In this post, I’ll show you everything that you need to know about Evangelion in Japan!
Let’s dive in.
Evangelion is one of the most thoroughly marketed anime in history, and with that title comes plenty of attractions around Japan for you to mess around with.
Evangelion is everywhere in Japan, Really everywhere.
What’s that sound under your floorboards? Why, it’s Gendo and he’s using his Schick Evangelion razor. You’re looking very sharp today.
In fact, just the other day I was walking to my apartment and I found this:
Yes, an Evangelion scooter! You won’t find one of these bad boys outside of Japan.
If you love Evangelion, stick around because this post will go over all the best Eva attractions you can find.
Evangelion VR Game
The game is played in a team of up to four people. You can choose between Eva-00, Eva-01, Eva-02 or Eva-06 to pilot and fight the tenth angel Zeruel.
You start underground sitting inside your Eva, getting briefed before NERV launches you up to fight the angel.
Here you’ll realize that the control sticks on either side of your seat have Asuka hands synced up to them to do the same movement you’re doing.
You’ll then spend the next minute of the intro sequence just fiddling with the controller like an idiot.
NERV brings you up, and there he is. Shooting a laser bea- oh and you’ve died.
Isn’t it great?
You can play the game at VR Zone park in Osaka, Japan.
Disney World? Out of business. That rat Mickey never stood a chance. *lights cigar*
Located near Mt. Fuji is the amusement park Fuji Q Highland, where you can stand on the maintenance bridge in front of a life sized Unit 01 head. Other attractions include other smaller life sized recreations from NERV’s Geofront, and an Evangelion Store.
For a place totally dedicated to Eva, Evangelion World is the place to go. (Especially since Universal Studios Japan’s Evangelion ride closed in August 🙁 )
More info here.
Themed Karaoke Room
FLY ME TO THE MOON-
If you’re looking to try out karaoke in Japan, may as well go all out. Karaoke Pasela in Akihabara has a full Evangelion room!
It’s completely decked out floor to ceiling, a great hidden find on the outskirts of Akihabara’s main area.
More info here:
Pachinko is a slot machine crossed with a pinball machine that can be found in Japan. You’ll often find them suped up and themed after anime and games, with visuals both on screen and on the machine itself, blaring ear-destroying sound effects and music that basically generates its own AT field.
Pretty cool stuff to sink a few bucks into for the experience alone.
There’s a lot of Evangelion Pachinko machines all over Japan, so many. In fact per year Japanese gamblers spend $200 billion in Pachinko.
It’s no wonder then that Eva is used as a recognizable draw for lots of Pachinko parlors. For example, I found this statue outside one Pachinko place in Shinjuku.
Real Life locations (Pilgrimage)
Located 70-90 minutes from Tokyo, the real life town Hakone was used as the setting for Tokyo-3. Thinking of Tokyo 3 and Hakone side by side, it might not ring any bells right away without the huge future buildings, but this should:
Lake Ashi is a central part of Hakone, and a trip there means a trip to the site of Evangelion episode 6 and Rebuild 1.0 where they fought our screaming polyhedron friend.
The rest of Tokyo 3 is set right in this region too. The mountains you see surrounding the city in the show are the ones in Hakone!
More pictures here.
I’m planning to publish an article for all the real life locations featured in Eva. Sign up for our newsletter to be the first to know when the article goes up.
Small Worlds is an indoor theme park, centering around miniature dioramas. Among the many dioramas of the world’s sights and cities is none other than Tokyo 3!
Probably one of the most iconic cities in anime, the mechanized city that solved the problem of “don’t the heroes destroy half the city every episode” is getting reproduced in lovingly detailed miniature.
Also, if you’ve ever thought, Tokyo 3, that’s where I want to live, now that’s prime real estate, here’s your chance! Small Worlds will 3D scan your body and make you a permanent resident in the diorama for 19,800 yen (about 180 USD) rent-free.
Neo-Tokyo 3 Resident Rights Figure Program
You can find Evangelion stuff at pretty much any anime store in Japan, but there’s only three that are exclusively Eva.
Evangelion Tokyo 01
A dedicated Evangelion store in the heart of Tokyo with everything from expensive fashion to figures to artbooks. It’s not very big, but it has a surprising amount of stuff.
It shares a building with a couple more anime stores too on its upper floors, so I’d say definitely stop by.
More info here:
Located in Hakone, the real life location of Neo-Tokyo 3, Eva-ya is a store modeled after the vibe of its setting before the third impact, the countryside hot spring that it is in real life. (The sign even has “Eva” in hiragana)
You’ll find some more traditional Evangelion goods you won’t find anywhere else inside of a quaint looking old-fashioned shop. A nice cherry on top to a day trip out to Hakone.
More info here.
Evangelion Fuji Q Highland Store
Found inside Evangelion World, it’s a store with most of the same variety as its Ikebukuro location, along with some funky ones like NERV personalized ID cards.
The attractions mentioned above are running all year. but once in a while there are cafes or exhibitions for a limited time.
For example, a couple of weeks ago there was an exhibition in Shinjuku.
The latest movie is coming up in June of 2020 and I’m sure that there will be a lot of Evangelion events over the next several months.
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Bonus: Evangelion Disaster Prevention App
Evangelion director Hideaki Anno, from Eva to his more recent Shin Godzilla is a man with a fascination with urban infrastructure and disaster mitigation.
The app sounds odd at first, but really nothing could be more fitting.
The app, developed by the real life company Gehirn(!) is a fully functional natural disaster app that sends push notifications and provides up to date info.
Anime is used to promote a lot of odd things in Japan, but something like this is as cool as it is admirable. It’s only on iOS right now, but Android users are scheduled to get it soon.
Evangelion in present day Japan is a weird cultural icon, somehow anywhere and everywhere in Japan despite being an off-kilter psychological horror show about relationships. (And also, you know, robots)
But, that’s the magic, isn’t it? I found this guy selling an Eva motorcycle so celebrate the fact that a series like Eva is appreciated enough to have all this stuff and do a big old road trip to all of them.
Did I miss any attractions? Let me know in the comments below.