Shorten to KochiKame, Kochira katsushika-ku Kameari Koen-mae hashutsujo is still a popular manga series even though the series ended in 2016, a forty-year run. The anime stayed on the air for eight years, from 1996 – 2004. KochiKame revolves around a police station in the city of Kameari, Tokyo.
Written and illustrated by Osamu Akimoto, a resident of Katsushika ward, which includes Kameari.
The city is proud of KochiKame, and it shows. There are several statues, dedicated areas, and even a KochiKame theme arcade in the mall. Read about the arcade here. People visiting the city always take pictures with the statues and talk to them as if they just met the manga character in real life.
Let’s look at Kameari’s tribute to the KochiKame series. Much of which was placed in 2006.
There are several statues near the train station. When passengers exit the station in one of the two exits, they can’t miss the figures. Walk out of the North entrance, and the passenger is pleasantly surprised with the police station characters’ full-size color statues. I often see Japanese and tourists taking pictures with the sculptures using funny poses from the manga.
The statues consist of Kankichi Ryotsu, Keiichi Nakagawa, and Reiko Catherine Akimoto in police uniforms.
Kankichi Ryotsu is a “standard” police officer in a standard uniform who comes up with unique ways to get into trouble. This “trouble” is what makes the manga and anime so funny.
Keiichi’s last name is Nakagawa, and I lived in Nakagawa, which is next to Kameari, so I understand where Keiichi got his name. He sports a special police uniform made by Pierre-Cardin and is French-Japanese.
Reiko Catherine Akimoto wears a pink uniform consisting of a short skirt and coat with long sleeves. Like many manga and anime in Japan, she has large breasts, and the men go crazy over her. Of course, she ignores any advance, and this adds to the comedy. Reiko is French-Japanese.
The statues are impressive and lifelike, with bold colors and even creases in their clothes. I’m sure they’ve had their picture taken millions of times.
Passengers who exit the south exit will find a gold color statue of Kankichi Ryotsu in one of his famous poses. He’s greeting everyone who leaves the train station with a big grin and his upward stretched hand as if he’s waving welcome to Kameari.
Turn right at the south exit and walk a few steps to find Reiko Catherine Akimoto’s small statue. She is by herself, sitting on a stack of bricks wearing her signature uniform. Her mouth is open as if she’s talking to any visitor. Right before I took the picture, some guy was trying to look up her skirt. I couldn’t help but laugh.
The manga and anime police station is only a few steps from Kameari station’s south exit. After using the south exit, turn right and walk to the crosswalk. Look across the street, and the police station is in front of you.
The police in the police station (police box) will pose for a photoshoot in the doorway. They know why people take pictures of the police station and them. I’m sure they feel proud to work in the famous police box. There are a fence and gate at the back of the police box, just like in the manga.
Kameari Lilio Park
Kameari Lilio park has a “Welcome to Kameari” sign over the entrance and a golden statue of Kankichi Ryotsu next to the park entrance. He’s in a yukata and a famous pose from the manga.
On several KochiKame websites, they depict the police box right next to or in front of the Kameari park, but this is not the case. The famous KochiKame manga and anime police box is right across the street from Kameari station.
Use the south exit and look across the street on the right, and there is the famous police box. It’s small, but you can’t miss it. The park is close to the police station, but it’s a short walk around the block.
Inside Kameari park are several statues and a sign with KochiKame characters painted on it. It’s a small park where children play in the daytime and drunks sleep it off at night.
I visited one morning, and there was trash everywhere. I cleaned the park so I could take pictures without alcohol bottles and fast food bags. Unusual for Japan.
Kameari Katori Jinja
This shrine is in the manga and anime several times and is close to Kameari station. The shrine website is here. The shrine grounds are unique, so I recommend looking around. Have some cake at La Rose des Japonais because it’s so delicious. Here is a full travelandjapan.com article about the shrine.
There are two large statues of Kankichi Ryotsu on the shrine grounds and a poster displaying information about KochiKame. The poster points out areas of the city where the manga occurs and statue locations. It’s a treasure trove of information, and if you’re a KochiKame fan, it’s a must-see.
There are several small KochiKame statues throughout the city. It’s like going on a treasure hunt. Many Japanese and tourists have taken up the challenge to find all of them.
If you have an iPhone, I recommended using maps instead of other map programs because the statues are marked with a star, making them easy to find.
I logged several miles to find all the statues from my home in Nakagawa, but I didn’t notice because I focused on finding each one. I enjoyed myself and got a good workout.
The Ario Kameari mall has a large arcade and a mock police station. It’s worth checking out. Read the full article about the arcade here.
Check out Japanese culture before visiting Japan.
Have you visited Kameari to check out KochiKame? Let me know all about it in the comment section below.
Have questions about KochiKame in Kameari? Add them to the comment section, and I’ll do my best to answer them.