Aside from Slam Dunk, Haikyuu is another sports anime much renowned by fans. You don’t have to be a volleyball fan—there’s a whole bunch of reasons why Haikyuu is very popular. If you like a good anime show that can get you hooked with its story, humor, and character development—this is it. This is exactly why Haikyuu locations are among the most sought-after in Japan.
From real-life schools and gymnasiums to a whole town pulled out of the anime, we’ve listed down the best spots to include in your Haikyuu anime tour. Get your JR Pass ready because they are scattered in three major cities—a great excuse to explore the beauty of Japan too, if you ask us! If you need to brush up on your Haikyuu knowledge, download the Viu app and watch Haikyuu for free!
Real-Life Karasuno Town in Iwate Prefecture
Yes, you read that right. Though the fictional town of Karasuno is located in Miyagi Prefecture, the actual town it’s based on is actually located in Iwate Prefecture—a charming, sleepy town called Karumai. And we put it first on this list because this is definitely the top spot that diehard Haikyuu fans shouldn’t miss.
Karumai is the hometown of author Furudate Haruichi. Walking around the town will feel very familiar to fans as it served as a key inspiration that shaped the setting of the anime. Most notably, Karasuno High and Shinzen High are based on the real-life Karumai High School and Karumai Middle School, respectively. Even the surroundings of Karumai High were used as a reference for Karasuno.
Just a few minutes from the schools are a shopping street where you’ll find a corner electronics store (Tatesaka) where young Hinata’s dream to play volleyball took form. On the same street, you’ll also find a lot of shops and restaurants decorated with Haikyuu memorabilia and selling merchandise. There’s also a fan-managed Haikyuu!! Pilgrimage Visitor Center where you can get a special tour map that points to over 10 Haikyuu-related locations around the town. That already gives you a lot to explore in just one town!
Just like Iwate, Miyagi also has a personal connection to Furudate Haruichi as it served as his second hometown. You would want to focus your anime tour on the capital Sendai, which is where many real-life locations can be found.
If you’re taking the JR train, you’ll first find yourself at Sendai Station, which was featured during Nekoma team’s visit from Tokyo to Miyagi for a practice match with Karasuno. With just this, the station has become a fan destination, collaborating with Haikyuu for various pop-up events and exhibitions. Just a few minutes by foot from the station’s west exit is Animate Sendai, also a must-visit for some anime shopping spree!
Also in Sendai is the Sendai City Gymnasium (now called Kamei Arena Sendai), the venue for the Miyagi Prefectural Playoffs in Haikyuu. A little farther north is Tohoku International School, with its striking orange facade, which served as the model for Shiratorizawa Academy.
For tourists flying in from abroad, Tokyo is often the start and end of a Haikyuu anime tour. Japan’s capital is the ultimate destination for every anime fan, not just Haikyuu, with its plethora of anime attractions and shopping spots.
There are also many real-life Tokyo locations featured in Haikyuu as Karasuno ventures here for training and national tournaments. Expectedly, many of Tokyo’s railway stations are featured, as they are the main mode of transport for the teams. These include Tokyo Station, Kokuritsu-Kyōgijō Station, Meiji-jingumae Station, and Kitasandō Station.
The real-life Sumida City Gymnasium and Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium were also featured in Haikyuu as the venues for the spring tournaments.
Other popular Tokyo landmarks spotted in the anime and manga are the Tokyo Skytree and Shibuya 109 (renamed in the anime as Shibuya 107) overlooking the famed Shibuya Crossing. Be sure to also drop by Animate Ikebukuro, which often holds Haikyuu collaboration events, the most recent of which is the “Haikyuu!! To the Top” pop-up cafe!
Have these spots got you excited yet? Plan for your future Haikyuu anime tour in Japan while watching the complete seasons of Haikyuu!! for free on the Viu app!
*Featured image via Viu / Haikyuu Pilgrimage Visitor Center / Karumai Town Tourism