National

Shibuya's Hachiko Square train car moving to Akita ahead of renovation

Kyodo

An old train car that has been used as a tourist information center outside Tokyo’s busy Shibuya Station is being moved to the northeastern birthplace of Hachiko, the famously loyal dog immortalized by a nearby statue.

The Tokyu Railways carriage, which was in service from the 1950s to the 1980s, has been a fixture in Hachiko Square since 2006, just opposite the statue of Hachiko.

The dog won a place in the nation’s heart in the 1920s for showing up at the station to greet its master upon his return from work every day for nine years after he died. The statue is one of the most popular meeting places in the capital.

Since the dog originally came from Odate in Akita Prefecture, the city and Shibuya have maintained friendly ties. Recently, however, the two municipalities agreed to relocate the train car to Odate while Hachiko Square is renovated as part of a major face-lift in the major entertainment district. The project will see a number of new skyscrapers pop up around Shibuya Station.

The carriage, nicknamed the “green frog” for its color, is expected to be removed in early June. In Odate, it will be used as a resting space starting in July for visitors at a sightseeing facility that promotes the internationally popular Akita breed.

Hachiko inspired the 2009 film “Hachi: A Dog’s Tale,” starring Richard Gere and released around the world.

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