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Katsushika Captain Tsubasa and KochiKame

STORY

 

Adult and Kid Friendly! Meet Popular Anime and Manga Characters in Katsushika, Tokyo

 

 
 
Two of the things that most people connect to Japan are anime and manga. These works are often based on real places in Japan. One of those places is Katsushika City in Tokyo, where fans can enter the universe of two world-famous series: Captain Tsubasa and Kochira Katsushikaku Kamearikoenmae Hashutsujo

Going on an anime pilgrimage in Katsushika can be a lot of fun, especially for kids. What's more, while touring your favorite series' holy spots you will discover the charm of Tokyo's shitamachi (the old merchant and craftsmen town), enjoy some tasty local food and experience Japan's unique traditions.

This one-day tour plan will take you to all the main spots connected with Captain Tsubasa and KochiKame. All the activities are kid-friendly, but can also be enjoyed by adults. Follow the tour or just use it as inspiration for your trip!

 

Katsushika sumo training, Kochikame, Captain Tsubasa

 

 

 

 8:00 a.m. Shibamata Station 

Experiences Unique to Japan! Watch the Sumo Morning Training

Katsushika City is well known for the Shibamata Taishakuten Temple (Daikyoji), and the retro atmosphere of the Taishakuten Sando Road.
 

Shibamata Station

 

Shibamata Taishakuten sando

 

However, there is something else special here that will allow you to start your tour with a unique Japanese experience. At the Azumazeki Beya (東関部屋) here in Shibamata you can watch actual sumo wrestlers training. The trainings are from 8:00am to around 10:30am and a reservation is not necessary. However, we recommend to call before you visit to make sure they are training and open to the public on that day, as their schedule and availability changes.

When you arrive at the building you'll see two intercoms. Simply ring the one labeled "東関部屋" and a staff member will let you in and show you to the training room.
 

Azumazeki Beya

 

Azumazeki Beya

 

Upon entering, take off your shoes and open the sliding door to your left. It leads directly into the arena!
 
Sumo morning training at Azumazeki Beya, Katsushika

The real charm of watching a training comes from the wrestlers and no words can do it justice. Sitting so close to them you can feel the impact when they collide, hear their intense breathing and even see their sweat. It's a powerful sight that needs to be experienced in person.
 
Sumo morning training at Azumazeki Beya, Katsushika

Of course there are some rules to make sure the wrestlers can train undisturbed. Visitors should refrain from taking pictures, eating or drinking, and talking or murmuring while in the arena. Also, please don't stretch out your legs into the training space (yes, you're that close to the ring!). In addition, if it is flue season, visitors are asked to wear a mask (you can buy one in any supermarket, convenience store or drugstore). 
 
Sumo morning training at Azumazeki Beya, Katsushika

This tour is an experience you can't easily find outside of Japan. This is a great first-stop on your tour, for both parents and kids. It's also a great way to experience sumo if you don't have the chance to see a professional sumo tournament.
 

Information

Azumazeki Beya | 東関部屋
Address: 2-10-13 Shibamata, Katsushika-ku, Tokyo
Morning training hours: 8:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. (Varies depending on the day. Please check in advance)
Days open to visitors: please check in advance
*Visits are not allowed during the official sumo tournament period (January, March, May, July, September, November). In addition, visits might not be possible in other occasions such as when they are training in a different place.
*Space is limited and admission may be refused due to over capacity.
Phone: 03-5876-5713 (Japanese only)
Website (Japanese-only): http://www.azumazeki.jp/
After seeing the morning sumo training, head back toward Shibamata Station and take a walk around Shibamata. Pay a visit to the Shibamata Taishakuten Temple (Daikyoji) and enjoy some street food from Taishakuten Sando Road.
⇒ Read more about Shibamata here!
 

 

 

 10:30 a.m. Kameari Station 

Meet Ryo-San from KochiKame!

With your early morning spent enjoying Shibamata, move on to Kameari with a short 10 minute trip on the train. From Shibamata Station take the Keisei Kanamachi Line to Kanamachi (about 3 minutes) then transfer to the JR line towards Kameari Station (another 3 minutes). Kameari is the real-life place for the popular manga and anime Kochira Katsushikaku Kamearikoenmae Hashutsujo. This series ran for 40 years in the "Weekly Shonen Jump" magazine and won the Guinness World Record for "Most volumes published for a single manga series" with 200 published volumes. 

From the JR Kameari Station, take the South Exit and Ryo-san will be there to greet you with his colleagues Nakagawa and Reiko!

