! call it Nikomaki Koen. Select your favorite member among the three characters and sit at her position and let’s take a photo.
7. Churaumi Aquarium in Okinawa
The stage departs far away from Tokyo, and we are at Churaumi Aquarium in Okinawa, also one of the leading sightseeing spots in Japan. This aquarium appeared in the 10th episode of the 2nd season and the girls were on a school excursion. As shown in the anime this aquarium does have a very large whale shark, so we would like to visit and take a look at it.
Take a Yanbaru Express bus from Naha Airport and get off at “Kinen Koen Mae (In front of Memorial Park)” stop. (Transportation requires 2 hours and 20 minutes to 3 hours and a half.)
8. Shuri-jo Castle in Okinawa
The last spot is Shuri-jo castle, which is the most popular sightseeing destination in Okinawa. This is also a place the 3 second-year girls visited on the school excursion in the second season of the story.
When you visit this place, please take photos with the castle in your background, while remembering the scenes in Love Live!
Use Yui Rail from Naha Airport Station to Shuri Station, and walk for 15 minutes.
A local bus is also available from Shuri Station (Castle Town Lines No. 7&8). Get off at Shuri-jo Mae (In front of Shuri Castle) stop and walk for 3 minutes.
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Love Live! is very popular beyond its nationality. Many real life locations used in the story concentrate around Akihabara, Tokyo, and you can cover most of them on foot. If you are an avid fan of Love Live! you cannot miss Shoheibashi bridge, Kanda Myojin shrine, and Takemura, the sweets shop.
When you are visiting Tokyo for sightseeing, it would be interesting to include a pilgrimage of anime locations that are not mentioned in guide books.