25 Must-Visit Tokyo Attractions for Shin Megami Tensei Fans

Shin Megami Tensei Real-Life Tokyo Locations
Shin Megami Tensei Real-Life Tokyo Locations

25 must-visit Tokyo attractions for Shin Megami Tensei players and fans.

I started playing the Shin Megami Tensei games in 1993 and three things happened to me.

  • I developed a lifelong love and fascination for world mythology. Even today, half of the books on my shelves are, in one way or another, related to mythology.
  • I fell in love with the music of Shoji Meguro.
  • I fell in love with the great metropolis of Tokyo. As I wrote in an older post, my very first solo trip to Japan was because of SMT and SMT alone.

About Tokyo, I strongly feel no other game series in existence explored the Japanese capital as thoroughly as the SMT games did. Yeah, not even the Persona series and despite SMT’s Tokyos always being … less than presentable.

Thus, if you are a Shin Megami Tensei fan, and you happen to be in Japan’s capital, here’s a list of the real-life Tokyo attractions that you must visit.

Who knows? While at it, you just might recruit for yourself a most useful demonic ally …

This list considers only the main Shin Megami Tensei games, including SMT IV Apocalypse and Liberation Dx2. It does not include the sister series like Persona, Devil Survivor, Devil Summoner, etc. I will never finish if I have to include all the parks and towers from Survivor.
(All screenshots belong to Atlus and Sega)

Tokyo Kichijoji District
Kichijōji has a special place in my heart. To me, it’s where the Shin Megami Story began in 19xx.

1. Kichijōji (吉祥寺)

Kichijōji is a pleasant western Tokyo neighbourhood, about 15 minutes train ride from Shinjuku. The shopping area beside the JR train station is famous even among foreigners for atmospheric cafes and trendy shops.

Kichijōji is, of course, also the first accessible district of SMT I. The place where all weirdness, adventure, and alignments formally began.

Of equal significance, “Kichijōji” is also the name of a signature SMT BGM! The track has been given various other names in newer episodes but has recently been returned to its root in Persona 5 Royal. Listening to this hypnotic track, while standing beside Kichijōji Station, will instantly put you in a demon-summoning mood.

Geeky Travel Tip: Kichijōji is a short, short ride away from Nakano Broadway, the place to get cheaper figurines. Along the way, you can pop by the Weathering With You shrine too.

Real-life Shinjuku Station vs SMT IV Apocalypse Shinjuku Station.
The version in the 3DS games is pretty faithful, isn’t it? Minus the people, of course. Even the lockers are there.

2. Shinjuku Station (新宿駅)

In Shin Megami Tensei I, IV, and Apocalypse, the busiest railway station in the world was an important early-game base.

The real-life Shinjuku Station itself is famous, or should I say notorious, for its numerous underground connections to other structures and stations. The foremost place in Tokyo to experience real-life “dungeon crawling,” the passageways here often feel unending and endless. In other words, not too different from a labyrinth trapping thousands of humans.

And like the case for Kichijōji, the soundtrack for the 3D parts of Shinjuku in SMT I is now one of the signature tunes of the series. Called Traffic or Arcade Town in SMT IV, this is THE MUSIC to listen to when navigating Shinjuku Station.

Just try not to act too weirdly in the many passageways of this sprawling transportation hub, while immersed in this hypnotic track.

Shin Megami Tensei Studio Alta.
Studio Alta in 2018, and Gotou delivering a strong statement on it in SMT I.

3. Studio Alta

Studio Alta with its huge outdoor screen has long been a symbol of Shinjuku. In SMT I, several important events were broadcasted using this screen, events that preceded the violent nuking of the capital.

It is a terrifying possible future to reflect on when you’re standing amongst the crowds that surround this real-life Tokyo landmark day and night.

Kabukicho Golden Gai
The actual Golden Gai in Kabukicho is one real-life location that is significantly more picturesque than the version in the Shin Megami Tensei games.

4. Golden Gai (ゴールデン街)

In SMT IV and SMT IV Apocalypse, Golden Gai was the backdrop of several challenge quests and boss fights. Thanks to the graphic abilities of the Nintendo 3DS, the area is, overall, quite faithfully reproduced in the games too.

Do note, though, that when visiting in real-life, you would at most be able to have a drink or meal in one of the many mini establishments. It is very unlikely you’d be able to scale any building to recruit dark demons.

