Nestled in the mountains of Northern Kyushu of Japan is the City of Hita. Known for its hot springs, cormorant fishing, and Japanese cedar, it’s a lovely place to visit. But for anime and manga fans, Hita City is the birthplace of renowned manga author Hajime Isayama. Debuting in 2006 with a one-shot and early draft of Attack on Titan, in 2009 that very same one-shot was developed into the now massively popular anime and manga series Attack on Titan. Now, Hita City boasts several Attack on Titan sights and attractions. Here is a small glimpse of what you can expect to see in Hita City.
The best way to reach Hita City is either the JR Yufu Limited Express or the JR Yufuin no Mori Limited Express. Both trains leave from JR Hakata Station and will take you through scenic urban and rural landscapes. An excellent choice for all travelers, especially those who are using the JR Pass as you’ll be able to travel on both trains without any extra cost. However, the number one reason to go to Hita City by train is all the Attack on Titan collaboration sites in and around the station. While the main attraction is the “Attack on Titan: The bronze statue of Captain Levi”, you’ll also find plenty of pop-up stands of Attack on Titan characters as well as posters for other events in and around the station.
Right next to JR Hita Station you’ll also find the Hita City Tourist Information Center where you’ll find Hita City-exclusive Attack on Titan merchandise. Aside from Attack on Titan merchandise you can also buy items and goods related to Hita City (many of which are made from cedar trees, a specialty of Hita City), learn about local events, and even rent bicycles to travel around the city. The Information Center suggests reserving a bicycle ahead of arrival for availability reasons.
Before leaving Hita Station you’ll want to download Attack on Titan smartphone app named “Attack on Titan in HITA”. It has a variety of features including an Attack on Titan stamp rally. You can hunt QR Codes around Hita City and win special prizes. This app also comes with a coupon function which allows you to get small discounts at participating stores in the City. Along with the stamp rally and coupons, the app includes the Attack on Titan in Hita AR which allows you to take photos of your favorite Attack on Titan characters at certain locations in Hita City.
Not too far from JR Hita Station is the Patria Hita, Hita Civic Cultural Center. It’s a beautiful modern building that hosts many events, including, but not limited to, ikebana flower arrangement displays, piano recitals, rakugo performances, and civic debates. However, Attack on Titan fans will find the Attack on Hita Café at the Patria Hita. You can order various drinks that come in novelty cups, gelato, and the delicious Attack on Hita Bento lunch. The lunch comes in a wonderful Attack on Titan wrap and has a special Attack on Titan chopstick paper case. The Attack on Hita Café asks patrons to reserve the Attack on Hita Bento through the web page by 3:00 PM two days prior to visiting the Café. Aside from the wonderful lunch, you’ll want to stay for the other events going on in the Patria Hita.
Inside the main city you’ll also find an assortment of Attack on Titan displays. They are mostly in private businesses, but those displays often are in conjunction with the stamp rally. One such display is in the Hotel Socia. You’ll find a stunning replica of the Vertical Maneuvering Equipment, a display case full of Attack on Titan figures and art as well as exclusive merchandise. The hotel also has an Attack on Titan collaboration room. Guests who book this room will be surrounded by an assortment of Attack on Titan items such as sheets, wall scrolls, and even merchandise.
Leaving central Hita City you’ll find yourself at the Roadside Station Mizube-no-sato Oyama. It’s a lovely little rest area for travelers coming into Hita City by car or motorcycle and home to the Attack on Titanin HITA Museum. Here you’ll find a gallery of Hajime Isayama’s manuscripts, a few of his work desks, and currently one copy of the Guinness World Records largest comic book: Attack on Titan. While four of Hajime Isayama’s desks were auctioned during the 2023 Angoulême International Comics Festival, a fifth desk was donated to the museum.
Adjacent to the Roadside Station is the restaurant “Yakisobba no Sofuren”. The yakisoba served at the restaurant has a great texture—with a combination of crunchy and soft noodles, crunchy mung bean sprouts, and savory meats—and bristling with flavor. Fans of Attack on Titan will want to visit and try the food because Hajime Isayama worked at the Yakisoba no Sofuren Oyama Branch for two years.
