Tokyo Anime Pilgrimage:
Ultimate Guide to Collecting Anime Goshuin Stamps in Tokyo

For all anime fans who want to embark on the ultimate anime pilgrimage in Tokyo while sightseeing at some of Tokyo’s best spots, this article is for you. Before diving into the actual locations, have you ever heard of the word “Goshuin”? Goshuin are red stamps that you can receive at shrines or temples in Japan, acting as a symbol connecting you with the gods. This article will introduce some Goshuin that you can receive at Tokyo anime pilgrimage locations, which are just a sample of the 88 memorial stamps implemented across the country by the Anime Tourism Association.

Needless to say, Japan is literally a heaven for all anime fans, with countless anime spots to visit. In particular, Tokyo has many must-visit locations. This article will introduce a 2-day itinerary that will take you to 4 popular anime locations, collecting Goshuin while also enjoying all of Tokyo’s sightseeing spots to the fullest!

Akihabara Area

Akihabara is considered an anime paradise, also being the location for popular anime such as “Love Live!” and “STEINS;GATE”.

Akihabara Urban Development X (UDX)
UDX is a multi-purpose building located on the north side of the JR Akihabara Station Electric Town Gate. It has an office space, restaurants, and a large event space where many manga and anime expos are held. UDX was the model for the building “UPX” that appeared in “STEINS;GATE”, and also can be seen in the first season of “Love Live!”.

Akihabara Center Street
The main street of Akihabara, numerous electronics shops, model figure shops, tax-free stores, and restaurants line the road. It is considered a symbol of Akihabara, encapsulating the atmosphere of the entire area with its brilliant neon lights and cosplayers. This townscape is recreated almost exact to real life, appearing in several episodes of “STEINS;GATE”.

Maid café Mai;lish
A few minutes away from Akihabara Station is the maid café Mai;lish. It is the model for the maid café May Queen | Nyan Nyan where Mayuri from “STEINS;GATE” worked. This café has a long history compared to other cafes in Akihabara, and it is often crowded with anime fans of “STEINS;GATE”.

Kanda Myoujin Shrine
If you continue walking down the road, you will come upon the traditional Kanda Myoujin Shrine, which makes appearances in the opening and ending sequences of “Love Live!”. After climbing up the Otokozaka stairs and entering the main shrine area, you can find anime characters painted on Ema, small wooden plaques on which visitors write wishes and prayers. Kanda Myoujin Shrine has a long history, believed to stretch back to the 8th century. The shrine has also preserved the tradition of the Kanda Matsuri, or Kanda Festival, which was one of the big 3 Shinto festivals in the Edo era.

Nowadays, Kanda Myoujin Shrine is not only a religiously sacred spot, but a famous, sacred spot for anime pilgrims as well. In addition to the anime Goshuin, the shrine also has held several anime-themed festivals and events in the past, matching anime songs with traditional Japanese festival dances. Even if you haven’t watched “Love Live!” yet, Kanda Myoujin Shrine is a great place to have a spiritual moment.

Additionally, next to the shrine is the Edo Culture Complex EDOCCO. This cultural hall boasts modern Japanese architecture and holds “Cool Japan” events where visitors can enjoy Japanese food and desserts. You can get both the “STEINS;GATE” and “Love Live!” Goshuin at the same time in front of the EDOCCO STUDIO on the B1F.

Heading towards the train station, you will pass the Shouhei Bridge that appears in both “STEINS;GATE” and “Love Live!” season 2. Built in the 17th century, Shouhei Bridge has weathered a lot throughout history, even surviving the Great Kanto earthquake of 1923. The view of the Kanda River from the bridge at night is very romantic.

Ueno Area

Leaving Akihabara, the next stop is Ueno. Once arriving at Nakaokachimachi station via the Tokyo Metro Hibiya line, there is a huge open-air market called Ameya Yokocho, or Ameyoko for short. The downtown atmosphere is alive and well here, with many street shops selling groceries and produce, as well as local, tasty restaurants.

A short walk away from Ameyoko is Ueno Park, featured in Chinese writer Lu Xun’s work. The park is home to several attractions, such as Tokyo National Museum, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, The Ueno Royal Museum and Ueno Zoological Gardens. In the middle of the park is a large fountain, where many stops to take photos.

Within Ueno Park there is the picturesque Shinobazu Pond, which also made an appearance in “Love Live!” You can perfectly recreate scenes from the anime, either by paying a fee to ride a swan boat to enjoy the view from the center of the pond , or sitting on a bench by the pondside and enjoying the sunset.

