Rithe, a cosplayer based in Singapore. She is considered as one of the popular cosplayers in the region, after representing Singapore in the World Cosplay Summit in 2017.
Discover the hottest spots along SEIBU RAILWAY Line, full of Japanese pop culture. We’ve done the grunt work of researching so that you do not have to, to bring you the best anime and manga-related locales in this exciting itinerary that will pique your interests and engage your fantasies. Take a fun ride on Seibu Line and experience an isekai adventure!
For only 1,000 yen (500 yen for kids), enjoy unlimited rides through Seibu Line for a whole day. Visit all the anime-related spots along Seibu Line with this value for money pass. Another steal for only 1,500 yen is the Seibu 1 Day Pass + Nagatoro ticket. You can stroll along the traditional streets of Chichibu, plus several notable places relating to anime and manga culture.
The Sunshine City Prince Hotel is right at the heart of Ikebukuro, popularly known as an Otaku Town. It is directly connected to Sunshine City – one of the largest shopping malls in Ikebukuro. Its highlights include four dining options, a 24-hour convenience store and only 800 metres away from Ikebukuro Station. A lot of its rooms overlook the Tokyo cityscape too. Its best feature for anime fans is the uniquely designed rooms in collaboration with popular anime series. If you book one of the anime-themed rooms, you can get exclusive character amenities and original anime goods!
A commercial complex filled with Japanese pop culture, food, shopping, and entertainment that will absolutely keep you busy for a whole day. At its centre is a 240-metre skyscraper with an observatory overlooking the cityscape. Fans would be thrilled to shop at various anime-related stores like the Pokémon Center MEGA TOKYO. Aside from all the anime and manga influences, there is also an aquarium, a planetarium, and indoor theme parks. The shopping centre is open between 10:00 to 20:00.
One of Sunshine City’s indoor theme parks operated by BANDAI NAMCO Amusement Inc. should not be missed. Aside from its quirky attractions, its two uniquely themed food zones make this theme park stand out. It has a whole street lined with beautifully decorated desserts and a gyoza stadium serving different kinds of dumplings from all over Japan. Definitely worth a visit!
For avid fans of anime and manga, don’t miss this building filled with anime goods: CDs, DVDs & BDs, games, books, and other popular items. Japanese pop culture events are frequently held in this shop as well. Animate-exclusive bonus items may come with your purchase, which will most definitely make your heart skip a beat.
A cosplayer’s paradise filled with everything related to cosplay from top to bottom will make your eyes pop. A vast selection of RTW licensed costumes, wigs, accessories, makeup, shoes, and so much more it will make your head spin. It’s a one-stop shop to make your cosplay ensemble the best there is!
One-day itinerary on SEIBU RAILWAY Line
A melancholic journey through iconic anime spots that will take you to another world of wistful fantasy.
Purchase SEIBU 1 Day Pass at SEIBU Tourist Information Centre Ikebukuro
Located at the 1F East exit in Ikebukuro Station, you’ll find the SEIBU Tourist Information Centre. Aside from providing sightseeing information about the Seibu Line, you can purchase and get information about all your ticketing needs here. Daily hours are from 8:00 to 15:00, and they are open year-round.
Tokorozawa Station Nishi-Tokorozawa Station Seibukyūjō-mae Station
A newly renovated theme park showcasing the ambience of the Showa era in the 1960s. Journey 60 years back into Japan as you enter the nostalgic park grounds leading to a Showa-style shopping alley called the Yuhigaoka Shopping Street, where surprise performances are held every hour. There is also a cinema featuring the world’s first-ever permanent Godzilla amusement ride. Attractions were added based on Osamu Tezuka’s famous anime – Astro Boy and Jungle Emperor Leo – located in the Let’s go! Leoland zone, a dedicated area for families at the park. It has its own retro-themed currency, and the staff are all dressed in a Showa-style wardrobe. The admission fee is 4,400 yen (3,300 yen for kids), inclusive of all rides. Standard opening hours are from 10:00 to 17:00.
Lunch at Seibuen Yuenchi
Satiate your hunger through scrumptious and authentic Showa cuisine at Seibuen Yuenchi. Sample a taste of their signature spaghetti Napoletana (Western-style Japanese spaghetti), which was a big hit during the Showa era. Another favourite is their classic Rice Omelette (Japanese omelette fried rice) oozing with fluffy eggs that just melt in your mouth. Finish your meal with a refreshing jelly ponchi that has a rich, fruity flavour. Nostalgia hits at every bite as these are staple meals at every Japanese household during the Showa era.
