Whisper of the Heart（耳をすませば） is one of the most beloved Studio Ghibli anime. But did you know that real life locations were used in the scenes? The main setting was based on Seisekisakuragaoka, Tama City, Tokyo. The landscape in the anime is exactly like Seisekisakuragaoka. The main protagonist, Shizuku, is seen walking from the the KEIO station to the Seisekisakuragaoka town in the anime.
In the anime, one can see a post box that resembles the shape of the antique shop after the protagonist gets off the train. In reality, one can see a “fake” post box at the exact same spot made for fans which is filled with fanmail. This post box is faithfully maintained by the locals.
The rotary island in front of the antique shop:In the anime, Shizuku is seen taking a shortcut to the library via “Irohazaka slope”, in reality there is a park called “Irohazaka park” in the place where the library is supposed to be located.The antique shop run by Shiro Nishi itself is modeled on a real life coffee shop! (Although the coffee shop is closed down now)
The apartment complex in which the Tsukishima family lives.(The view from a park hill)
The shrine where class mate confesses his love to Shizuku:The real name of the shrine is “Konpira”.A lot of people adore this scene!
This hill where Seiji and Shizuku swear their marriage in the last scene.
It takes around an hour on foot to explore the places seen in the anime. But it’s a fun and quaint little treasure hunt! So do try it!
Be sure to wear sneakers or sports shoes as the town has a lot of slopes. In the police station in front of the train station, you can get a map indicating all the spots in the anime.
Also, as the train approaches the Seisekisakuragaoka station, the theme song of “Whisper of the heart” is played throughout the station, so make sure you keep an eye out (or an ear open:p – fans of the series should identify the pun) for it!
Tokyo Sta. Sobu chuo line(to Oume)—Shinjuku Sta.Transfer to Keio line(to Takao Yamaguchi)—Seiseki sakuragaoka Sta.(Keio line)
Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line(to Ogikubo)—Shinjuku Sta.Transfer to Keio line(to Takao Yamaguchi)—Seiseki sakuragaoka Sta.(Keio line)