You’ll also find several other stores at the Station, including cafés, a farmers’ market, and pop-up stores for various items. One café has a wonderful assortment of soft-serve ice cream, with the two standouts being ume flavored and sumomo flavored. The farmers’ market houses not only many local goods and products, but also a unique selection of deer, boar, and bear meats. It’s not something you get to eat every day and certainly worth trying. The farmers’ market also serves as the Attack on Titan in HITA Museum store. You can purchase the Attack on Titan limited edition bowling equipment here.
If one Attack on Titan Museum isn’t enough for you, then how about two? Opened on August 20, 2023, the Attack on Titan in HITA Museum ANNEX hosts choice manuscripts with comments from Hajime Isayama and a digital exhibit called “Immersive Comic.” The digital exhibit projects images from Attack on Titan onto massive screens and gives the audience the sensation of being immersed in the world of the manga. After experiencing the “Immersive Comic,” you’ll want to dive right into the manuscript exhibit. There is a wide selection of pieces, but one of the best is from volume 20 where series protagonist Eren Yeager is attacking the Colossal Titan. In his comment, Hajime Isayama says, “I matched the layout to the cover of the first volume. I had the most smug expression while drawing it.” After reading this comment, any fan will want to head back to the beginning of the exhibit to see if the artwork does match.
For the adult Attack on Titan fans there is one more reason to visit the Attack on Titan in HITA Museum ANNEX. The ANNEX is right next to a Sapporo Beer factory and Hita Mori no Beer-en (the Hita Forest Beer Garden). You can visit the Sapporo Beer factory and sample refreshing beverages at the Beer Forest. Please note that you must be 20 years or older to drink alcoholic beverages in Japan and that we ask you to drink responsibly.
One of the most iconic moments of Attack on Titan is the first time we see the Colossal Titan breach the outer wall of Wall Maria which surrounded the hometown of the series’ three main characters, Eren Yeager, Mikasa Ackerman, and Armin Arlert. In November 2020 Hita City citizen volunteers recreated this scene at the Oyama Dam. Standing at the base of the Dam near the Oyama Dam Karyu Hiroba, you’ll find a statue of a young Eren, Mikasa, and Armin looking up at the Dam in horror. An almost exact re-creation of the iconic scene, fans of the series can use the AR app to see the Colossal Titan looking over the top of Oyama Dam. There is also a handprint of Hajime Isayama at the base of the statue, and it’s said those who place their hand on the print will have their wish come true. Just make sure not to tell anyone what that wish is.
A short drive up from the Oyama Dam Karyu Hiroba, you’ll reach the top of the Dam embankment. Visitors are allowed to walk across the Dam and take in the surrounding scenery. It wouldn’t be complete for an Attack on Titan fan until they look down the statue of Eren, Mikasa, and Armin. You may suffer a bit of vertigo while doing this, but it’s well worth it as you get a wonderful perspective of the Colossal Titan’s attack on Wall Maria. Fans should also stop by the Oyama Dam Kanrijo (Oyama Dam Management Office) to receive a limited Oyama Dam Attack on Titan Dam card. The card features the cover art for the first volume of the manga series, but in place of Wall Maria is Oyama Dam.
In the closing scenes of the Attack on Titan anime series we see Mikasa sitting at the base of a large tree on a hill. Now fans of the series will be able to role-play that scene at the Taraibaru utsukushiimorizukuri Park. Why is that? Simply, a metasequoia tree, the species of tree that inspired the one in the series finale, is planted in the park. The tree was planted on November 18, 2023, by series creator Hajime Isayama and Eren’s voice actor Yūki Kaji in a tree-planting ceremony commemorating the tenth anniversary of the anime series. While we were not at the ceremony, we saw what could have been Hajime Isayama and Yūki Kaji‘s footprints from the event. Since this is a new Attack on Titan location in Hita City there are no urban legends surrounding it yet. But maybe if you act out the last scene from the Attack on Titan anime series you will find true love.
The Park also has a few outdoor sport facilities. These include a running course, a roofed outdoor sports building, and a short hiking trail. While the Taraibaru utsukushiimorizukuri Park is on the outskirts of Hita City, it’s well worth the visit for those who enjoy outdoor activities.
