Touring Tokyo with Makoto Shinkai

Makoto Shinkai is best known as an anime director who has directed artistic and moving films such as Voices of a Distant Star, The Garden of Words and 5 Centimeters Per Second. His movies are touching, and share similar themes that touch on isolation and love. They also tend to take place in Tokyo. Almost like a side character, Tokyo appears in the photo-realistic backgrounds of Shinkai’s films often set the mode and making scenes memorable. 

Hopefully, this article will be helpful for Shinkai lovers planning on coming to Tokyo.

5 Centimeters Per Second

There is a scene in 5 Centimeters Per Second where Takaki Tono outside a bank building staring up at the sky as it snows. Where Takaki stands is a real place in Shinjuku and can be found outside the Shinjuku Sumitomo Building. To reach this spot, exit the Shinjuku Station West entrance. You will see a sign directing you to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building and follow the directions. After about a ten minute walk on the right side of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, you will see a familiar site.

 

  • 5 Centimeters Per Second
    Picture from 5 Centimeters per Second film of Takaki looking up in the snow. (Photo Credit: Amy King)
  • 5 Centimeters Per Second
    You can find the setting in Shinjuku. (Photo Credit: Amy King)

Next, you can find the famous train crossing where Takaki Tono and Akari Shinohara depart, an important scene and setting in the film. Take the train from Shinjuku Station to Sangubashi Station on the Odakyu Line. (Note: this is not a JR Line so that rail passes won’t work! You’ll need an Odakyu ticket which you can easily find in the station.)

  • 5 Centimeters per Second
    Crossing scene from 5 Centimeters per Second (Photo Credit: 5 Centimeters per Second)
  • 5 Centimeters per Second
    The real life location of the train crossing is near Shinjuku. (Photo Credit: Amy King)

In the same area, you can find the Sangubashi Park to the west of Sangubashi Station.  

 

  • Sangubashi Park
    Sangubashi Park seen from film (Photo Credit: 5 Centimeters per Second)
  • Sangubashi Park
    Th real life Sangubashi Park (Photo Credit: Amy King)

 

You can find the second train crossing at the end of the film nearby.

 

  • 5 Centimeters per Second
    The scene from 5 Centimeters per Second of Takaki Tono watching the train go by waiting to see if Akari Shinohara will be there. (Photo Credit: 5 Centimeters per Second)
  • 5 Centimeters per Second
    The real life of train crossing (Photo Credit: Amy King)

 

Your Name

Take the train from Sangubashi Station to Yotsuya Station on the Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line, and you’ll recognize a familiar setting from Your NameOutside the Yotsuya Station, you will be standing in the very location where Taki meets his senpai for their date. Also, Mitusha sits on the platform here when she sees Taki for the first time on an arriving train.

Relive the scene at Yotsuya Station (Photo Credit: Amy King)

You can see the stairs on the film poster near Suga Shrine – between Yotsuya and Shinanomachi Stations.

 

  • The iconic stairs from the film's poster (Photo Credit: Amy King)
  • (Photo Credit: Anime News Network)

 

 

The Garden of Words

If you go to Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, you can find the park bench that appears in The Garden of Words. From the main JR Shinjuku Station, the park is 10-minute walk east from the “New South Exit. ” Or you can take the subway on the Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line to Shinjukugyoenmae station and walk five minutes.

The famous bench from The Garden of Words might only be a train ride away. (Photo Credit: The Garden of Words)

You can find more information here on access routes.

Please let us know in the comments if there are any locations from Shinkai’s movies not mentioned in this article. The beauty of doing this tour is that it is free and won’t cost you much. It is ideal if you want a quiet, relaxed day in Tokyo while experiencing the real-life settings of your favorite movies and anime.

Milestone Banner

Amy King

Amy King

Contributing Writer
Known as Cairdiuil or Cairdiuil_ak on the internet. Just another Amy who loves cosplaying hailing from Ireland currently living in Japan. Here to experience what she loves. 🙂
Amy King
Amy King

Latest posts by Amy King (see all)

Amy King
Amy Cairdiuil: Irish cosplayer living in Japan. Loves anime and travelling. What to document my life as a cosplayer and my time in Japan. So I finally set up a youtube channel. 🙂