Rokugatsu Town: The Home of Rei Kiriyama
Rei lives in Rokugatsu Town. This town is modelled after the area in Chuo Ward Shinkawa 2 Chome, where the Sumida River and the Kamejima River cross. From the classic scenery in 3-gatsu no Lion, let’s look at Reiganjima Gauging Station and Chuo-Oohashi. (Nearest stations: JR Keiyou Line Hatchoubori Station, and Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line Hatchoubori Station)
Reiganjima Gauging Station
Reiganjima Gauging Station, the classic image from the manga, is where the Sumida River and the Kamejima River cross. This is an observing station to measure the water level of Tokyo Bay. It’s no longer used. It appears frequently in the story of March Comes in Like a Lion. It seems Rei’s apartment is behind the observing station.
This bridge is located very close to Rei’s apartment. There’s a walking path after the pathway on the right side of the steps to the bridge. Chuo-Oohashi is a bridge which connects Rokugatsu Town where Rei lives, and Mikazuki Town where the three sisters live. In the manga and anime, it appears in various scenes in both day and night time. It often appears in scenes in which Rei’s feelings are described. You can see a lot of boats like water-buses and houseboats passing by under the bridge. Also, Chuo-Oohashi gets beautifully lit up from evening until 10 p.m.
Shogi Kaikan: The Home of Professional Shogi Games
Rei, as a professional shogi player, goes to Shogi Kaikan which is a 7-minute walk away from JR Sendagaya Station. He walks straight while seeing Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium which is in front of Sendagaya Station on his right hand, prays at Hatonomori Hachiman Shrine, and heads to Shogi Kaikan next to the shrine. Let’s look at Hatonomori Hachiman Shrine (where professional shogi players actually pray) and Shogi Kaikan. (Nearest station: JR Soubu Line Sendagaya Station)
Hatonomori Hachiman Shrine
Hatonomori Hachiman Shrine is a place that a lot of professional shogi players visit before their games. There is a hexagon building called the Shogidou at the shrine. Inside the building, there is a gigantic shogi piece donated by the Japan Shogi Association on display. Shogi players write their wishes down on a wooden plaque shaped like a shogi piece. Professional shogi players also pray at the main shrine to relax before they go to the Shogi Kaikan. In 3-gatsu no Lion, you can see Rei and other professional shogi players praying. It’s a sacred place in the shogi world.
Rei plays shogi at the Tokyo Shogi Kaikan. It’s behind the main shrine of Hatonomori Hachiman Shrine. As Rei is a professional shogi player, he plays on the 4th and 5th floors of the building. There is also a shogi specialized shop on the ground floor. You can get everything you need to play shogi from there. They sell books about shogi and paper fans signed by professional players. You can actually play shogi on the 2nd floor. From amateurs to advanced players, many people actually come here to play. Anyone can enter the shop on the ground floor and the play room on the 2nd floor. Advanced bookings are not necessary. Shogi Kaikan is the best place to learn about the original Japanese chess variant called ‘shogi’. (Opening hours: 10:00 to 17:00. Closed one day a month)
What is Shogi?
Shogi is similar to chess, but there is a big difference in the rules. In shogi, you can use pieces you gain from your opponent as your own pieces. Plus, you can place them anywhere as long as it is in an empty spot. Because of this rule, shogi is more complex than chess.
Tokyo in Anime
I have now introduced to you the places on which spots from 3-Gatsu no Lion are modelled. Tsukudajima and Tsukijima are popular as tourist areas too, so there’s no doubt you’ll enjoy them even if you don’t know much about 3-Gatsu no Lion. The settings of 3-Gatsu no Lion are now the coolest spots in Japan.