Studio Pierrot offered us an adaptation of the Great Teacher Onizuka anime series, a popular manga having over 50 million copies in circulation, making it one of the best-selling manga series in history. It was originally serialized in Kodansha’s Weekly Shōnen Magazine from January 1997 to February 2002, with its chapters compiled into twenty-five tankōbon volumes. The popularity of the manga led us to take a look at the real-life locations of GTO. Most of the series is set in a small interesting neighbourhood west of Shinjuku in Tokyo and is easy to recognize. They include:
Seirin private school
GTO’s real-life locations
Inokashira Park is a park which straddles Musashino and Mitaka in western Tokyo, Japan. The land was given to Tokyo in 1913. On May 1, 1917, it opened under the name Inokashira Onshi Kōen, which can be translated as, “Inokashira Imperial Grant Park”.
Thus the park was considered a gift from the Emperor to the general public. Regardless of the anime, the park is one of the best real-life locations of GTO to visit.
Inokashira Park is within a 10-minute walk from Kichijoji Station of JR Line, Keio Inokashira Line, or Subway Tozai Line (Kichijoji is a 15-minute train ride from JR Shinjuku station or about 20 minutes from Keio Inokashira Shibuya station).
It is the school where most of the series takes place, where Onizuka works and lives, hence one of the most important real-life locations of GTO. There is actually no existence of this school in real life in Kichijoji as many people tend to pretend.
The only school that exists and that has to do with GTO is the “Jissen Women College” which was used for the filming of the live action of GTO, and it isn’t located in Kichijoji but in Hino, an area further west along the JR Chuo line.
Shinjuku serves as one of the real-life locations of GTO in episode 34 of the show. In this episode, Onizuka works as a window cleaner in a skyscraper in Nishi-Shinjuku.
The plot of the episode centres on Tomoko, Eikichi, and his friend Toshiyuki Saejima finding a suitcase filled with gold, they find themselves on the run from the yakuza. However, they later discover that they are unlikely victims of a celebrity prank played on Tomoko.
The building form is not drawn in detail, but the view from the “suite” where part of the episode takes place confirms it is the Washington Hotel. You can recognize the Park Hyatt Hotel and the Tokyo Metropolitan government building on the left and the NS building and the Sumitomo building on the right as seen below
Hakuba is a village in the Japanese Alps, just outside the city of Nagano. It is the last of our real-life locations of GTO. Onizuka and others go to this area north of Tokyo in episodes 21 and 22 of the anime when looking for teacher Fuyutsuki.
The area which is generally considered to be the Hakuba resort area is spread out over three different villages, one of which is Hakuba.
The towns of Otari to the north and Omachi to the south are in the same valley as Hakuba, and most of their snow resorts also have “Hakuba” in the name. Hakuba is located in a valley to the east of the Kita Alps, in the landlocked prefecture of Nagano.
How to get there
The bus is the most popular way to get to Hakuba and also the easiest way to get there if you’re going directly from Narita Airport. One of the reasons it’s popular is that you don’t have to cart your oversized luggage around through crowded stations and trains. You can take the Shinkansen to Nagano Station and then catch a bus.
Onizuka is a reformed biker gang leader who has his sights set on an honourable new ambition: to become the world’s greatest teacher and to meet sexy high school girls.
However, strict administrators and a class of ruthless delinquents stand between Onizuka and his goal and they will use any means, however illegal or low, to drive the new teacher away.
Perfect, because Onizuka’s methods won’t be found in any teaching manual; he cares about the difference between legal and illegal activities at school as much as he cares about the age difference between himself and a high school student.
Onizuka’s role in the school is to provide a bridge between the students and teachers. The character of Fuyutsuki reflects the point of view of the average teacher. Fujisawa, the author, highlights his own school experience where teachers were mostly focused only on a good performance record rather than the teaching itself.
After visiting the real-life locations of GTO, why not commemorate glorious memories by reviewing the anime? Crunchyroll is the most suitable platform but you’ll have to pay $1.99/month to benefit from the entire catalogue. However, a 14-day trial is given to every new member.