One of the most iconic works when it comes to Japanese manga and anime is Detective Conan, created by manga artist Gosho Aoyama. Aoyama created a world of crime solving and mystery unparalleled by any other manga. It is no wonder that in its years of publication, fans from all over the world continue to adore and follow the story of Detective Conan.
In honor of the manga’s success, the town of Hokuei in Tottori Prefecture, the birthplace of Aoyama, was turned into a sort of “Detective Conan World.” Everywhere you go in Hokuei, you are bound to find something connected to Detective Conan. So if you are a fan of the mystery franchise, Hokuei is definitely the place to go. Here are five things you’ll see in “Conan Town”!
From the moment you arrive at Tottori Sand Dunes Conan Airport, you will be able to see manga characters everywhere – from posters to standees and even life-size statues! There are also interactive games that are, of course, Detective Conan themed.
If you are more into trains than planes, Hokuei has got you covered. They have a Conan-themed train that runs along the JR San’in Line in the prefectures of Tottori and Shimane. Of course, one of its stops is Yura Station aka “Conan Station.”
While at the station, you might want to stop at the gift shop for Detective Conan goods and books. You can also find information about Conan Street, the Conan Bridge, and the Gosho Aoyama Manga Factory here.
Statues of different sizes related to Conan are scattered all over what is called the Conan Street. There is a colored statue of Conan by the road, a statue of Shinichi at the town library leaning against a pillar like he’s waiting for you, and a replica of Professor Agasa’s car just outside the Gosho Aoyama Manga Factory. In total, there are 12 different bronze statues and 28 stone panels that can be found along the 1.4-kilometer Conan Street.
At the Conan Bridge, you can find an additional four bronze statues. If you would like to see all of the statues, there’s a map indicating their locations. Why not make a game out of it and try to find and take a picture with as many statues as you can?
In Hokuei, the Detective Conan fever does not stop with the statues. Building name signs, street signs, and even manhole covers are Conan themed! When they said Hokuei was going to be a Detective Conan world, they meant it. The town definitely went all out!
— 青山剛昌ふるさと館 (@gamf_staff) October 16, 2017
Speaking of going all out, a visit to Conan Town will not be complete without going to the Gosho Aoyama Manga Factory. It is called a “factory” but it is actually a museum that opened in 2007 to showcase Aoyama’s manga works. Aside from Aoyama’s manga, there are also other exhibits as well as interactive games and quizzes.
While you roam around, you will be hearing Detective Conan theme songs playing in the background. There’s also a souvenir shop if you would like to purchase more Detective Conan goods.
For Detective Conan fans, the town of Hokuei really is a must-see in Japan. There are a lot of opportunities for picture taking and a lot of interactive games. Also, the fact that you have to roam around to see all the attractions is a definite plus because it makes you feel like you’re a character in the manga. Besides, there’s nothing more fun than walking along a whole street dedicated to something you love!