Shin Megami Tensei Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building.
Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building was a late-game dungeon in SMT I. | Source: Wikipedia

5. Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building (東京都庁舎)

Like Studio Alta, the immense twin towers of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building have long been a Shinjuku landmark. Thus, it is no surprise that the structure is a prominent location in the SMT series.

In SMT I, the upper floors were where powerful beings from Hindu mythology could be fought or allied with. In SMT IV and SMT IV Apocalypse, the ground floor lobby and gardens form the stage for some of the toughest early-game boss fights.

Outside of gaming, the building is also famous for its free-to-enter observatory, from which on a clear day, Mount Fuji could be seen. In other words, this is one Tokyo attraction you wouldn’t want to skip. Especially if you’re visiting Tokyo as a non-SMT fan.

Shin Megami Tensei IV Apocalypse Shinjuku National Park.
Beautiful Shinjuku Gyoen, or Shinjuku National Park, is home to terrible secrets in SMT IV. Secrets involving children. | Source: Wikipedia

6. Shinjuku Gyoen (新宿御苑)

Beautiful Shinjuku Gyoen, or Shinjuku National Park, was an important story location in both SMT IV and SMT IV Apocalypse. In the Infernal Tokyo reality, this was also the location of YHWH’s Cocoon.

Note that Nozomi’s beautiful fairy forest in SMT IV Apocalypse is also not Shinjuku Gyoen. Given the forest’s in-game location, and the circular paths within, Nozomi’s haven is very likely Yoyogi Park.

This green space is a short distance away from Shinjuku Gyoen and can easily be reached using public transportation.

Ikebukuro Station East Exit.
Do you remember seeing these buildings, or a semblance of, in SMT IV and SMT IV Apocalypse?
JR Ikebukuro Station
You’ll notice eventually when you walk around JR Ikebukuro Station. The passageway forms a big square just like in the games.

7. Ikebukuro Station (池袋駅)

For me, Ikebukuro Station and its immediate vicinity have always been a kind of “mid-game” place in the Shin Megami Tensei games.

A key story location in SMT III Nocturne, SMT IV, and SMT IV Apocalypse, the station, its layout, and even its two main exits were meticulously reproduced in the two 3DS episodes. When I visited in 2018, I was stunned to discover even the shopfronts in the 3DS titles were based on the banks and shops situated there. The only difference was that there were no chests and gear to find. Otherwise, it was truly as if I was within the games.

Ameyoko at Night
Any SMT player who walks through Ameya-Yokochō after dark is sure to enjoy a pleasant sense of Deja Vu.
SMT IV Ueno Station Underground.
This underground passage … does it remind you of a certain location in SMT IV and SMT IV Apocalypse?

8. Ameya-Yokochō Market (アメヤ横丁) and Ueno Station Underground Passages

Tokyo’s world-famous Ameya-Yokochō takes on a wholly different identity after dark. Produce and food ingredient stalls are closed but around the fringes, all sorts of ethnic restaurants come alive. Thai, Indian, American, it’s a world food fair.

This makes the market a fantastic place to have a leisurely dinner at, following which you can explore the streets of night-time Ueno as they were depicted in SMT IV and SMT IV Apocalypse.

Hereby, I also highlight how accurate the virtual versions are. They are mirrors of reality except for the lack of human and vehicle traffic.

After strolling through the streets, don’t forget to check out the underground passageways of the area, too, particularly the one connecting Keisei Ueno Station and Tokyo Metro Ginza Line West Gate. Do so, and you are bound to have a Flynn, Mikado Samurai moment.

Shinobazu no Ike Bentendo Temple.
The gorgeous Shinobazu no Ike Bentendo Temple, day and (virtual) night versions.

9. Shinobazu no Ike (不忍池)

In my opinion, Shinobazu no Ike was one of the loveliest locations in SMT IV. It was depicted as a nocturnal wonderland of lights and glittering pagodas. It was full of squishy and smelly demons too.

In real-life, the pond and its landmark Bentendo Temple is a picturesque side trip for travelers visiting Ueno Park. That is, as long as the lilies are not wilting. (They look truly awful when they are brown). Hereby, I also strongly suggest that you do not visit at night, i.e., what you do in the games.

The area could be deserted after dark and anyhow, the temple would be closed. Unless you’re a samurai with a dozen servant demons on hand, it’s prudent to be safe when sightseeing.

Shin Megami Tensei III Nocturne Asakusa.
Manikins, I mean humans, at Asakusa’s famous Kaminarimon.
SMT V Asakusa Kaminarimon
Sadly, not much of Kaminarimon is presentable in SMT V.

