Astro Boy and friends in Takadanobaba

Astro Boy was one of my favorite cartoons when I was a youngster in the 1970s. I watched him religiously on Saturday afternoons. But as I got older, I lost track of him. But a few years ago, I found him in Takadanobaba. Yep, he has his piece of real estate near the station. I visited him with my camera.

Takadanobaba isn’t the biggest station in the world, so you should find Astro easily. Look out from the Waseda Exit, and he’ll be over the road. And it won’t only be him.  Many of Osamu Tezuka’s creations are with him.

Who is Astro Boy?

Astro Boy is an android young boy with human emotions.  Doctor Umataro Tenma created him after the death of his son Tobio. Eventually, he sells Astro to a robot circus.

Professor Ochanomizu saves Astro from slavery and they become father and son. Ochanomizu also creates a robotic family for Astro and helps him live like an average human boy. Together they go on many adventures.

What other Tezuka characters are on the wall?

Some of them are:

  • Blackjack
  • Big X
  • Kimba the White Lion
  • Princess Knight

The pictures are all in good condition. But, they can be challenging to photograph because of their size. They are massive, so if you want to shoot their entire length, you’ll need to do that from the station side of the road. And, because you’ll be shooting from over the road, you’ll need to deal with the foot and car traffic. It will be a patience game. You are warned!

If you move close, it can be difficult as many people will be walking right past you. A few homeless sleep on the footpath in front of the murals, but they seem pretty friendly. The ones I’ve talked to were Astro Boy fans too!

The other problem with photographing the murals can be the light. As they are under the tracks, there will be many shadows. You might find other obstacles too. The time of day can influence the amount of available light. I’d never shoot there late because the buildings will block the sunlight.

Are you a fan of Tezuka’s works? Then you should go to Takadanobaba to get reacquainted with these blasts from the past. You can see his official website here.

Where are the Astro Boy murals in Tokyo?

They’re in Takadanobaba, only a couple of stops from Shinjuku on the Yamanote Line. Leave via the Waseda Exit, and Astro will be over the road. See it here on Google Maps.

For more art and animation articles, look at:

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