28/03/2022

Visiting Real Life Places that Transpired in Tokyo Ghoul: Nerima City

Anime Tourism, as people call it, is a fun activity that you can enjoy when in Japan! Continuing from our Tokyo Ghoul Real Life Places article, we decided to visit Nerima City to take actual photos of places that appeared in Tokyo Ghoul. It is also a great way to explore a new place.

Header Image Credit: NTT Docomo / ©石田スイ/集英社・東京喰種製作委員会

Table of Contents

  1. Quick Recap of Tokyo Ghoul 
    1. Real Life Places that Transpired in Tokyo Ghoul 
  2. Quick Introduction to Nerima City
    1. Tokyo 20th Ward Logo
    2. Model Cafe for Anteiku 
    3. Owl Suppression Operation Arc
  3. Anime Tourism with Tokyo Ghoul
    1. Nerima Station
    2. Outside and Nearby Nerima Station
    3. Nerima Ward Office 20F Observation Lobby
    4. Neighbourhood 
  4. Takeaway 

Quick Recap of Tokyo Ghoul

Protagonist Kaneki Ken (金木 研) is attacked and almost killed at the hands of Kamishiro Rize (神代 利世) who is actually a human-eating ghoul. By luck, she gets crushed by falling steel beams. The dying Kaneki was saved by having Rize’s organs transplanted into him. The unfortunate side effect, he turns into a half-ghoul. Kaneki now has to accept his transformation, his new life ahead of him, as well as his new diet. 

Real Life Places that Transpired in Tokyo Ghoul 

Image Credit: Young Jump /  © SUI ISHIDA / SHUEISHA

For a deeper understanding of Tokyo Ghoul, we recommend reading our Tokyo Ghoul related article where we introduced Tokyo Ghoul and its sequels, and main places to visit in Tokyo that transpired in Tokyo Ghoul. 

Excerpt from the article: 

“Tokyo Ghoul is a one-of-a-kind manga whose fast-paced story representing both physical and mental struggle took the world by storm. Many of the anime and manga settings were based on real life places, so naturally we’re here to introduce the areas in Tokyo worth exploring. We also introduce Tokyo Ghoul and explain why exactly its sequels are so confusing.” - Real Life Places that Transpired in Tokyo Ghoul

Quick Introduction to Nerima City

Nerima City is located in the northwestern part of Tokyo. Popular areas to visit in Nerima include Hikarigaoka Park, Chihiro Art Museum, and Shakujii Park. Amusement park Toshimaen closed down in 2020 but is expected to reopen in 2023 as Warner Bros. Studio Tour Tokyo – The Making of Harry Potter

More than 15 scenes depicted in the anime and manga can be identified in the Tokyo neighbourhood of Nerima, not including verbal references.

Tokyo 20th Ward Logo 

Tokyo as depicted in Tokyo Ghoul is made up of 24 wards, rather than 23 special wards in real Tokyo. Much of Tokyo Ghoul is set in the 20th ward which is based on Nerima, especially Anteiku. The symbol for the 20th ward is actually the same (or remarkably similar) to Nerima’s own ward logo. 

Image Credit: Nerima City Office

This tiny detail is easily missed but we spotted it in the anime! 

Model Cafe for Anteiku 

Andes is rumoured to be the model cafe for Anteiku, the cafe where Kaneki ends up working as a part-time waiter to learn how to live as a ghoul and to acquaint himself with them. Anteiku is actually a front for an organisation that overlooks the ghouls in the 20th ward. Part of their duties include preparing food for the resident ghouls, by ethical means of course. Unfortunately, Andes closed down in 2020. 

Owl Suppression Operation Arc

Tokyo Ghoul’s finale arc that was adapted into Tokyo Ghoul √A. In this arc, the once peaceful 20th ward becomes a battlezone as CCG carried out a raid operation to destroy Anteiku and eliminate the ghoul known as the Owl. 

Since Anteiku’s neighbourhood and the 20th ward are based on Nerima, this Arc in itself has lots of recognizable parts of Nerima in it. 

Anime Tourism with Tokyo Ghoul

Our WeXpats writer visited Nerima to capture parts of Nerima that appeared in Tokyo Ghoul. The locations were all within walkable distance of Nerima Station. 

Nerima Station 

1. Chapter 129 Top Half of Pages 2 and 3

Koma Enji (古間 円児) as Devil Ape engaged in combat with CCG. This was at Nerima Station’s Ground Floor, a short flight of stairs right in front of SEIYU Part 1 supermarket entrance. You can also see them destroying the Seibu Line and Toei Oedo Line signage.

