Beloved anime about the beautiful game inspires awesome station.

When Yoichi Takahashi first started drawing the Captain Tsubasa manga, the idea of Japan being a serious contender in international soccer must have felt like an innocent, but arguably childish, dream. After all, Japan had never even qualified for the FIFA World Cup, and wouldn’t until 1998.

But in the years since, the Japanese national team has become a respectable club that’s competitive in international play, mirroring how Captain Tsubasa’s titular protagonist grows from an elementary school-age boy to a talented pro soccer star. The character has won fans both in Japan and abroad, becoming the animated incarnation of dreams of soccer glory for loyal audiences who follow Tsubasa’s still-continuing manga/anime sports campaigns.

This week, Tokyo’s Yotsugi Station unveiled an awesome salute to the Captain Tsubasa franchise. Since Takahashi grew up in the neighborhood, rail operator Keisei has decorated the station with gigantic murals and character artwork of series star Tsubasa Ozora and his teammates.

Right away, the stairs leading up to the ticket gates feature Tsubasa and Taro, but the biggest surprise is waiting at the top of the steps. As you walk thought the gates…

there’s a soccer field waiting for you!

Granted, you’re not allowed to actually start kicking balls around, since this is a pedestrian walkway. There’s enough space to have a pickup game if it were allowed, though (and we can’t help imagining the staff playing there after the station shuts down for the night).

There’s plenty of cool artwork on the walls surrounding the field…

…but we also noticed an unusual illustrated shadow on the ground

…and when we looked up…

…we saw Tsubasa performing his famous Overhead Kick, just like he does in the anime!

There’s more artwork to be found on the stairs leading up to the platform, where we came across goalkeepers Genzo Wakabayashi

…and Ken Wakashimazu.

▼ All the soccer imagery sometimes makes you feel more like you’re at a stadium than a train station.

Up on the platform itself, we spotted Kojiro Hyuga, showing off his Tiger Shot kick…

…and as we turned our eyes in the direction his foot was pointing, we saw this.

▼ Maybe they should think about adding Kojiro as a DLC character to the Jump Force video game.

And finally, for one last cool surprise, Yotsugi Station doesn’t have some boring chime or buzzer to tell you when a train is coming. Instead, the platform speakers play an instrumental version of the first Captain Tsubasa anime opening theme, “Moete Hero.”

While Yotsugi itself is pretty short on sightseeing attractions, the station is part of the Keisei Oshiage Line and just four minutes away from Oshiage Station, next to Tokyo Skytree, the city’s tallest observation tower, making it a quick and easy side-trip. Or, alternatively, you can make a day out of classic anime train station pilgrimages by following your visit to Yotsugi with a ride down to Noborito Station to check out its adorable Doraemon makeover.

Photos ©SoraNews24
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