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Crayon Shin-chan (Shin-chan)

Japan In-depth

* The story of Crayon Shin-chan tells that Shinnosuke Nohara (Shin-chan) lives in Kasukabe City and does not specify proper nouns like detailed place names including Takesato Public Housing Estate. Please read this article as an introduction of Kasukabe City and a guide to enjoy the original story.


 
Crayon Shin-chan is a masterpiece manga that depicts cheeky and naughty 5-year-old kindergartener’s mind. It was made into anime in 1992. Crayon Shin-chan is set in Kasukabe City, Saitama Prefecture. Even in the story, the town is explicitly called “Kasukabe City.” As a matter of fact, it was Kasukabe that Mr. Yoshito Usui, the author, had lived when he was young.
 

Crayon Shin-chan has been aired in many countries since the 1990s. There are many children in those countries who became fond of Japan watching Crayon Shin-chan. It is said that some of them answered “Tokyo, Kyoto and Kasukabe” when they were asked what were the three cities that represent Japan. Kasukabe City is located at the eastern part of Saitama Prefecture with over 200 thousand inhabitants. Takesato Public Housing Estate, a huge public apartment complex, is in the southern part of Kasukabe City near the border with Koshigaya City.
 

Takesato Public Housing Estate is an old apartment complex built in 1964. It consists of 9 blocks and has about 6,000 apartment units. When it was built, it was called “the largest public housing estate in the orient.” It still is called sometimes “the largest public housing estate in Japan.” The housing estate has many public facilities such as library, post office, kindergarten and police box. It seems a perfect setting for this manga.
 
Going into Takesato Public Housing Estate, you will see many public apartment buildings lined up with numbers written on the exterior wall. The streets and the surroundings are thoroughly planned, and it is rich in green with garden trees and lawns everywhere. Walking on the wide main street in the center of the public housing estate, it makes you feel as if you are in the world of Crayon Shin-chan. Shin-chan and other characters might be around there somewhere; you will have that kind of feeling.
 
There is a park surrounded by apartment buildings in the public housing estate. Shin-chan and his friends possibly played in this park. The park is rather big, and the lines of apartment buildings continue even if you exit from different gates going through the park. You may feel as if you wander into the world of Crayon Shin-chan and cannot get out of it. Never mind about the direction and wander around with the wind in the Crayon Shin-chan world thinking about the story.
 
In the estate, there is an area called “Takesato Public Housing Estate Shopping Street” (Takesato-danchi Meiten-kai) where many stores are found. The area consists of the west and east sides. The east side is bigger and has more stores. There are many different stores such as clothing (women’s), watch, eyeglasses, book, electric appliance, drug and fish stores and also greengrocer, butcher, bakery, beauty salon, restaurant, coffee shop, clinic and bank. Shin-chan and others might be found everywhere. Please note that most of the shops open in the afternoon.
 
It is Takesato Public Housing Estate that you can soak in the ambiance of Crayon Shin-chan just by wandering freely as you like. It is not a specific spot that reminds you of the Crayon Shin-chan world but it is the entire public housing estate which has special air. Because of this housing estate, Shin-chan (Shinnosuke Nohara) was designated as the character representing Kasukabe City in 2003. How about visiting Takesato Public Housing Estate in Kasukabe City commemorating the late Mr. Usui?
 
Access
[Takesato Public Housing Estate]
Take Tobu Isesaki Line from Asakusa Station in Tokyo, and get off at Takesato Station or Sengendai Station. About 43-51 min by Semi Express. About 10-min walk to Takesato Public Housing Estate.

 

Area Map



 

* The story of Crayon Shin-chan tells that Shinnosuke Nohara (Shin-chan) lives in Kasukabe City and does not specify proper nouns like detailed place names including Takesato Public Housing Estate. Please read this article as an introduction of Kasukabe City and a guide to enjoy the original story.