As a kid I heard about a famous dog in Japan who was renowned for being the countries most loyal dog. Visiting the very spot where Hachiko the Akita once sat each day to wait of this master Hidesaburō Ueno to return from work was on our Tokyo Bucket List.
You see, our family have always been a little dog mad. Early last year we decided the kids were old enough to take care of they every own puppy. We did a lot of research before welcoming a little West Highland Terrier into our home and hearts. The kids take their new responsibility very seriously and take care of our little pup much better than expected. They love hearing about other dogs, and the story of Hachiko seemed to trigger a lot of interest.
You see, Hachiko continued to wait for Ueno to come home even after his master had died. In fact, he continued to wait each evening until his own death nine years later. He waited at Shibuya Station, certain that his master would return if he continued to wait. The dog would arrive every afternoon at the exact time of the train that Ueno had originally caught.
On 8 March, 1935 Hachiko succumbed to terminal cancer (this was finally verified by scientists in 2011). His stuffed and mounted body is now on display at the National Museum of Nature and Science Tokyo which we were able to see on our visit. We also learned that his remains were buried with his master Hidesaburō Ueno at the Aoyama Cemetery. They have finally been reunited.
In April, 1934, Hachiko was immortalised by a bronze statue that stands at Shibuya Station. It is visited daily by thousands of people who rub his legs for good luck. Have you visited Hachiko? Do you think your dog is just as loyal?
Where to see Hachiko
The Hachiko Statue is located next to the famous Shibuya Crossing and the very busy Shibuya Station. You won’t miss it!