Whisper of the Heart (Mimi o Sumaseba) is a Studio Ghibli animated film that was released in 1995 which takes place in a town called Seiseki-Sakuragaoka in Tokyo. This coming-of-age classic revolves around two high school students, the main character, Shizuku Tsukishima, and her counterpart, Seiji Amasawa, as they explore their passions and path into adulthood. Let’s take a look at the area that this Studio Ghibli classic is based on!
What type of place is Seiseki-Sakuragaoka?
Seiseki-Sakuragaoka is the setting for the Studio Ghibli film Whisper of the Heart which is a 26-min train ride on the Keio Line from Shinjuku Station. Seiseki-Sakuragaoka is situated in Tama New Town, a city originally known for its beautiful blooming cherry blossoms.
The Beginnings of Whisper of the Heart: Seiseki-Sakuragaoka Station
The protagonist, Shizuku, rides the train to send a homemade lunch to her father. On the train, she meets a cat named “Moon” that leads her to the exit for “Suginomiya Station” which is modeled after Seiseki-Sakuragaoka Station. From there, she chases after Moon and passes through the station and surrounding areas.
- Location name: Seiseki-Sakuragaoka Station
- Access: A 26-min train ride on the Keio Line from Shinjuku Station
Seishun no Posuto
In front of the station stands the “youthful postbox” (seishun no posuto) that is based off of the antique shop in the anime called “Chikyuuya.” This monument is an actual postbox in which people send messages about their hopes and dreams and is considered one of the “holy spots” to visit from the anime. There is even an area map next to the postbox, making it the perfect spot to check out other great “holy spots.”
- Location name: Seishun no Posuto
- Address: 1−11−16 Sekido, Tama, Tokyo 206-0011 (part of Keio Seiseki-Sakuragaoka Shopping Center)
- Access: A 1-min walk from the Keio Line’s Seiseki-Sakuragaoka Station
Confectionary Shop Noix
Various shops appear throughout Whisper of the Heart, but one shop that appears in the movie that actually exists in the real world as well is confectionary shop Noix. The shop has embraced its popularity due to the Studio Ghibli classic, and even has various themed goods inside. They also have a signature on display from the voice actress who played Shizuku, Yoko Honna.
- Location name: Confectionary Shop Noix
- Address: 2−2−9 Sakuragaoka, Tama, Tokyo 206-0013
- Access: A 22-min walk from Seiseki-Sakuragaoka Station, or a 1-min walk from the Sakura 91 or 92’s Sakuragaoka 4-chome Bus Stop
- Hours of operation: 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Shizuku and Seiji’s “Secret Place” – Irohazaka
Perhaps the most memorable scene in Whisper of the Heart is when Seiji comes to surprise Shizuku who has been working on her writing while patiently waiting for his return. The pair head out to the top of a hill overlooking the city and reconfirm their devotion to each other as a beautiful sunrise greets them on the horizon. The location that this scene takes place at is called Irohazaka. It is dangerous to climb to the exact spot, but there are areas nearby that public can safely access to enjoy the same scenery Shizuku and Seiji gazed upon in the anime.
- Location name: Irohazaka Slope
- Address: 4−43−25 Sakuragaoka, Tama, Tokyo 206-0013
- Access: A 12-min walk from the Keio Line’s Seiseki-Sakuragaoka Station
We hope you enjoyed this look at popular spots from the Studio Ghibli classic anime, Whisper of the Heart. Don’t miss the chance to check out these spots and more the next time you visit Japan!