Odate City is the place where Hachiko was born before Professor Ueno bought him and took him to Tokyo his home. Japan’s favorite pet dog, Hachiko, waited every day at Shibuya Station in Tokyo for his master to come home on the train — for more than nine years after his master’s death. A memorial to the dog’s loyalty stands at the Hachiko Exit outside the Shibuya Station.Shibuya’s landscape is undergoing a major change with a new Tokyu department store expected come up. Post the Olympics of 2020, the area is planned to undertake major reconstruction work which will include the area encompassing the present day Hachiko Statue. Shibuya Ward has no plans at the moment of where to relocate the Hachiko Statue when the rework is underway.
Odate City wants to request Shibuya ward to allow Hachiko’s “里帰り” or “return back home” during the time of the reconstruction. The Mayor of Odate City said in a press conference that they acknowledges that Hachiko statue is an important property of Shibuya Ward, but hopes that hopes that Tokyo might consider relocating the statue to Odate City when redevelopment efforts begin in the Shibuya Ward. Will be very interesting to see how Shibuya Ward responds to the same. The city of Odate has built its identity around Hachiko, you can pick up Odate City Guide around the Shibuya Station, full with Hachiko pictures and details.Japan is trying to get tourists to visit not only metro locations of Tokyo and Osaka, but want the inbound tourism to spread to remote corners of the country. A city of 75000 in Akita, Odate City should be a nice decision to temporarily relocate the statue, which will certainly rein in more visitors to the city. The city proposes to install the bronze statue outside the Odate Station. Will Odate City succeed in temporarily taking Hachi back home? Watch this space….. (Japanese new article)Hachiko statue reunited with his master was just unveiled last spring at the Tokyo University, Ueno campus. See article here.