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Japan has made its mark on the world through its various animations, also known as anime. Aside from the storylines, anime is well known for its beautiful illustrations of landscapes and scenery. Luckily for fans, much of this scenery is based on real-life places that you can visit in Japan.
Hakone is located an hour and a half south of Tokyo, and is most famous for its shrine that seems to be built within a lake. One of Japan’s most famous TV animes, Neon Genesis Evangelion, takes place in the future—and believe it or not, Hakone is illustrated as Tokyo-III in the show. Lake Ashi and Hakone Shrine are even seen in some scenes from the anime. Because of Neon Genesis Evangelion, you will see many of the characters around the Hakone tourist spots, as well as in some convenience stores!
Kimi no Na Wa, or Your Name, is a popular anime movie that draws heavily on the architecture and landscape of Shinjuku city. If you get off at Yotsuya-Sanchome station, you will come across Suga Shrine. It is not the shrine itself that draws attention to tourists, but instead, it is the red rails on the stairs leading up to the shrine. This particular set of stairs has been said to inspire the main cover of Your Name, and is also where the two main characters meet for the first time. At the top of the stairs, you will find a shrine that is indeed beautiful. A few train stations away, you will see other familiar scenes from Your Name in Shinjuku.
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