Ikebukuro Area

Ikebukuro, the main location of #Durarara!!” (or DRRR!!), is ruled by one of the main characters, Izaya Orihara, in the anime. This area is known as a place for the younger generation to hang out.

Sunshine 60 Street
Just a few minutes from the East Exit of JR Ikebukuro Station, you will find a musical note shaped monument. This is the rest note that appears in the opening of “Durarara!!”, and is on the way to Sunshine 60 Street. It is a representative landmark of the first episode of “Durarara!!”, where Mikado and Masaomi had a chat.

In Ikebukuro one can fulfill their anime pilgrimage and shopping needs at the same time. Book-lovers can head to Book Off, and the large commercial complex Sunshine City is also in the vicinity. Nearby there is also Nakaikebukuro Park, known as Otome Park to anime otaku, as well as the Animate Ikebukuro flagship store and Hareza Ikebukuro for those looking to buy anime goods or movie fans. Animate Ikebukuro will have a renewal opening in the spring of 2023!

In the area is also the Sunshine Aquarium and the Sky Circus Sunshine 60 Observatory, where you can enjoy a 360-degree panoramic view of Tokyo with all your senses.

Mutsumata Pedestrian Bridge
This bridge is featured in the opening sequence of “Durarara!!”, where Mikado, Masaomi and Anri are walking side by side. It crosses over the JR Yamanote line and features a great view of the Metropolitan Expressway. If you visit this spot near sunset, it is almost as if you’re in the opening sequence yourself.

Ikebukuro Nishiguchi Park
Heading back toward the Ikebukuro Station South Exit, you will find another anime location. Ikebukuro Nishiguchi Park is located next to the Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre. You can see the same owl statue and other landmarks that Mikado saw in the anime. The Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre is a large cultural center of the arts; the main hall has a capacity of around 2,000 people and throughout the year it holds many orchestra, theater, and opera events.

Close to Ikebukuro Nishiguchi Park is a tourism information center hosted by the Toshima City Tourism Association, also home to the Ikebukuro area Goshuin. You can also find the Global Ring Theatre. The theater was renewed as a part of an initiative to make Ikebukuro an international art and culture city. The open-architecture building has an impressive large screen, a surround-sound system, and five poles of LED lights that synchronize with the fountain in the plaza center. It is a must-see tourist spot!
After getting your Goshuin, head to the final destination on our trip: Koenji.

Koenji Area

Koenji area is known as one of the most comfortable places to live in Tokyo. With its unique secondhand clothing stores and cafes, this area is the main location of the anime “Accel World”. After leaving the station, the first place you should go to is Koenji Hikawa Shrine. Also known as the Weather Shrine, it is the only shrine in Japan that is related to the weather. This shrine is one of the main locations of an extremely popular anime movie. While visiting the shrine, it is best to pay for good weather throughout your stay in Tokyo.

Koenji Central Park
Koenji Park is about a four-minute walk from the South Exit of Koenji Station, and is where Takumu and Chiyuri visited in episode 13 of “Accel World”. The park is recreated in the anime almost perfectly. There are many tall trees in the park, making it a great place for locals and visitors alike to cool down.

Koenji Look Shopping Street
This shopping street appears in episode 4 of “Accel World”. Connecting Koenji Station to Shin-Koenji Station, there are many secondhand clothing stores, general stores and tea shops that line the road. In the anime, the street lights have been changed, and the arch lights that appear in the entrance in the anime have been removed in order to improve earthquake resistance.

Koenji Rikkyo Shita Intersection
In the very first episode of “Accel World”, Haruyuki walked across this intersection with childhood friends Takumu and Chiyuri. The anime usually recreates the places it features realistic to life, but in order to present a more futuristic view of the city, the stairs at the intersection were changed to an escalator.

Finally, get your Goshuin for the Suginami Ward at the Tokyo Polytechnic University Suginame Anime Museum. This location can be considered more as an amusement park for anime fans than a museum! Here you can learn about and experience firsthand the Japanese animation process, a must-stop for anime fans. Entrance is also free. Here you can also receive the final Goshuin of this guide.

This guide is only a basic introduction to Goshuin that you can collect while visiting Tokyo. There are many more Goshuin to be found in Tokyo. Please enjoy researching anime pilgrimage spots around Tokyo to make the most out of your trip!
*When visiting Tokyo, please check each location's official website for the latest information on opening hours, etc.

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