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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.