10. Asakusa Kaminarimon (浅草雷門)

Tokyo’s most famous temple gateway has been described in many ways over the years. With words such as exotic, vibrant, touristy, spiritual, etc.

In SMT III Nocturne, though, the entrance gate opens the chapter with one of the most appalling atrocities in the entire Shin Megami Tensei series. When visiting, do spare a moment to remember the twitching faux humans whose only purpose in the Vortex World is no more than fodder for stronger beings.

Better yet, if you’re offering prayers at the temple, make a kind wish for similar unfortunate beings in our world. Entire races of divinities will remember you for doing so.

Tokyo SkyTree Purple Illumination.
The absolutely breath-taking Tokyo Skytree. Is it a … portal to another world???
Tokyo Night View from Tokyo SkyTree.
This shot, taken from the highest floor of Tokyo Skytree, was what Isabeau saw when she first reached night-time Tokyo.

11. Tokyo SkyTree (東京スカイツリー)

Still the tallest tower in Japan and the world as of 2024, visiting the observatories of Tokyo Skytree could be a hassle. No thanks to a rather complex ticketing system and queues.

Take the effort, though, and you’ll see for yourself how closely the version in SMT IV and SMT IV Apocalypse resembles the actual tower. There wouldn’t be scaffolding and steps leading to a heavenly capital, of course, or tentacles everywhere, but outside of those, the version in the games is practically a mirror. Down to the elevator alcove where a snake-hair maiden lurks.

I add that on cloudy days, when the pinnacle of the Skytee just nicks the clouds, it is also not difficult to imagine the very tip being an entrance to YHWH’s preferred world.

Kinshichō Station | Real Life Shin Megami Tensei Locations
The real-life Kinshichō Station looks like any other Tokyo Metro underground station. But you and I know heroes will live here someday. (Notice the similar floor tiles!)
Kinshi Park | SMT IV: Apocalypse
I visited Kinshi Park in 2023 and the only big round fixture that I found was the fountain. (Remember? Nanashi died near something round?) I summoned Dagda for a consultation and he said that’s where Nanashi died.

12. Kinshichō (錦糸町)

Kinshichō is rarely mentioned in non-Japanese travel literature about Tokyo, which makes it an interesting choice of a starting base for Nanashi, the protagonist of SMT IV Apocalypse.

Easily reached from Akihabara or by using the Tokyo Metro system, and just a stop from Tokyo SkyTree, there aren’t any major travel or gaming attractions here, although Atlus did do a decent job replicating Kinshi Park, i.e., where Nanashi was killed.

With accommodations here also slightly cheaper than in many other Tokyo districts, it could be a good idea to do a “Nanashi” and base yourself here when visiting. Why, with a little planning, you could even explore Tokyo using Nanashi’s story route. Does that sound like a great Tokyo travel itinerary?

Shin Megami Tensei Liberation Dx2 Akihabara.
Akihabara didn’t enjoy much prominence in the SMT series, till Shin Megami Tensei Liberation Dx2 and SMT V.
Ochanomizu Bridges in Shin Megami Tensei V
Akihabara, Kanda, Ochanomizu, etc., formed an entire zone in SMT V and the great thing about that was how the zone featured less famous landmarks. For example, the Matsuzumicho Kadokyo Overpass.

13. Akihabara (秋葉原)

The world-famous otaku haven of Akihabara is more famously associated with games like Akiba’s Trip. However, the gaudy district is still the main base for the Devil Downloaders of Shin Megami Tensei Liberation Dx2. Search hard enough in Akiba’s many stores, and I’m sure you’d find lots of exciting SMT merchandise too.

Tokyo Station Interior.
Think the size of the dungeon in SMT V is ridiculous? Well, it’s “fantasy,” but I’ll highlight it’s not that far-fetched. You’ll see when you visit.
SMT V Tokyo Station Entrance
The world-famous brick façade is full of tourists and photo-takers in the daytime but it becomes quieter after dark. However, do be careful of running into the Queen of Heaven at those hours.

14. Tokyo Station (東京駅)

Like Shinjuku Station, the transportation behemoth that is Tokyo Station will give you a taste of real-life dungeon crawling. There are just so many tunnels and passageways and shops and facilities. One wonders whether even lifelong Tokyo residents know where every passageway leads.

