5 Things to Do in Azabu-juban, Tokyo for ‘Sailor Moon’ Fans

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  • When it comes to “magical girls” or “mahou shoujo,” most people would think of Sailor Moon (美少女戦士セーラームーン). All over the world, Sailor Moon has made a name for itself and the magical girl anime subgenre. In the series, a certain place is featured and it is said that it is the neighborhood where the story takes place. For Sailor Moon fans who plan on visiting Tokyo, Azabu-juban (麻布十番) is full of Sailor Moon references for you to explore!

    Azabu-juban is a neighborhood in the district of Azabu, Minato (港区麻布), Tokyo. It is considered as one of the most fashionable places in the city, bustling with activity, with lots of cafes and trendy fashion boutiques. Here are five things to do in the area!

    1. Take a photo at the Azabu-juban Station

    A post shared by Takanori Amaike (@t.amike) on

    In the anime, this station was called “Jyuuban Station (十番駅).” And while their names may be different, the real-life counterpart and the anime version are structurally similar. A keen eye for observation is needed if you will be comparing them. A photo here is highly recommended for Sailor Moon fans!

    Tokyo Metro Namboku Line: Azabu-juban Station Website
    Toei Subway Oedo Line: Azabu-juban Station Website
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    2. Stroll around the Arisugawa-no-miya Memorial Park (有栖川宮記念公園)

    A post shared by koki kuwahara (@koki_0127k) on

    If you can remember all the scenes in the series, then you would realize that a lot of them took place in this park! To name one, Usagi (うさぎ) and Mamoru (衛) often met by a clock that is located within the park.

    But aside from being part of a popular anime, this park is actually very historical as it was the urban villa of Minonokami Nambu (南部美濃守), a feudal lord. However, by 1896, it was acquired by the Arisugawa-no-miya family. In 1934, the family donated the place as a park.

    Arisugawa-no-miya Memorial Park Website
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    3. Visit the Hikawa Shrines (氷川神社)
    Akasaka Hikawa Shrine

    Sailor Moon fans can immediately recognize this place. This was where Rei Hino (火野レイ), aka Sailor Mars, worked as a miko (巫女; shrine maiden). This shrine also served as a meeting place for the Sailor Senshi.

    There are three Hikawa Shrines in Minato which are located in the districts of Azabu, Akasaka (赤坂), and Shirokane (白金). The shrine in the manga was inspired by the Azabu location, while the shrine in the anime was inspired by the Akasaka location.

    Azabu Hikawa Shrine Website *Automatic translation available
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    Akasaka Hikawa Shrine Website
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    4. Go shopping at Azabu-juban Shotengai (麻布十番商店街)

    The shotengai or shopping district at Azabu-juban is considered as one of the most popular traditional shopping districts in Tokyo. Like other shopping districts, this place is also filled with various shops and restaurants, with some having history from as early as the Edo (江戸) period.

    Like the Arisugawa-no-miya Memorial Park, the Azabu-juban Shotengai is also a place where a lot of events in the series took place. The shopping district was an official partner of the Sailor Moon exhibition at Roppongi Hills (六本木ヒルズ) which was held in 2016.

    Azabu-juban Shotengai Website *Automatic translation available
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    5. Relax at this little garden

    A post shared by ケン (@wwken629) on

    This garden is not that far away from the Azabu-juban Shotengai. Fans will recognize this garden as the place where Usagi first met Ami Mizuno (水野亜美) or Sailor Mercury!

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    To you, the Sailor Moon fan who has read this article, make sure to include Azabu-juban in your itinerary! Spending a day here and visiting the places you have seen in the series is a great way to reminisce. Also, even without the Sailor Moon references, this neighborhood is filled with other interesting places and things to do that can keep you occupied.

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