Kitakyushu, Japan is a Hidden Paradise for Anime Lovers

Charlie Anime, Manga 0 Comments

When it comes to the source of all things anime, everyone thinks of Japan. And among Japanese cities, the most well-known is Tokyo. Well, has anyone ever heard of Kitakyushu?

A small city in the southwestern prefecture of Fukuoka, Kitakyushu is a mere 1-hour flight from Seoul, a little known and even less talked-about Japanese city among foreign tourists. What my wife and I found there during a weekend trip was a town where the culture was interwoven with anime, manga, and everything that Japan has to offer to avid supporters of otaku culture. Some examples are shown below:

A series of enlarged anime and manga scenes lined the underpass of the central Kokura train station. Visitors can pose with the images as if they were part of the manga.

A bulletin board on the street that exhibits local anime-related events.


Guests arriving at the Kitakyushu airport are greeted by a life-size poster board of an anime based on the duel of two real-life swordsmen in Kitakyushu- Miyamoto Musashi and Sasaki Kojiro.


A life-size statue of Captain Harlock from “Galaxy Express 999”, along with other characters from the famous anime and manga series, can be found just outside of the Kokura train station. The author of the manga, Matsumoto Reiji, is a native of the Fukuoka Prefecture.

At the center of this anime-interwoven society is AruAru City- a dream come true for any anime lovers. For my wife and I, who are mere casual appreciators of anime culture, this was a place we had been curious about. What we experienced could only be described as a massive sensory overload of everything anime.

Aru Aru City viewed from a distance.

The building itself consists of 6 floors. Each with a variety of anime-related shops. Rather than going into lengthy explanations, I will let the images and captions speak for themselves, starting with:

Floor 1

Guests entering from the bottom floor will be greeted by a maid cafe. And yes, the waitress do dress as maids. Right across from that is a large manga bookstore.

Floor 2

There’s also an entrance from the second floor. Guests who enter through there will be greeted by a life-size Devilman and Mario.













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