 

Kochikame statues, Kameari, Katsushika

Dotted across the town are a total of 15 bronze statues of the KochiKame characters. They are nearly life-sized and make for great picture spots. You can pick up a map of all the statues from the JR Kameari Station and the Kameari Ginza Shopping Street (Youroad) Service Counter.
 
Kochikame statues, Kameari, Katsushika
Kochikame statues, Kameari, Katsushika
Kochikame Ryo-san statue, Kameari, Katsushika
Kochikame statues map in Kameari

Only 2 minutes by foot from the North Exit of JR Kameari Station is a playground. Along with slides and swings for the kids to enjoy, there are statues of Ryo-san waiting for you.
 

Kochikame statues, Kameari, Katsushika

 

Kochikame statues, Kameari, Katsushika

If you want to go on a hunt for all the statues, you should plan for about an hour and a half to see them all.

 

 11:30am Kameari Shopping Street "Youroad" 

Grabbing Some Snacks at Kameari's Shopping Street "Youroad"

Facing Kameari Station's South Exit is the shopping street "Youroad". Lined with all kinds of restaurants and sweets shops, this is the perfect place for some street food or a meal. Furthermore, if you come on a Sunday from 12:00 to 3:00 p.m. you'll encounter Ryo-san and his comrades patrolling the streets!
 
 
Ryo-san from Kochikame in Kameari

All across the shopping street are exclusive KochiKame goods only sold in Kameari.

 

Kochikame souvenirs in Kameari, Katsushika

 

■ Delicious Lunch and Sweets in a Japanese Sweets Shop

Along Youroad is a shop called Iseya that is popular for their Japanese sweets like dango and daifuku. They also sell KochiKame themed sweets that are unique to this store. We highly recommend the Ryo-san Dorayaki (a pancake-like sweet). It comes filled with sweet azuki beans (172 yen) or chestnut (216 yen).

 

Iseya sweets shop, Youroad, Kameari

 

Iseya sweets shop, Youroad, Kameari Ryo-san dorayaki

 

You can enjoy some sweets or a full meal in Iseya's cafeteria space. Along with the katsuju (Japanese pork cutlet) and ramen, there are also children's sets available. 
 
Katsuju at Iseya, Kameari, Katsushika

Katsuju, Japanese pork cutlet 799 yen

Ramen and anmitsu set at Iseya, Kameari, Katsushika

Ramen and anmitsu (a Japanese dessert) Set 756 yen

Lunch at Iseya, Kameari, Katsushika

Order different items and share with everyone!

Information

Katsushika Iseya Kameari Main Store | 葛飾 伊勢屋亀有本店
Address:
3-32-1 Kameari, Katsushika-ku, Tokyo
Opening hours: 8:30 a.m. -  8:15 p.m.
Holidays: Once a month on Tuesday, irregular
Website (Japanese-only): http://www.asahi-net.or.jp/~wy8s-stu/index.html

 

 

■ Delicious Take-Out Eel from a Long-Established Shop

Founded over 70 years ago in Youroad shopping street, Unagi Kawakame is at take-out only store. Their famous unagi no kabayaki (grilled eel in a sweet sauce) is prepared for you right at the front of the store. It will make your mouth water just looking at it.
 
Unagi Kawakame in Youroad, Katsushika

 

The shop's signature item is the unagi tanzaku kushi (324 yen each), finely sliced eel grilled to perfection. They also offer a wide variety of other take-out dishes. The eel is carefully prepared by master craftsmen, so it is safe to eat for children as well.
 

Grilled eel at Unagi Kawakame

 

Grilled unagi eel at Unagi Kawakame, Katsushika

Information

Unagi Kawakame | うなぎ 川亀
Address:
3-21-7 Kameari, Katsushika-ku, Tokyo
Hours: 10:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. (or until sold out)
Holidays: Wednesday

 

 

If You Have Time, Enjoy Kameari Even Deeper

■Meet Captain Tsubasa and Ryo-San at Kameari's Katori Shrine

Kameari's most historic shine, Kameari Katori Shrine, is only a  3-minute walk from JR Kameari Station. It's a popular spot for KochiKame fans as here you can find a statue of Ryo-san and an original Ryo-san map of Kameari.
 
Kameari Katori Shrine
Kameari Katori Shrine
Praying at Kameari Katori Shrine
 
Here you can find the traditional ema (wooden plaques where people write their prayers) with characters from Captain Tsubasa and KochiKame.
 