And after you have an inkling of how everything connects, you could try to use the underground passageways to walk to the Ginza district, as you do so in SMT IV.

Is it possible? Looking at Google Maps, it seems doable. But probably, you’d be wishing for a Terminal to teleport you before you’re halfway through.

Ginza 4-Chome Intersection.
Ginza’s most famous landmark and intersection have prominent appearances in SMT IV and SMT IV Apocalypse.
SMT V Ginza Wako Building
From the looks of it, the Nahobino doesn’t shop at Ginza Wako.

15. Ginza 4-Chome (銀座四丁目)

If you’re visiting Tokyo for the first time, chances are, Ginza will be on your itinerary.

If not, the expensive district could still be worth a look-see, if only to understand why that shop in SMT IV is so darn expensive.

Besides, the famous “Wako” 4-Chome junction was a crucial plot location in SMT IV Apocalypse. The access point for the final dungeon as well.

Lastly, in SMT III Nocturne, Ginza was the headquarters of the Assembly of Nihilo. You would likely find it rather ironical, even laughable, that an organisation so obsessed with “silence” would choose such a flashy location for its base.

Tsukiji Hongan-ji Temple, Tokyo.
Again, Tsukiji Hongan-ji is worth visiting even if you’re not a gamer. Its design is a class of its own in Tokyo.

16. Tsukiji Hongan-ji (築地本願寺)

One of the most unusual temple structures in Japan, with its architectural style more Indian than Japanese, Tsukiji Hongan-ji is a Japanese Jodo Shinshu Buddhism temple right next to the world-famous Tsukiji Outer Market.

An important and extremely confusing dungeon in both SMT IV and SMT IV Apocalypse, this unusual temple is worth a look for its architecture even if you’re not a Shin Megami Tensei player. The main prayer hall also welcomes all visitors, with no need for giddying teleportation to see the main altar.

SMT IV Apocalpyse Kasumigaseki.
Japan’s Ministry of Justice “Red Brick Building” is a Kasumigaseki landmark, be it in real-life Tokyo or in the 3DS Shin Megami Tensei games.

17. Kasumigaseki (霞が関)

Kasumigaseki is an administrative district of Tokyo and the home of many Japanese cabinet ministries. In SMT IV and SMT IV Apocalypse, the area also hides various important secrets.

Thanks to faithful reproductions in these two episodes, the immediate ground-level vicinity of Kasumigaseki Metro Station is one area in Tokyo where you will immediately feel “within” the games. To enjoy the best experience, visit the area slightly after dark, when most ministry workers would have gone home.

At the deserted junction, you will feel as if you’re a warrior from another world, desperately hunting for the next teleportation terminal.

Shin Megami Tensei III Nocturne National Diet Building
Japan’s most important decisions are debated at the National Diet Building. Thus, it is only befitting that the building was used as the stage for the final showdown of the Vortex World.
SMT V Diet Building Interior
I’m sure you remember the awful bloodbath that happened inside the Diet Building in SMT V.

18. National Diet Building (国会議事堂)

Tokyo’s imposing Italian Renaissance-style Diet Building is one of the most instantly recognisable landmarks in the capital. Without surprise, it is also a major location in several Shin Megami Tensei games, as well as in the Persona and Devil Survivor series.

Within the SMT games, the National Diet Building was most prominently featured in SMT III Nocturne, where it was the stage for the final showdown between Reasons.

As for visiting the real-life building, it is possible but altogether a solemn and restrictive experience. On the other hand, taking a picture of the unique building from outside is free and available to all. Just try not to venture too near the gates when doing so, and end up alarming the guards. (Keep a distance as the Persona 5 teens did)

Shinagawa Station Digital Signages in Shin Megami Tensei V
The SMT V story begins and ends with Shinagawa Station’s “digital signage corridor.”

19. Shinagawa Station (品川駅)

Busy Shinagawa Station is home to a corridor of digital signages; the corridor connects various platforms. In SMT V, this corridor is the so-called “bookends” of the main story. Everything begins and ends here.

It is an easy location to visit. One that is busy from dawn to midnight too, i.e., the way it was depicted in the story of the Nahobino. Standing there amidst the crowds could furthermore be a chilling experience, especially when so many people are brushing past you.

I mean, do you notice someone staring at you in the picture above? Or is no one doing so? Or maybe someone was staring at me when I took this picture in 2023 but I failed to capture him on camera.

Could that someone be the real Nahobino? A superior being coldly assessing the world he holds in his grasp?

