10 Things You Didn’t Know About Shibuya’s Famous Hachiko Statue

Shibuya’s Hachiko Statue, named after the faithful Akita dog, is an iconic symbol of loyalty and devotion. Visiting the iconic landmark and taking a picture in front of it is one of the must things to do in Shibuya. Standing proudly outside Shibuya Station, has captured the hearts of people from around the world with its touching story and endearing significance. 

We all know that the Hachiko Statue is based of the dog who waited his owner, Hidesaburou Ueno, who sadly passed away while he was giving a lecture in 1925. Despite this, Hachiko waited for his master until he died nine years later. Still, do you know all there is to know about Hachiko? Here are 10 things you may not have known about this loyal pup. 

Check out: Neighborhood Guide to Shibuya

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Hachiko Statue

1. Hachiko’s Real Name

Hachiko’s name is not Hachiko. Its real name is simply Hachi (ハチ) for “eight”. The “ko (公)” is a suffix added to Hachi’s real name as a term of endearment and to show respect for the dog’s loyalty to its master, so technically it should be written as Hachi-ko.  In Japan, Hachi is known as “Faithful Dog Hachiko” or “Chuuken Hachiko (忠犬ハチ公)” in Japanese. 

2. Hachiko’s Hometown is Odate City in Akita Prefecture

Hachiko’s hometown is the city of Odate in Akita prefecture that is part of the Tohoku region of Japan. Hachiko was born on November 10, 1923 in Odate where he spent his puppy days before being adopted by Professor Hidesaburo Ueno and brought to Tokyo, thus beginning their remarkable tale of loyalty and companionship. Today, Odate City proudly honor Hachiko’s legacy through various monuments, museums, and events dedicated to Hachiko. 

3. Hachiko’s Undying Loyalty

After moving to Tokyo with its new owner, Hachiko and Professor Ueno started a daily routine. The professor would leave for work in the morning and Hachiko would wait for his return at Shibuya Station. This routine continued until May 21, 1925 when Professor Ueno unexpectedly passed away. 

After the professor’s death, Hachiko had moved to Asakusa, but continued to make the 8 km journey to Shibuya Station everyday. Sympathisings with him, Kikusaburo Kobayashi, a man who lived in Yoyogi took Hachiko in. No matter the weather or temperature, Hachiko would visit his old home in Ueno and wait at Shibuya station everyday. 

4. The Real Hachiko is in a Museum 

You can visit Hachiko in the National Museum of Nature and Science in Tokyo. After Hachiko’s death, his pelt was preserved while his remains were cremated and buried in Aoyama Cemetery in Tokyo. Aoyama Cemetery only allows human burials but made an exception for Hachiko so that he may be laid to rest next to his beloved Professor Ueno. In the museum, a realistic replica of Hachiko was made and is covered with Hachiko’s real pelt.

Check out: Where to Go Besides Shibuya: 8 Underrated Spots in Tokyo

5.  Hachiko and Professor Ueno Reunited Statue Exists

In 2015, the University of Tokyo unveiled a bronze statue of Hachiko and his beloved owner reuniting. The bronze statue portrays Hachiko joyfully jumping into the arms of Professor Ueno. The professor was a previous employee of the university, and the statue was created to commemorate the beautiful bond between Hachiko and the professor. It serves as a touching tribute to their enduring friendship and loyalty. Many people who were touched by the story of “Faithful Dog Hachiko” attended the statue’s unveiling ceremony. 

If you are interested to visit, the statue can be found beside the No-Seimon Gate at the University of Tokyo’s Hongo Campus. 

6. Shop Dedicated to Hachiko & Akitas in Shibuya

“Hachifull SHIBUYA meets AKITA” is a souvenir shop located on the 14th floor of the Shibuya Scramble Square building. Near the Hachiko statue at Shibuya Station, it is a store dedicated to Hachiko and Akita dogs. In case you didn’t know, Hachiko’s is an Akita Inu, a large sized Japanese dog breed that originated from Odate in Akita Prefecture, which is Hachiko’s hometown. 

At the front of the store is a statue of Hachiko. Plush toys, keychains, tote bags, and even a picture book of Hachiko’s story can be found at the store. It is definitely worth a visit if you are a big fan of Hachi. 

Website: https://www.hachifull.jp/

7. Hachiko’s Droopy Ear is an Injury 

Some statues of Hachiko depict the Akita dog with one droopy ear, like the iconic one at Shibuya Station. Old photos of Hachiko also show that its left ear is drooping. This is because of a bite injury. At one point, Hachi was attacked by a wild dog while on his way to Shibuya Station. After Hachi’s left ear was bit, it continued to hang down from his head. This was not a deterrent to the faithful dog who continued to make the journey everyday for 9 years to meet its owner. 

8. Hachiko Has Seen His Own Statue

Many people do not know this but Hachiko was present at the unveiling of his own statue at Shibuya Station on March 8, 1934. This was a year before Hachi passed away. Unfortunately, the statue was melted down during World War II as war supplies. In 1948, a second statue was built by Ando Takeshi, the son of Ando Teru who made the first statue. This is the Hachiko statue at Shibuya Station that exists today which is a popular gathering spot. 

9. Hachiko Day to Remember Hachiko

Did you know that April 8th is Hachiko Day in Japan? 

Hachiko Day is a day to commemorate Hachiko and his loyalty and devotion to his master. Hachiko passed away on March 8,1935. Hachiko Day is set 1 month later to coincide with the cherry blossom season. On Hachiko Day, a memorial ceremony is held at Shibuya Station’s Hachiko statue. Hundreds of people show up, mostly dog lovers, to honor the memory of Hachiko. 

