Crazy for you… Now, what comes next depends on whether you’re a Madonna or Slam Dunk anime fan. Since you’re here, we can assume you’re the latter. The opening theme song of Slam Dunk, Kimi Ga Suki Da To Sakebitai, was the song of our childhood in the 1990s to early 2000s. And this legendary sports manga-turned-anime remains to be a hit among anime fans in the present generation.
It’s common for visitors of Japan to go on a little pilgrimage around places featured in their favorite anime, and Slam Dunk locations are among the most visited. Whether you’re a fan of Sakuragi, Rukawa, Sendoh, or Coach Anzai, below are real-life locations featured in Slam Dunk you can add to your anime tour.
Before You Go
Some of these spots are private institutions or buildings. That means you can’t simply enter as a tourist. You may be able to take photos from the outside, but always be mindful of other people and activities around you. Public place or not, always have a respectful attitude and ask for permission when unsure.
Kamakurakōkōmae Station, Kamakura
Kamakurakōkōmae Station is at the top of every Slam Dunk pilgrim’s list. It’s one of the first things you’d see in the opening theme of every episode, from the picturesque railroad crossing and the green Enoden train to the railway platform, all backdropped by the sea. Due to its charms, the station is recognized as one of the best stations in the Kanto region.
Musashinokita High School, Tokyo (Shohoku High School)
This real-life high school is the model for Shohoku High School in the manga and anime. However, while most places in Slam Dunk are set in Kanagawa Prefecture, this one is located in Musashino, Tokyo. It won’t be hard to include it in your Slam Dunk anime tour because between Kamakura and Tokyo, it only takes one hour by train.
Kanagawa Prefectural Kamakura High School, Kamakura (Ryonan High School)
If you cheered for Akira Sendoh and his team from Ryonan, then you might want to check out Kamakura High School. The school grounds are understandably off-limits to outsiders but from the outside, you can get a glimpse of the triangular building that served as the model for Ryonan High School. To get here, it only takes five minutes on foot from Kamakurakōkōmae Station.
Tokkei Security Hiratsuka Gymnasium, Hiratsuka
The games between Shohoku and Ryonan were some of the most exciting, and Tokkei Security Hiratsuka Gymnasium is a place where the two teams have faced off. In real life, it’s an actual venue for tournaments. Inside the lobby, you can find a small exhibition of Slam Dunk memorabilia including original sketches signed by manga artist Takehiko Inoue.
Akibadai Cultural Gymnasium, Fujisawa
Akibadai Cultural Gymnasium is another real-life location that inspired the arena where a match between Shohoku and Hainan took place. Although it was not really featured in the anime, it’s depicted exactly as it looks in the manga. The gymnasium has a striking modern steel architecture that’s worth taking pictures of.
Bonus: Noshiro Basketball Library & Museum, Akita
It’s a ways away from the rest of the spots on this list, but if you’re an avid fan of Slam Dunk or basketball in general, Noshiro Basketball Library & Museum should be on your bucket list. It is located near Noshiro Technical High School, which is said to be the inspiration behind the team of Sannoh Industry Affiliated High School. In the museum, you’ll find a lot of Slam Dunk comic books, magazines, and signed sketches by Takehiko Inoue.
*Featured image via Toei Video, Viu, Noshiro Basketball Museum, Kanagawa Prefectural Government