Kochikame ema at Kameari Katori Shrine

 

Captain Tsubasa ema at Kameari Katori Shrine

Among the deities enshrined here are the god of leg and lower back health, and the god of sports. So it seems only right that the shrine's ema plaques are decorated with football(soccer)-themed images of Kojiro Hyuga and Tsubasa Ozora from the manga series Captain Tsubasa!
 

Information

Kameari Katori Shrine | 亀有香取神社
Address:
3-42-24, Kameari, Katsushika-ku, Tokyo
Visiting hours: open 24 hours (Shrine office hours: 9:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. in summer, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. in winter)
Website (Japanese-only): https://www.kameari-katori.or.jp/
 

■Ario Kameari's KochiKame Game Center

Standing right next to Kameari Katori Shrine is the shopping mall Ario Kameari. Inside you'll find a game center themed after KochiKame, the KochiKame Game Park. Step into the world of KochiKame with the full-scale recreation of the police station in front of Kameari Park featured in the series!
 
KochiKame Game Park
KochiKame Game Park
KochiKame Game Park
KochiKame Game Park
KochiKame Game Park

KochiKame Game Park has a wide variety of games such as crane games, medal games and children rides. Our absolute top recommendation is the KochiKame version of Whac-A-Mole (100 yen) and senja-fuda (stickers that you can personalize with your name, 300 yen), only available here!
 

Ryo-san whac-a-mole at KochiKame Game Park

 

Senja-fuda at KochiKame Game Park

Information

Ario Kameari KochiKame Game Park | アリオ亀有「こち亀ゲームぱ~く」
Address:
Ario Kameari Ario Mall 3F, 3-49-3 Kameari, Katsushika-ku, Tokyo
Opening hours: 10:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m. (Subject to change)
Holidays: No holidays (follows the schedule of Ario Kameari)
Website (Japanese-only): https://www.kochikame-gamepark.jp/

 

From Kameari Take a Bus to Tateishi and Yotsugi, the Lands of Captain Tsubasa!

Continue your pilgrimage by heading off to Tateishi and Yotsugi, two neighborhoods famous for Captain Tsubasa. While you can take a train, a bus will take you there directly in only 30 minutes without having to transfer. 

From JR Kameari Station South Exit, find the bus stop N.2 right next to the KochiKame colored statues. Take the Keisei Bus heading to Shinkoiwa Station Tohoku Hiroba (新小岩駅東北広場).
 
Kameari Station bus stop

In about 30 minutes you will get to the Katsushika City Office (葛飾区役所) bus stop. Get off here and head to your next pilgrimage spot, the home of Captain Tsubasa.
 

How to ride the local bus

Getting on and off the bus is easier than you think. Give it a try when moving around Katsushika City.

- Get on at the front and get off at the back.
- Pay the fare when you get on the bus with cash or your IC card (Suica or Pasmo)
- Information is displayed in English, Chinese, and Korean on the notice board inside the bus.
- When you hear the announcement for " "Katsushika Kuyakusho" (Katsushika City Office/葛飾区役所) simply press the button to request a stop.
Click here for more details on how to ride the Keisei buses.
How to ride the local bus
Source: Keisei Bus Official Website

 

 

 2:30 p.m. Tateishi-Katsushika City Office 

Searching for Captain Tsubasa

Yoichi Takahashi, the original author of the manga Captain Tsubasa is from Yotsugi, Katsushika City. His works caused a major football boom in the 1980s and many bronze statues of Captain Tsubasa have been constructed in the area. After a 30-minute bus ride from Kameari Station, get off at the Katsushika City Office bus stop and walk about 3 minutes to the Tokyo Toritsu Minamikatsushika High School. The fictional city of Nankatsu where Captain Tsubasa spent his elementary and middle school years is based on this area. In front of the school's gate there is a statue where you can recreate the famous Twin Shot with Captain Tsubasa!

 

Captain Tsubasa Twin Shot statue, Tateishi

The statues feature many scenes from the manga and will make you feel like you're inside it. Each of them is made with vivid details, like the  Genzo Wakabayashi statue in Tateishi Michihiroba Square (left picture) and the Tsubasa Ozora statue in the Tateishi 1-chome playground (right picture). If you're a fan, this will surely bring back some nostalgia. 
 
Genzo Wakabayashi statue in Tateishi Michihiroba Square (left picture) and the Tsubasa Oozora statue in the Tateishi 1-chome playground (right picture)

From Tateishi we move to our next destination, Yotsugi, which is only one train station away. Before getting on the Keisei Electric Railway, don't forget to take a picture of the signboard in front of the station. 
 
