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Real existing places of Maison Ikkoku in Higashikurume

Maison Ikkoku is a manga and anime firstly published in 1980 by Rumiko Takahashi, one of the most beautiful and exciting I've ever watched/read.
The "house" where the main characters live and many other places and streets frequently drawn both in the anime and manga are set in Higashikurume, a suburban neighborhood northwest of Tokyo where apparently the author lived at that time, but there are single episodes set in other places.

Index Places in Higashikurume
How to get to Higashikurume and map of Maison Ikkoku places
Other places (Tokyo, Yokohama, Ikaho, Niigata)

Higashikurume (Tokyo)

Unfortunately, many years have passed and more and more years will pass since time goes in one direction, then all the "views" of the neighborhood that can be found in Maison Ikkoku are gradually disappearing or changing.
In this article I will talk about both of those still existing that I have personally seen with my own eyes, and those which have now disappeared but about which I found some information on the Internet.

The station of Higashikurume

In Maison Ikkoku the station was called "Tokeizaka", a fictitious name because a station with that name has never existed.
The NORTH exit of Higashikurume station until 2008 was the same of the one seen in the manga, as you can see in the photos below (in the anime is a bit different).
In 2008 the demolition and rebuilding started and made the station unrecognizable. The day before the beginning of works, in honor of Maison Ikkoku the sign of the station was changed only for that day from "Higashikurume" to "Tokeizaka", as witnessed by this japanese article.
vecchia uscita nord stazione di higashikurume tokyo uguale a tokeizaka maison ikkoku La vecchia uscita nord (nord exit) della stazione di Higashikurume, uguale alla stazione Tokeizaka del manga, oggi non esiste più
nuova uscita nord stazione di higashikurume tokyo L'attuale uscita nord (nord exit) della stazione di Higashikurume

The public telephone

Facing the north exit of the station, a little to the right, until recently there was a telephone famous because with it Godai was speaking with his friend Sakamoto while he met for the first time Kozue. This scene exists in both the anime (episode n.12) and the manga (chapter 15).
I was sure to find the phone (I had seen recent pictures), but when I went to Higashikurume the phone was gone, now there is a big Family mart konbini.
godai e kozue telefono maison ikkoku manga godai parla al telefono maison ikkoku manga
godai e kozue telefono maison ikkoku anime godai parla al telefono maison ikkoku anime La scena di Godai al telefono con Sakamoto e il primo incontro con Kozue nel manga e nell'anime
telefono pubblico higashikurume nel 1997 Il telefono ad Higashikurume in una foto del 1997

The cha cha maru

The Cha cha maru is the pub that appears many times both in the anime and manga, where Akemi works as waitress and where the characters often go to drink and have parties. According to the japanese sources I used, the old building that Rumiko Takahashi used as a model for the pub is this building you can see below, that in the past really was a pub, although the similarities are very unclear. Not much the building itself (renovated several times) but also the location has little in common with what you see in the series, the Cha cha maru is infact always represented on the top of a hill or after a slope, while the building photographed below is located in plain, a short walk from Higashikurume station.
edificio modello pub chachamaru tokeizaka maison ikkoku L'edificio com'è oggi, fotografato da me
edificio pub chachamaru higashikurume nel 1988 maison ikkoku tokeizaka edificio pub chachamaru higashikurume nel 2000 maison ikkoku tokeizaka Due foto storiche prese da siti giapponesi, l'edificio immortalato nel 1988 e nel 2000
edificio pub chachamaru higashikurume maison ikkoku tokeizaka edificio pub chachamaru higashikurume maison ikkoku tokeizaka Altre due vecchie foto dello stesso edificio (periodo sconosciuto)
pub chachamaru manga maison ikkoku tokeizaka pub chachamaru anime maison ikkoku tokeizaka Il pub Cha Cha Maru nel manga e nell'anime