10. Hachiko’s 100th Anniversary is in 2023

Not just Hachiko Day in memory of Hachiko’s passing, Hachiko’s birth date is also celebrated in Japan. 2023 marks Hachiko’s 100th Birthday Anniversary and so it will be a grander celebration than usual. Odate City, Hachiko’s hometown, has even started the “HACHI100 Project” in 2022 with a grand celebration for Hachiko’s 99th birthday celebration as a countdown for this year’s 100th anniversary. 

As part of the project, many limited edition merchandise and time limited events in honor of Hachiko are available. The city of Odate in particular is at the centre of festivities. 

Shibuya Area around Hachiko Statue

The Hachiko Statue in front of Shibuya Station is a popular landmark for meet-ups. In spring during the cherry blossom season, the area is particularly scenic as the cherry blossom trees surrounding Hachiko bloom beautifully in pink. The place becomes very crowded however as people come in droves for the ultimate photo opportunity to snap Hachiko with cherry blossoms as a backdrop. 

The Hachiko Statue is located in Shibuya city centre, only a few steps away from the famous Shibuya Crossing. It is a vibrant area with plenty of activities and attractions. Here are some things you can do around the Hachiko Statue. 

Explore the Shibuya Crossing 

Just steps away from the Hachiko Statue is Shibuya Crossing, one of the busiest and most famous intersections in the world. There are several spots around the area for a great view of the crossing including the Starbucks above Shibuya Tsutaya, the 8th floor observation deck in MAGNET by SHIBUYA109, the 11th floor observation floor in Shibuya Hikarie, and of course from the Crossing itself. 

Go Underground to Shibuchika

Under the Hachiko Statue and Shibuya Crossing itself is an underground shopping mall called “Shibuchika”. You can see signs and staircases leading down to Shibuchika on the sidewalks all around Shibuya Crossing. A variety of stores are available including boutiques, cosmetics, food, etc. There’s also the Tokyu Foodshow, a huge bento take-away store where many workers visit to buy lunch. You can buy something to eat here and head over to Yoyogi Park for a picnic. 

Website: https://shibuchika.jp/

Visit Shibuya Scramble Square

Shibuya Scramble Square is a modern skyscraper that is directly connected to Shibuya Station. On the 14th floor of this building is where the Hachifull – SHIBUYA meets AKITA- souvenir store for all things Hachiko and Akita Inu is located. On the same floor is the entrance to Shibuya Sky, an open-air observation deck on the roof of the building for a great view of Tokyo. The night view is also amazing. 

Experience Shibuya Centre Street

Just 3 minutes walk from the Hachiko Statue is Shibuya Center Street, aka Shibuya Center-gai. It is a bustling pedestrian street lined with shops, boutiques, cafes, restaurants, clubs and izakayas. A great place for shopping, dining, and experiencing Tokyo’s urban culture. The streets are especially busy on Friday nights and weekends. If you’re looking to experience Shibuya’s nightlife, this is the place to go. 

Shop Til You Drop

The area around the Hachiko statue is a shopping hub. There are many options for shopping including Shibuya Scramble Square, Shibuchika, Hikarie, and Shibuya Centre Street that we’ve mentioned above, and more. There’s also Shibuya 109, a popular shopping mall known for its trendy clothing, accessories, and cosmetics for young fashion enthusiasts, and MAGNET which is also founded by the same company. Further down there are department stores PARCO and Seibu for higher end brands, and not to forget Shibuya Stream, LOFT, and  more. All within walking distance of Hachiko.

Check out other fun things to do in Shibuya here!


Are you surprised at what you’ve discovered about Hachiko today? The Hachiko statue may just be that, a landmark, to some people. But to many other people, it is a beautiful symbol of loyalty and love. Beyond the iconic statue itself, Shibuya offers a vibrant and bustling atmosphere with its famous crossing, shopping districts, parks, and diverse culinary delights. It’s a place where tradition and modernity intersect, and where the spirit of Hachiko’s unwavering loyalty continues to inspire and captivate visitors from around the world. 

Check out the 10 basic Japanese vocabulary you need to know for your next travel!

Study Japanese in Shibuya!

Coto Academy is opening a fourth location in Shibuya, which makes learning Japanese even accessible for anyone looking to explore the city and take their Japanese skills to new heights! If you want to study Japanese in Shibuya soon — or in our main Iidabashi school, fill out the form below, and our staff will get in touch!

What type of dog is Hachiko?

Hachiko is an Akita Inu. A dog breed that originated from Akita Prefecture, thus its name. 

How did Hachiko's owner died?

Hidesaburou Ueno, Hachiko’s owner, passed away from brain hemorrhage while he was giving a lecture in 1925.

What happened to Hachiko after his owner died?

Hachiko settled at the home of Kikuzaburo Kobayashi, his owner’s former gardener.

What is there to do around the Hachiko Statue in Shibuya?

  • Admiring and taking photographs of the Hachiko Statue.
  • Witnessing the iconic Shibuya Crossing.
  • Shopping and dining in the many stores and shopping malls. 

Is Shibuya a good place to study Japanese?

Yes, Shibuya is a good place to study Japanese. Shibuya is a vibrant and lively district in Tokyo, known for its fashion, entertainment, and cultural attractions. It is home to several language schools and institutions that offer Japanese language courses for international students.

Test your Japanese level!

Do a self-test to see which course fits you.

Check your level