Depart from Seibuen-yūenchi Station
Seibukyūjō-mae Station Nishi-Tokorozawa Station
Tokorozawa Station Stopover – My Neighbour Totoro Iconic Monument
Make a quick stopover at Tokorozawa City, the birthplace of My Neighbor Totoro, a film masterpiece made by the world-famous director Hayao Miyazaki of Studio Ghibli. My Neighbor Totoro was inspired by the nature and atmosphere of Tokorozawa, where Hayao Miyazaki has resided for many years. In celebration of the city's 70th founding anniversary in 2020, a monument was built featuring the iconic characters of the film, namely, Catbus, Satsuki, Mei, and Totoro. Take a snap of this famous landmark to commemorate your journey.
Arrive at Shiinamachi Station – Toshima City Tokiwaso Manga Museum
Tokiwaso—a legendary boarding house that used to be home to the most famous contemporary manga artists of Japan such as Tezuka Osamu (Black Jack), Fujio Akatsuka (Osomatsu-kun), Fujiko F. Fujio (Doraemon), and Shotaro Ishinomori (KAMEN RIDER series). This rundown building became part of history as it became a gathering spot of then-rookie manga artists who moved to Tokyo, which later became prominent figures in the industry. Although the building was demolished in December 1982, the support from fans, donors, and contributors helped give birth to the Tokiwaso Manga Museum in 2020, located at Minami-Nagasaki of Toshima City, to pass on anime and manga culture to future generations. It is a complete reproduction of Tokiawaso with their working spaces, communal kitchen, rooms, and even their toilet. Other highlights include a drawing area featuring manga artists’ drawing techniques and the Manga Lounge where you can learn manga history and watch clips of manga artists.
TOEI Animation Museum
Explore the world of Toei Animation, where numerous animation works have been produced since 1956. It's located on the first floor of Toei Animation Studio in Oizumi, Nerima City, with interactive installations showing large screens where you can search for Toei's anime titles. Learn about the meticulous process of producing animation from start to finish through permanent exhibits of broadcast programs, including the Pretty Cure series, DIGIMON Adventure, and celluloid images from previous works. There is a dedicated play area where kids can play with Pretty Cure-related toys. It also features a book corner where you can peruse popular titles produced by Toei Animation. Avid fans will be thrilled to know that the animation simulcasts are continuously produced in the studio above while enjoying the exhibits.
Since this page was published, the museum is temporarily closed due to coronavirus control. Please refer to the official website for further details.
One-day itinerary on SEIBU RAILWAY Line
Seichi Junrei is used in Japanese to describe travelling to anime set locations or places that influenced its fruition. Seichi means ‘holy’ while junrei means ‘pilgrimage’. For passionate anime fans, anime set locations may be considered sacred in reference to their affection for anime culture. It highlights all the beautiful places of a specific region and positively influences its tourism, especially in rural areas.
Purchase SEIBU 1 Day Pass + Nagatoro at SEIBU Tourist Information Centre Ikebukuro
Enjoy the Seibu line for a whole day with this 1-day pass which gives you unlimited rides including Chichibu Railway Line within the stated area, and free use between Nogami Station and Mitsumineguchi Station. Some lines (Tamagawa Line) are not included. For the limited express section, an additional limited express fare and seat reservation ticket is required.
Take Laview at Ikebukuro Station
A newly developed train designed by the world-renowned architect Kazuyo Sejima, winner of the prestigious Pritzker Prize. The Laview will be the flagship train of SEIBU RAILWAY for the next 100 years; hence Ms Sejima was asked to create a design that no one has ever seen before. The new train series was named the 001, a reverse of 100, with 00 symbolizing infinity (∞), which means ‘many possibilities’. The grey aluminium exterior was designed to seamlessly blend into the urban and natural landscapes. Large windows were built to create a homey atmosphere, and passengers can witness panoramic sceneries. Meanwhile, the interior is furnished with lounge seats painted in warm yellow to create a comforting ambience akin to your own living room. Facilities include multi-function restrooms, powder room, Wi-Fi, electric outlets on seats, wheelchair space, and a separate lavatory for women, a first on Seibu trains.
