Have you ever heard of Hachiko the dog? No? Neither had I until a few months ago, but if you ever go to Japan then odds are you will hear about him.
Hachiko is a national hero to the Japanese! A dog so famous there have been several movies made about him. He has his own statue next to Shibuya Train Station in Tokyo, where every day hundreds of people have their photograph taken with him.
Even Hollywood has made a movie about Hachiko!
So why is the Hachiko story so famous you may wonder?
Well I am happy you asked, because here I will give you the amazing, real and very sad story about Hachiko the dog.
Once Upon A Time There Was A Dog Named Hachiko
Eizaburo Ueno, professor in agriculture science at Tokyo University, had long wanted a pure bred Japanese Akita dog. He had looked for the perfect Akita puppy for a long time, until one of this students encouraged him to adopt Hachiko, from the Odate city in Akita prefecture.
Hachiko, or Hachi which became his nickname, and his new owner soon became best friends, and Eizaburo loved his dog above all and treated him as his son. The two of them were inseparable.
As Hachiko grew older, he started to see his owner off to work in the morning at the Shibuya Train Station, in central Tokyo, and went to pick him up at the station in the afternoon when he returned from work.
On May 21, 1925, only two years after Hachiko was born, Hachiko was as usually sitting by the exit at Shibuya train station waiting for his dear Eizaburo. But his owner never showed up…..
It turned out that Eizaburo had suffered from a cerebral haemorrhage and died suddenly and unexpectedly while at work.
Hachiko moved in with a former gardener of the Ueno family, but throughout the rest of his ten year long life he kept going to the Shibuya Train Station every morning and afternoon precisely when the train was due to enter the station, waiting in vain for the return of his beloved owner which sadly never came back.
A major Japanese newspaper reporter picked up the story of Hachiko in 1932 and published it, which led to Hachiko becoming a celebrity all over Japan.
People started calling him “Chuken-Hachiko”, which means “Hachiko – the faithful dog”.
The story of the dog that never gave up gained a lot of attention also in national media, inspiring many people from all over the world to visit Hachiko at Shibuya Train Station to offer him treats.
Hachiko Dog Statue
In 1934 a statue of Hachiko was unveiled at a grand ceremony in front of Shibuya train station with Hachiko himself present as the main guest.
Hachiko passed away peacefully and alone on the street near Shibuya train station on March 8, 1935, 12 years old.
Hachiko is now on display at the National Science Museum in Ueno, Tokyo.
There is also a monument of Hachiko next to his owner `s tomb in Aoyama cemetery in Tokyo.
Today the Hachiko bronze statue is a popular attraction outside of Shibuya train station, especially among young Japanese.
There has actually been made two Hachiko bronze statues. The first one was removed during the World War II and melted as a source of metal.
Also on the wall of the Shibuya train station there is a huge beautiful mosaic art work of Hachiko:
Japanese Love Dogs
The Japanese love dogs! All over Japan we met a lot of cute and beloved dogs, here are a few that we met:
We even met a Siberian Husky in Tokyo, which melted my heart and made me really miss my own sweetie “Varga” who is at home in Norway. She just turned 15 years old!
As a dog lover, the story of Hachiko really moved me. It is good to see that even today Hachiko’s statue remains a symbol of this dog’s extreme loyalty and a reminder of the lengths one can go to stay devoted to a friend.
Dogs really are man´s best friend! ♥
Hachi The Movie
In 1987 it was made a movie in Japan about Hachiko, called “Hatchiko Monogatari”. You can watch the trailer for the original Japanese movie here:
The full Japanese movie with English subtitles can be watched on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LfvZuiZPAxM
In 2009 Hollywood made an American version of this movie, called “Hachiko – A Dog`s Tale“. If you have not seen the movie “Hachi – A dog`s Tale”, you should definitely check it out (be prepared to cry a lot……):
You can watch the trailer here:
There are several great books written about Hachiko and his story. I especially like the first of these books called “Hachiko” which includes nice drawings and illustrations (press each picture and you will be redirected to Amazon):
Awww, and I L-O-V-E these Hachiko Akita teddies:
PIN IT FOR LATER!
Hoover over the image below to pin
Have you heard the story of Hachiko before? Have you seen the film? Did you cry as much as me watching the film? 🙂 Please leave a comment in the comment area below. If you liked this post and found it useful, please share on social media. Thank you! 🙂
Where To Stay In Tokyo
BudgetMyCube by MyStays If you're travelling solo on a budget or would simply like to try one of the famous and unique cube/pod hotels of Tokyo then this is a great choice. It is a brand new hotel and quite spacious for a pod hotel. Every pod has lockable baggage storage and free Wi-Fi. The underground station is located right next door and there are plenty of places to eat in the neighbourhood.
- Address:2-6-7 Kuramae, Taito-ku, Asakusa, Tokyo, Japan
- Price: from 40 us$
- Click for latest prices
Mid RangeHotel MyStays Asakusabashi We stayed at Hotel MyStays in Asakusabashi and really liked the hotel! It is brand new, and the rooms are actually decent sized compared to the average hotel in Japan (if you choose a twin bed room, then you get a bigger room). The neighbourhood is great, with lots of restaurants and cafes, and a short walk to the underground station Asakusabashi. It was the cheapest and best hotel we could find in Tokyo.
- Address: 1-5-5, Asakusabashi, Taito-ku, Akihabara / Ochanomizu, Tokyo, Japan
- Price: from 80 us$
- Click for latest prices
- Address: 3-7-1-2 Nishi Shinjuku, Shinjuku 163-1055, Tokyo, Japan
- Price: from 500 us$
- Click for latest prices
Guide BooksWe used Lonely Planet`s Japan guide book on our trip. It was very good! You can buy that and some other great books about Japan from Amazon by clicking on the book covers below:
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