Be careful when you tread here.

Update Feb 2024: Looks like the corridor will be the scene of a bloodbath in the upcoming SMT V Vengeance!

SMT III Nocturne Shibuya
Shibuya landmarks in real-life and in SMT III Nocturne.

20. Shibuya Station & Vicinity (渋谷駅)

The famous playground of the Persona 5 teens has long appeared in the Shin Megami Tensei games, typically as a mid-game district. (Nocturne is the noted exception).

A challenging “stage” that usually requires patience and some degree of level grinding to beat, the alleys and parks surrounding the station were faithfully, almost lovingly reproduced in SMT IV and SMT IV Apocalypse. These virtual versions even include the entertainment street of Dogenzaka and the (previously) controversial Miyashita Park.

If you are a Persona 5 player as well, this is the one Tokyo district that you must visit, no matter what.

Roppongi Hills Spider.
The famous Roppongi Hills spider statue in real-life and in SMT IV. This dude would make for a real great boss in many Atlus games.

21. Roppongi Hills (六本木ヒルズ)

A mega development project at the heart of Tokyo’s Roppongi district, Roppongi Hills consists of several complexes and is famous for trendy, i.e., pricey shops and fanciful eateries.

In SMT IV, the complex became the headquarters of the dreaded Ashura-kai. More importantly, the tallest tower of Roppongi Hills was also the “original” of Reverse Hills, an all-important mid-game dungeon in the game.

I personally consider that dungeon one of the grimmest in the whole series. With truly disturbing dark secrets.

Tokyo Midtown Roponggi.
Ultramodern Tokyo Midtown. (Okay, the version in the game definitely doesn’t match the opulence of the real-life complex)

22. Tokyo Midtown (東京ミッドタウン)

Glitzy Tokyo Midtown was the stronghold of the powerful Ashura-kai in SMT IV. One look at this large ultramodern complex and you will understand why this was a logical choice.

One of the tallest buildings in real-life Tokyo, Midtown’s abundant floor space makes it perfect for, well, a dungeon, apart from the edifice being an obvious beacon of power.

Outside of gaming, Tokyo Midtown is also famous for its surreal winter illumination events, during which its garden is artistically lit under the evening sky. With a little bit of imagination and some SMT music, a winter visit could be inspirational. Or how about, relaxing within one of the eateries of the complex, while replaying the SMT IV Midtown dungeon?

Destinyland Concept for Persona 5, and its rather simplistic representation in the overworld of SMT I.

23. Tokyo Disneyland

Renamed as “Destinyland” for the SMT series and the Persona games, Tokyo’s most famous theme park was an extremely important location in SMT I; a point of no-return, so to speak.

Come here to enjoy the rides and crowds. While doing so, you can imagine yourself hunting for a certain alignment fixing serpent with a woman’s head.

Tokyo Tower in Shin Megami Tensei Games
Tokyo Tower was the spectacular backdrop for the first big fight of SMT V.

24. Tokyo Tower (東京タワー)

Tokyo Tower is no stranger to the Shin Megami Tensei series, but within the older games, its prominence as a location is secondary. It wasn’t till SMT V that the iconic tower became the backdrop for a major boss fight.

Perhaps someday the tower would be an entire dungeon itself with a boss stationed at the pinnacle. If that happens, what sort of boss should rule the tower? An angel? An avian? Or perhaps a deity?

TeamLab Borderless Exhibition.
Beautiful as this is, it does still feel like a dungeon, yes? A surreal dungeon worthy of Shin Megami Tensei?

25. teamLab Borderless

TeamLab Borderless did not appear in any Shin Megami Tensei games, of course. However, with the permanent exhibition essentially a dim labyrinth filled with fantastical light art displays, few other attractions in Japan come close to replicating the dungeon-crawling feel of the series.

In addition, mythological beings such as phoenixes, fairies and yokai are sometimes incorporated into the displays. Walking into any within teamLab Borderless could thus be like a sudden encounter in the SMT games. Just make sure that you negotiate properly and recruit all of them.

Tsukiji Hongan-ji Gembu
I recruited a Gembu at Tsukiji Hongan-ji in 2018!

Read my other Video Game Tourist posts.

Article Name
25 Must-Visit Tokyo Attractions for Shin Megami Tensei Fans
25 Tokyo Shin Megami Tensei locations to visit for fans of Atlus’ beloved JRPG series. Would you be able to recruit demons at any?

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