2.  Chapter 129 Bottom Half of Pages 2 and 3

Devil Ape moves to attack Tanakamaru Mougan (田中丸 望元) of CCG. This is the other side of Nerima Station’s ground floor. Similarly, all the drawn train signages are as the actual location. Also featured in Chapter 130 from different angles.

3. Chapter 132 Pages 2 to 5

Kaneki intercepts to rescue Koma Enji from Tanakamaru Mougan. This is the Toedo Oedo Line’s ticket gate. 

Outside & Nearby Nerima Station

4. Chapter 127 Page 1

Apes ghoul gang led by Devil Ape encounter a CCG squad. This was taken from Nerima Station’s north exit.

5. Chapter 130 Page 6

Apes and CCG in combat. This spot is right outside the south exit. It is a small open space with a few trees and some benches. 

6. Chapter 132 Page 18

Kaneki leaps to and off the triangular roof to escape pursuing CCG investigators. This is Nerima Station’s south exit. The stairs at the bottom left of the photo is where 5. was taken. 

7. Chapter 134 Pages 16 and 17

Kaneki and Amon Koutarou (亜門 鋼太朗) face each other in battle. This was taken from the 2F of a bicycle parking lot right across the street from Nerima Station, west side. In the manga, the shoplots are replaced with white space. 

8. Chapter 49 Page 17

When Banjou Kazuichi (万丈 数壱) goes to the 20th ward in search of Rize. Exit from Nerima Station’s north exit next to Seibu Line’s ticket gate. Go towards the direction of the community centre and you’ll eventually come across this flight of stairs.

9. Chapter 129 Top Right Frame on Page 11

Background frame introducing Amon as the 4th Squad’s captain. This is Plaza Tokiwa, a rather large store selling clothes and household goods. It is across the street from SEIYU Part 2

Nerima Ward Office 20F Observation Lobby

We made our way to the Nerima Ward Office which has a free to public observation lobby on the 20th floor. Note that the elevators service different floors; one side only goes to Basement~10F, the other side from 11F~. The 20F also has a restaurant where you can dine and enjoy the view. 

Nerima’s cute mascot figure welcomes you to the 20F observation lobby. 

10. Chapter 135 (Page 9~) to Chapter 142

The rooftop of this building is where the Second Owl ambushes the CCG after their short-victory over the Owl. 

11. Chapter 142 Last Page

A summary report in the aftermath of the 20th Ward One-Eyed Owl Suppression Operation, a scene of Nerima on a gloomy rainy night. Photo taken facing the direction of SkyTree.  

Neighbourhood 

12. Chapter 134 Page 14

Nothing of particular note happened in this frame, as there were only dialogue boxes. This parking lot is straight west of Nerima Station along the Toshima Line. The tree got a lot bigger. 

13. Chapter 130 Page 15

Irimi Kaya (入見 カヤ) as Kuroinu leading the Black Dobers against CCG. A very detailed drawing of the below location down to the electricity pole and bicycles. This part of the neighbourhood is northeast of Nerima ward office, right behind the 7-Eleven konbini on Meiji-dori. 

14. Chapter 130 Page 16 and 17

Irimi is attacked by Hachikawa Chuu (鉢川 忠) here. Irimi is injured when she moves to protect an old lady living in one of the apartments from Hachikawa’s attack. The zigzag designed building is located along the same street as 13. 

15. Chapter 131 Pages 14 and 15, Chapter 132 Pages 6 and 7

Kaneki comes to Irimi’s rescue just before Hachikawa finishes her off and asks Hachikawa a question.

“Then do humans have it [a hell]?” - Kaneki Ken

The T-junction at the end of the street where 13. and 14. are located. It is not an exact copy of the real life version. 

16. Chapter 135, Page 16

CCG are cheering at successfully subduing the Owl. This building is Nerima Metropolitan Tax Office. It is nearby the Ward Office. 

Takeaway 

That concludes our coverage on Nerima as portrayed in Tokyo Ghoul as the 20th ward. It took around 2 hours to complete the whole route on foot, with a bicycle perhaps half that time. Anime tourism, or anime pilgrimage, is a lot of fun and quite similar to treasure hunting. Starting with locating the area, we then had to figure out the right camera angle to take the shot. It’s not limited to anime and manga; movies, dramas, anything you’re interested in. Why not give it a try? 

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