Sailor Moon enthusiasts, get ready for an extraordinary quest that will transport you into the enchanting world of this beloved manga and anime series. We’re embarking on an anime pilgrimage trip to uncover the real-life Tokyo locations that inspired Sailor Moon’s captivating universe!
Prepare to wander through the vibrant streets of Azabu-Juban, where the beautiful homes of the characters spring to life before your eyes. Marvel at the majestic beauty of Tokyo Tower, a symbol that ignites memories of Sailor Moon’s thrilling adventures. Join us on this exhilarating journey as we immerse ourselves in the magic and wonder that inspired the legendary Sailor Moon series.
As mentioned earlier, we are going to be looking at one of the most used places in Sailor Moon, Azabu-Juban, 麻布十番, the natural world location of the fictional life of Sailor Moon’s protagonist, Usagi Tsukino.
Azabu, 麻布, is a cosmopolitan area with nine residential districts in the Minato Ward in Tokyo. Minato Ward is also where YumeTwins’ headquarters are! Azabu is trendy, with many shopping areas, good food, and beautiful sites to see. Azabu-Juban is one of those nine residential districts in Azabu and is where Usagi lives and goes to school. Coincidentally it is also where Sailor Moon creator Naoko Takeuchi lives as well.
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According to Go Tokyo, Azabu-Juban describes “an upscale neighborhood with a downtown vibe.” Many beautiful neighborhoods go into high price ranges. The area also houses many foreign embassies, so it is pretty multicultural!
Ms. Takeuchi included many real-world locations from Azabu in the Sailor Moon series. While some are direct copies, some names and the kanji have been altered slightly.
This subway station and transportation hub were kept the same in the Sailor Moon universe. This is an actual subway station you can take going in and out of the area daily. Azabu-Juban Station is about 15 minutes away from the famous Shibuya Station.
Another location in Azabu that appears in the series is the school that Usagi attends, Juban Middle School and Juban Municipal High School. Neither of these schools exists, but there is an Azabu Junior and Senior High School in the Azabu District.
This real-life school is an all-boys private prep school with a highly competitive entrance rate. Considering Usagi’s reputation for low grades, her chances of attending the school, even if it was co-ed, were very slim.
Within Theeal Azabu Hikawa Shrine, where is within Azabu the fictional Sailor Mars or Rei Hino works and lives. Located in another one of the nine residential districts, Motoazabu, Azabu Hikawa Shrine is a Shinto Shrine with a history that dates back to 938.
In the series, Sailor Guardian Rei works as a shrine maiden at the Hikawa Shrine, which her grandfather manages. However, the name has been slightly altered for the Sailor Moon series.
In the real world, Hikawa uses these two kanji characters, 氷 and 川 for the name. 氷 read as “hi,” meaning ice, 川 read as “kawa,” meaning river, 神社.
This kanji change makes sense considering Sailor Mars’ fire powers and her own last name Hino, 火野, uses the same fire kanji character. However, the Sailor Moon series altered the first character, changing it from its original reading as “hi” to 火, which can also be read as “hi,” but with the meaning of fire.
Although we can not meet the real Rei Hino at this shrine, they do acknowledge their famous fictional worker at the shrine. To the right of the honden, or the main building where the god is kept, is a small stall where you can buy omikuji (sacred lots). They hung a small Sailor Mars plushie in the stall window for visitors. Sakuraco has a guide to Shinto shrines in Japan for those who would like more information about the sacred world.
Tokyo Tower is the most famous location and tourist attraction featured in Sailor Moon. To be honest, Tokyo Tower does appear in almost every media set in Tokyo. Sailor Moon predates the construction of Tokyo SkyTree, which held the title of the tallest broadcasting tower in Japan during its completion.
Back in the day, Tokyo Tower had big plans! It wanted to be a high-tech broadcasting hub and a flashy symbol of Japan’s progress. With a centralized broadcasting system and a towering presence, it aimed to wow the world with its technological prowess!
Since then, it has solidified itself along with Mount Fuji and cherry blossoms as symbols of Japanese culture. On a clear, beautiful day, visit the observation decks 150 meters and 250 meters above ground level.
Want more Sailor Moon places to visit during your next trip to Japan? Ensure you also check out the YumeTwins tour of The Sailor Moon Store in Harajuku, Tokyo. The flagship store is next to the famous Meiji Shrine, dedicated to Emperor Meiji.
What places are you hoping to go to when you visit Japan?
Kawaii culture lover since birth, I am beyond excited to share my passion for cute with the world!
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