For as much as we’d like to zip around on Attack on Titan‘s iconic weapon, the Vertical Maneuvering Equipment, a functional set that is accurate to anime or manga is nearly impossible to make. However, you can get a similar experience at Forest Adventure Okuhita. Built inside the forested hills near the Taiokinzan Rest Area, the Forest Adventure is an obstacle course based on the 104th Training Corps training ground and the 57th Expedition Outside the Walls (when the Survey Corps captured the Female Titan). The course takes you up as high as 15 meters (about 50 feet) into the trees, walking an assortment of rope bridges, climbing nets, and flying on ziplines. There’s no other way to put the experience except exhilarating. Sure, the bridges wobble and you’re high up. But the thrill is unparalleled. What makes the obstacle course, though, is you can rent out a Survey Corps cloak and foam the Vertical Maneuvering Equipment swords. This gives you the feeling you’re in the series while running and ziplining the course. One advice when ziplining is to lean back. You’ll be stable the whole ride and with the Vertical Maneuvering Equipment swords you feel like you’re about to slice up a Titan.
The area around the Forest Adventure in Okuhita is also full of outdoor leisure activities ranging from camping, hiking, bird watching, to a tour of the now-closed Taio-Kinzan gold mine. You can even experience sifting for gold at the Taiokinzan Rest Area. One thing that may confuse travelers is the Cameroon flag proudly displayed at the Rest Area. This is because the 2002 Cameroon FIFA World Cup team stayed in the area for training. The team arrived in the area at 3:00 AM to a crowd of 130 residents. It was a legendary moment in the 2002 FIFA World Cup.
The Attack on Titan spots may be the main reason for anime and manga fans to visit Hita City, but the City has so much more to offer. One of the major draws to Hita is the local hot spring resorts. Within the main city, there are a handful of hot spring inns and hotels located along the Mikuma River. One such hotel is the Kizantei Hotel. It’s a quaint hotel on the bank of the Mikuma River and offers a variety of rooms and amenities. You can book a suite at the hotel for the moderate price of 19050 yen (about US$129.03) per person depending on the plan you choose.
One of the many reasons to visit Japan is seeing the historical buildings that dot the island nation. From Kyoto City, Ouchi-juku in Fukushima, and Kawagoe in Saitama, among many others, there are city districts that still resemble the Edo Period and earlier Japan. Hita City is no stranger to this with its Mamedamachi district. A former castle town, Mamedamachi is home to many Edo Period style buildings. While many are currently shops or cafés, you’ll find a handful of Important Cultural Properties, a sake brewery, and a soy sauce distillery. The district has a nice atmosphere to it and truly feels as if you’ve traveled back in time. If you look around Mamedamachi you’ll also encounter cafés that have Attack on Titan collaboration menu items. While not a collaboration item, the pear soft-serve ice cream at the Mugiya Café is delectable.
If you’re a foodie, there are many restaurants in Hita City to enjoy. One such location is the Stay+Café Ento above Hita Station. It is a nice place to relax as you wait for your train. The Tourist Information Center has a handy map available for all visitors.
For those who enjoy natural scenery, Hita City is full of beautiful mountainous landscapes and farmlands. Just traveling around the city will make you wonder if the scenery helped Hajime Isayama shape the vast backgrounds in Attack on Titan. Considering how sheer some of the mountains are, you’ll be left wondering if they were the inspiration for the walled cities in the series.
Hita City is a go-to destination for any Attack on Titan fan. From the Stamp Rally app, the character statues, museums, Forest Adventure, and the tree at the Taraibaru utsukushiimorizukuri Park, there is a lot of Attack on Titan to see around the city. As in the first opening theme song of the Attack on Titan anime series, “Guren no Yumiya,” you’ll be the hunter. Not of Titans, but a hunter of all the Attack on Hita Attack on Titan locations. And if you take the time to explore a bit more and you’ll find some other fun sites and activities. So, if you’re planning a trip to Japan, Hita City, Oita Prefecture is an excellent destination.
▼Attack on Titan in HITA Web (Japanese and English)
▼Attack on Titan, PDF（french） tourist map
▼HITA City Brochure PDF (French)
▼Hita City Tourism Association Web (Japanese, English, Korean, Chinese)
▼Hita City Tourism Division Instagram (Japanese)