Captain Tsubasa signboard at Tateishi Station


 15:30 Keisei Oshiage Line Yotsugi Station 

Captain Tsubasa's Station

Yotsugi Station was just recently renovated in March 2019. The word "decorated" is an understatement here. The whole station is literally covered in Captain Tsubasa art and many fans are rushing to see it. The moment the train doors open you'll understand why.

The station platform, stairs, ticket gates, everywhere features characters from the popular series. The ticket gate floor has been entirely repainted to look like a football field with pictures on the floor and walls, and when you look up at the ceiling you'll see a huge Tsubasa performing his overhead kick. You'll feel like you're actually at the game. 
 
Captain Tsubasa in Yotsugi Station
Captain Tsubasa in Yotsugi Station
Captain Tsubasa soccer field in Yotsugi Station
Captain Tsubasa overhead kick in Yotsugi Station

Inside the station are also several displays. Along with statues there are signed uniforms and balls, and Captain Tsubasa-themed train ticket art.
 

Captain Tsubasa displays in Yotsugi Station

 

Captain Tsubasa train ticket art in Yotsugi Station

 

To commemorate your visit, you can purchase some unique and limited Captain Tsubasa items from the FamilyMart located in front of Yotsugi Station. Sports towels (1,620 yen) featuring the goal keeper Genzo Wakabayashi and Captain Tsubasa Sable cookies (650 yen) in the shape of a football are on sale. 
*Available until sold out
 

Captain Tsubasa towel at FamilyMart in Yotsugi

 

Captain Tsubasa cookies at FamilyMart in Yotsugi

 

Aside from Captain Tsubasa, Yotsugi and Tateishi are also known for their unique retro feel. From smoky grilled meat restaurants to Japan's classic Izakaya pubs, many cheap and delicious eateries can be found here. Be sure to take in the atmosphere and enjoy some local specialties while in the area.

⇒ Read more about Katsushika here:
    The Taste of Downtown Tokyo: Discovering Shitamachi Food in Katsushika
 
Captain Tsubasa in Yotsugi Station
  

 

A Kid-Friendly Trip: Katsushika City, the Sacred Place of Anime

Both parents and kids can enjoy Katsushika City, the holy land of anime. The friendliness of Tokyo's old town is unique and fans of Captain Tsubasa and KochiKame will enjoy the spots. There is a lot to see and all generations can enjoy the trip. So, when you are travelling to Tokyo, come visit Katsushika!
 
  • Katsushika one-day model course
    Visiting the holy land of anime with kids

  • ■8:00 a.m. Shibamata Station (time needed: about 2 hours)
  • ↓Walk 5 minutes
  • ・Shibamata Taishakuten, Taishakuten Sando
  • ↓Walk 10 minutes
  • ・Azumazeki Beya morning sumo training
  • ↓Train 30 minutes
  • ■10:30 a.m. Kameari Station (time needed: about 3.5 hours)
  • ↓Walk 5 minutes
  • ・Kameari KochiKame statues tour
  • ↓Walk 5 minutes
  • ・Kameari Shopping Street "Youroad"
  •  
  • ☆If you have time...☆
  • ・Kameari Katori Shrine
  • ・KochiKame Game Park in Ario Kameari shopping mall
  •  
  • ↓Bus 30 minutes
  • ■2:30 p.m. Tateishi Captain Tsubasa statues tour (time needed: about 1 hour)
  • ↓Get off at Katsushika Kuyakusho (Katsushika City Office) bus stop, walk 5 minutes
  • ・ Tokyo Toritsu Minamikatsushika High School, Captain Tsubasa Twin Shot statue
  • Walk 5 minutes
  • ・Genzo Wakabayashi statue in Tateishi Michihiroba Square
  • Walk 5 minutes
  • ・ Tsubasa Ozora statue in the Tateishi 1-chome playground
  • ↓Walk 3 minutes
  • ・Keisei Tateishi Station
  • ↓ Train 3 minutes
  • ■3:30 p.m. Yotsugi Station (time needed: about 1 hour)
  • ・Yotsugi Station's Captain Tsubasa decorations


*The above article is based on information from June 2019.
*All listed prices are tax-inclusive. Prices and information may change, or may not be available due to seasonal or temporary closures.

© OSAMU AKIMOTO,ATELIER BEEDAMA/SHUEISHA
© YOICHI TAKAHASHI/SHUEISHA
© YOICHI TAKAHASHI/SHUEISHA, 2018CAPTAIN TSUBASA COMMITTEE 

 

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THIS ARTICLE IS BASED ON INFORMATION FROM 08 07,2019 Author:DiGJAPAN! Editorial Team

 

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