The public bath

It is a public bath-house (sento) where the characters often go since there are no shower rooms inside the Maison Ikkoku.
Rumiko Takahashi used a real existing public bath in Higashikurume as model for this place.
maison ikkoku sento maison ikkoku sento maison ikkoku sento Il bagno pubblico (sento) Nezame-yu nell'anime e nel manga
sento bagno pubblico higashikurume 1997 Vecchia foto del 1997 del bagno pubblico di Higashikurume
sento bagno pubblico higashikurume sento bagno pubblico higashikurume Foto recenti del bagno pubblico ad Higashikurume, è ancora lo stesso

The level crossing

Some minutes far on foot west of Higashikurume station, there is a crossing level similar to the one that can be seen both in the anime and the manga. A famous episode is the one where Soichiro (Kyoko's dog) runs away while Kintaro is walking him and then the train passes, so the dog gets lost.
passaggio a livello nel manga maison ikkoku soichiro scappa a kintaro nel passaggio a livello manga maison ikkoku Il passaggio a livello nel manga
sento bagno pubblico higashikurume sento bagno pubblico higashikurume Foto recenti da me scattate del passaggio a livello (il cartello blu si trova dall'altro lato rispetto al manga)
maison ikkoku passaggio a livello maison ikkoku passaggio a livello maison ikkoku passaggio a livello Il passaggio a livello nel 1987 (prima foto) e nel 1997

The street next to the railway

The street after the level crossing that goes parallel to the rail tracks heading west, was often traveled by Godai and led to the hill where the Maison Ikkoku was located (in the series), this hill really exists.
maison ikkoku ferrovia maison ikkoku ferrovia maison ikkoku ferrovia Strada lungo la ferrovia e treno che passa
strada lungo la ferrovia nel manga di maison ikkoku Godai che cammina per questa strada nel manga col treno dietro

The river

Continuing to walk, at a certain point (less than two minutes on foot) both the road and the adjacent railway pass over a small river, the Meguro kawa, which is also represented several times in Maison Ikkoku.
incrocio strada ferrivia fiume ad higashikurume maison ikkoku maison ikkoku manga godai walking in bridge over the river L'incrocio tra strada, fiume e ferrovia nella realtà (foto 1997) e nel manga
incrocio strada ferrivia fiume ad higashikurume maison ikkoku maison ikkoku manga godai walking in bridge over the river Il fiume guardando verso sud (a sinistra) e verso nord (a destra)
godai calcia pietra in riva al fiume Godai calcia pietra in riva al fiume (ponte ferrovia sullo sfondo) nel manga
edificio su fiume higashikurume maison ikkoku higashikurume ponte visto da fiume maison ikkoku edificio su fiume higashikurume maison ikkoku Foto del luogo disegnato nel manga nell'immagine precedente, risalendo per qualche metro il fiume verso nord

Higashikurume Hill

Actually there is a "hill" in Higashikurume, but it is much less high than as it seems in Maison Ikkoku. It can be easily reached going straight ahead after crossing the river (see the map to get a better idea).
In this area there are only single-family houses, is a typical residential area of Tokyo.
I don't know if actually there ever was a building like the Maison Ikkoku or it is totally product of imagination of Takahashi. It might be existed and could be demolished, like many "old" buildings in Tokyo.
collina maison ikkoku anime al tramonto Vista nell'anime
vista da collina di higashikurume nel 1987 Vista dalla collina di Higashikurume nel 1987
vista da collina di higashikurume higashikurume hill
higashikurume hill higashikurume hill higashikurume hill salendo e girovagando per la collina di Higashikurume

Tennis courts

Going up north the street next to the river (rather than going straight up the hill), after a few minutes on the left you can find a tennis school with fields surrounded by railings, the same behind which Godai often looked at Kyoko playing tennis. As you probably already understood, I'm talking about the tennis school of Mitaka-san.

higashikurume tennis school cesame tokyo higashikurume tennis school cesame tokyo
higashikurume tennis school cesame tokyo higashikurume tennis school cesame tokyo "Cesame Tennis School" ad Higashikurume
maison ikkoku manga tennis school mitaka kyoko godai maison ikkoku manga tennis school mitaka kyoko godai
scuola di tennis mitaka maison ikkoku godai dietro ringhiera scuola di tennis maison ikkoku mitaka e kyoko Scuola di tennis del maestro Mitaka nel manga e nell'anime



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Author: Davide Lee