Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Finding Hachikō

Hachikō is world-renowned for his loyalty to his master, who died while at work. Many years ago, I learned about this special dog and became intrigued by Akitas... to the extent of considering getting one. I also learned back then that Hachikō has his own monument in Japan and that he was there when it was mounted at the Shibuya Station. While in Tokyo, therefore, I wanted to see this very famous statue of the extremely loyal dog.

When I got to Shibuya Station via train before the rush-hour commuters arrived, I was surprised that one of the station's exits was named after him: Hachikō-gushi. Hachikō truly was (still is) a celebrity for the Japanese. However, I was in a big hurry so I wasn't able to stop and take a photo with this famous dog. Instead, I thought that it would be best if I came back in the afternoon and enter the Shibuya Station via the same exit so I can pass by the statue.

Hachikō found a feline friend.

It turned out to be a bad idea and a missed opportunity. Hours later, at around 4pm, I was back at Shibuya Station but it was packed. PACKED!! The statue was already surrounded by people who wanted to have pictures with Hachikō. I suppose that many of them, like me, are tourists who want to experience the craziness of the Shibuya scramble crossing.

The tourists who were having a photo with the infamous dog's statue.

There was someone who found the best spot of all: the cat. It ended up right by Hachikō's legs, safe from being stepped on by humans.

Honestly, I had a very difficult time imagining how this Akita Inu could wait for its master at a train station as it looks now... because these days, the Shibuya crossing is CHAOTIC. But I stumbled upon a photo of Hachikō at the Shibuya Station from the Professor's time. Back then, Hachikō had not received the celebrity status; maybe because his master was still alive then or his story wasn't famous yet. He was still able to relax just outside the turnstiles while people came in and out of the station.

It was good fun to see the statue of this famous dog. It was nice to meet you, finally, Hachikō!