Taking home a momento of Hachiko is something very important to me. Yet, every time I returned to Shibuya Station, finding gifts was a treasure hunt. Except for some cookies, notepads and a few other times, I was left empty-handed.
On a Tokyo trip just before filming Hachi: A Dog’s Tale, I discovered some small metal statues at the National Museum of Science And Nature in Tokyo that displays Hachi’s stuffed body. It was like discovering gold, so I bought a dozen!
When I returned home, I gifted these precious treasures to my friends and family. The last one is displayed prominently on my living room table so that Hachi can be with me daily!
Finding Hachi Heaven
In 2016, I toured Asia for three weeks and my first stop was Tokyo. I headed straight for Shibuya Station to say “hello” to my buddy Hachiko. Each time, it’s a never-ending thrill to see the crowds vying to take pictures with the loyal Akita.
There’s a small archive of historic Hachi photos in the iconic green box car that’s located directly in front of his statue. Although it’s not marked as such, the “green frog” as it’s affectionately called, it acts as an information center. The staff is helpful and get lots of questions about Hachiko.
After taking a few photos with Hachi, the dark sky started to pour rain, so I headed into the adjacent Tokyu department store. Wandering around until the rain stopped, I found an area solely dedicated to everything Hachiko.
I hit the jack pot!
Overwhelmed with cute Hachi theme items, I couldn’t tear myself away. Of course, I left with bags of Hachi gifts for all his friends back home. No more door-to-door hunt to try and find anything dog related. This is the one-stop place to shop!
My most recent visit was in late 2018 and the Hachi section of the Tokyu store was no longer there. I can’t understand why since: (1) Hachi items are in demand (2) The statue is right outside the front door. It took some time, but I did find some Hachi cookies in the vast food floor.
The National Museum of Science And Nature in Tokyo has an expanded section of Akita items. It’s where Hachi’s stuffed remains are on display, and where I originally found those first gift items — the small metal Hachiko statues. This time, I found a few tables of gifts items. With little time to shop, I piled a bunch of adorable Hachi stuffed animals onto the check-out counter.
When I returned home, I had an entire luggage filled with gifts. Mission accomplished!
Tip: just look for Akita items and not specifically Hachi items.
The entire Shibuya business section is being modernized and is under construction. That branch of the Tokyu store is no longer there. In addition, the iconic “green frog” box car has been relocated to Odate, the birth place of Hachiko.
Hachi has left us all with such a powerful impression of loyalty and undying love. There’s nothing better than bringing some Hachi Love back home. When in Tokyo, let us know if you find any Hachi treasures! Good luck in your search…