The Hachiko Memorial Statue is a stop you can’t miss in Tokyo. Hachiko, lovingly nicknamed “Hachi,” is one of Japan’s most celebrated dogs.
Why is a dog famous? Because he waited for his best friend for 10 years! Even after his owner passed away, Hachi faithfully waited for him outside of Shibuya Station. Isn’t that a testament that dogs really are a man’s best friend?
- About Hachiko
- The True Story of Hachiko
- Why is the Hachiko Memorial Statue important?
- Around Hachiko Statue
- Hachiko’s Location
To see the famous dog yourself, exit from Shibuya Station’s Hachiko exit. It’s right in front of the Shibuya Crossing.
The Hachiko Memorial Statue first graced Tokyo in 1934. Hachiko even attended the grand unveiling ceremony as its main guest at the time. What many people don’t know is that the original statue was melted down in 1934 for train parts! The one you see in Shibuya today is a 1948 recast.
Can’t make it to Japan for Hachiko? No problem! There’s a statue of Hachiko in Rhode Island. After Hachi: A Dog’s Tale was filmed, the area paid homage to his dedication with another statue.
The True Story of Hachiko
Hachiko is a purebred Akita dog that Hidesaburo Ueno, an agricultural professor at Tokyo University, found and adopted.
They quickly established a daily routine where Hachiko would accompany Ueno to Shibuya Station and wait for his return.
Unfortunately, Ueno suffered from a cerebral hemorrhage while at work and passed away. Hachiko, of course, didn’t understand this and continued waiting for the professor. He never knew that his best friend would never come back.
Some of the regular commuters who recognized Hachi as the professor’s dog noticed his unrelenting patience and faithfulness. They gave him snacks and ensured his safety.
In 1932, a major Japanese newspaper reporter published the story of old Hachiko, which made him an instant celebrity. This was when he gained his nickname Chuken-Hachiko or “Hachikoーthe faithful dog”.
For 10 years, Hachi continued to wait for Ueno. At last, they reunited in Aoyama cemetery when he passed away in 1935.
Why is the Hachiko Memorial Statue important?
Hachiko embeds the symbol of loyalty and family love. These two are crucial traits in Japanese culture.
The Japanese also celebrate a Hachiko festival in front of the Shibuya Station every 8th of April.
A movie about Hachiko, Hachiko Monogatari, was also made in 1987 as a tribute to Hachiko. An American version, Hachi: A Dog’s Tale, was released in 2009, starring Richard Gere.
Hachi: A Dog’s Tale
The story of Hachiko remains a symbol of extreme loyalty and family love. Even more, he has become a reminder of the lengths one can go to stay devoted to a loved one.
What are you waiting for? Give your pets a big hug today.
Around Hachiko Statue
Make sure to make the most of your time and visit some of Tokyo’s travel-worthy spots, too!
- Hangry? Grab a veggie sausage tunnbröd (flatbread) at the IKEA convenience store. It’s only 5-minutes away from the Shibuya Station!
- Feeling kinky? (Yep, you read that right.) Visit Kanayama Jinja Shrine if you’re looking for something strange and fun. It’s only 30-minutes away from the Hachiko memorial statue!
Have fun exploring Tokyo!