When in Shibuya, you can’t miss the Hachiko Statue right in front of the station. Don’t forget to take a photograph with it.
Hachiko Statue - image © Florentyna Leow
Of all the attractions in Shibuya, perhaps none are as frequently photographed as Hachiko Statue in front of Shibuya Station. The bronze statue represents Hachiko, an Akita pet dog belonging to one Professor Ueno back in the early 1920s in Tokyo. Hachiko would wait at the station for him to return from work, a daily routine that continued for a year. In 1925, Professor Ueno suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and passed away without returning to Shibuya Station, but Hachiko continued to wait at the station for 9 years, 9 months and 15 days afterwards before its own demise.
Hachiko’s story now stands as a shorthand for an admirable loyalty worth emulating. The story so touched the nation that a bronze statue of Hachiko was erected at Shibuya Station in 1934, and re-made in 1948 after the war. A movie about Hachiko, Hachiko Monogatari, became a blockbuster success; Hollywood also adapted this story to Hachi: A Dog’s Tale in 2009 starring Richard Gere.
Every day, you’ll see throngs of visitors lining up to take photographs or be photographed with the statue. Its presence makes the square a convenient rendezvous point, and you’ll see hundreds of people waiting for their appointments. If you’re lucky, you might see a cat underneath Hachiko’s legs. The cat makes an appearance on online media from time to time; it doesn’t appear to be a stray, but seems to have adopted the statue as its resting place for a while.
2-1 Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 150-0043
Train: In front of Hachiko exit of Shibuya Station.
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