SEIBU RAILWAY’s Original Animation – Chichibu de Buchichi
Chichibu is one of Saitama’s top tourist attractions. Seibu Railway, one of the train lines connecting Tokyo to Chichibu, produced an original anime set in Chichibu called Chichibu de Buchichi. The script was written by Taku Kishimoto, who is also the scriptwriter for the popular sports anime Haikyu!, and produced by TMS Entertainment (Dr Stone and Yowamushi Pedal). The anime features Chichibu’s stunning locations. It is an excellent reference to sneak a peek at Chichibu’s charming attractions while enjoying the storyline at the same time.
Lunch at Matsuri no Yu
Delight in the unique taste of authentic Chichibu cuisine at Matsuri no Yu. Ingredients are locally sourced, so you won’t find this taste anywhere else. Chichibu signature dishes such as the waraji katsudon (the Chichibu version of pork cutlet), soba noodles with walnut sauce, miso potato, or miso pork bowl will surely satisfy your palate.
Rent a bicycle at Seibu-Chichibu Station
Located just outside Seibu-Chichibu Station, Chichibu’s information centre provides multi-lingual pamphlets highlighting all the must-see places in Chichibu. If you specifically want the Anime Set Location Pilgrimage or Seichi Junrei, they have three maps to choose from.
Chichibu Tourist Information Centre
The most convenient way to explore Chichibu is to rent a bicycle at the Chichibu Tourist Information Centre. A regular bicycle will only cost 300 yen for an hour. Renting it for longer periods is a lot cheaper too – 500 yen for 3 hours or 1,000 yen for eight hours. The minimum age requirement to rent is 13 years old, and a valid ID is required. Daily opening hours are from 9:00 to 17:00, excluding second and fourth Mondays.
Explore real-life anime locations
Chichibu is also the set location for Ano Hana’s anime (The Flower We Saw That Day), which was also turned into a movie. We recommend renting a bicycle for three hours. Using a tour map from the tourist centre, you can easily explore the beautiful sights in the area. Several spots were featured in the Ano Hana anime, such as the Seibu-Chichibu Station itself, the old Chichibu bridge, the temple, and Hitsujiyama Park.
Old Chichibu Bridge
The Old Chichibu Bridge was used as the background for the key visual poster of Ano Hana and two other anime titles of the same production team. It is a historical icon of Chichibu and was designated as a tangible cultural property of Saitama Prefecture. The bridge provides a spectacular view of the Arakawa River and the mountains.
The temple is where the Ano Hana characters played hide-and-seek as kids and the place where they expressed their feelings about Menma (Main character) with each other. Both fans and regular visitors flock to the votive tablets area, where you’ll find unique illustrations of wishes and prayers.
The Hitsujiyama Park is a treat because it provides two different sceneries – the north overlooks the city while the south has the Shibazakura (moss pink) Hill.
Other anime series featured Chichibu as its set location, namely, The Anthem of the Heart (Kokoro ga Sakebitagatterunda) and Her Blue Sky (Sora no Aosa wo Shiru Hito yo). It would be a good opportunity to further explore the sights in Chichibu.
*Some locations featured in the series are private property or restricted areas. Kindly follow the rules enforced for all locations (i.e., no photography, off-limits, etc.)
*When cycling, obey the traffic rules and be considerate of others.
Hot Springs at Matsuri No Yu
After a day of strolling around Chichibu, you’ll definitely need a refresher, and the onsen is the perfect way to rejuvenate your tired body. Matsuri no Yu (Hot Spring) provides various bathing facilities such as an outdoor bath, soda bath, bedrock bath, silky water bath, and sauna. There is also a lounge area with comfortable reclining chairs equipped with its own TV. If you would like to buy some souvenirs, there is a souvenir shop highlighting Chichibu delicacies and unique trinkets. Sit back and enjoy the relaxing ambience before you catch the train home.
Board the Laview train at Seibu-Chichibu Station
Arrival at Ikebukuro Station
Chichibu and Nagatoro offer stunning sceneries that change with each season. In summer, you can go river rafting along the Arakawa River, having intricate rock formations. Autumn foliage brings fiery hues of red and yellow, while the famous night festival is celebrated in winter. On the other hand, spring gives birth to colourful flora. Enjoy the variety of Japanese nature that's only a day trip away from Tokyo.
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