Did you know that the manga and anime Sailor Moon (Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon) is set in an area of Tokyo called Azabu-Juban in Minato Ward? It used to be the home of the manga author, Naoko Takeuchi. In the anime, it’s called the Juban district and is the home of Usagi Tsukino, the heroine of the series.
Now, follow me as I go to Azabu-Juban and visit the places connected to Sailor Moon.
Let’s Go to The Bus Stop for ‘The Cursed 6 p.m. Bus’
Step off the Tokyo Metro Nanboku Line at Azabu-juban Station. After going through the ticket barriers, find Exit 1 at the station to visit the bus stop at which ‘the cursed 6 p.m. bus’ arrived. Sailor Mars made her first appearance there in Season 1 Episode 10 ‘An Uncharmed Life’.
Now, climb up the stairs towards Exit 1, then go straight to the Ninohashi junction. Turn right at the junction.
The road is called ‘Sendai-zaka’, as there was a house for the Sendai feudal clan at the south side of this slope in the Edo period. Climb the slope for about 10 minutes and you’ll arrive at the Sendai-zaka bus stop.
This is the ‘Sendai-zaka-ue’ bus stop; the model for the bus stop at which ‘The Cursed 6 p.m. Bus’ arrived. Usagi got onto the bus and was taken away to another dimension. A shrine maiden from Hikawa Shrine transformed into Sailor Mars and rescued Usagi. The bus stop marks the spot where Sailor Mars first appeared.
Pay a Visit to the Shrine of Sailor Mars, Rei Hino
Sailor Mars, also known as Rei Hino, is a shrine maiden at Hikawa Shrine, which is based on the Azabu Hikawa shrine situated near the bus stop. Once you walk up to the top of the slope, turn right and walk on about 1 minute, and then you’ll see the gate of the shrine on the right.
The red building is the main shrine. The Sailor Soldiers often met up here as a part of their daily lives, as well as when something happened. Rei would sweep up dead leaves on the ground with a broom.
The building on the left is a ’temizuya’ where you purify yourself before visiting the main shrine. Fill the ladle with running water and pour some water on your left hand, then right hand. Do this over the drain below. Last, pour some water into your palm and rinse out your mouth, then spit the water into the drain. Be careful when rinsing your mouth to not swallow the water. Now, you are ready to pay a visit to the shrine.
Phobos and Deimos, the pet crows of Rei, stayed next to ‘temizuya’ in the anime.
Azabu Hikawa Shrine
1-4-23 Moto Azabu, Minato Ward, Tokyo