The old green train car that currently rests outside of the Tokyo Metro network's busiest station, Shibuya, is being moved to the birthplace of Tokyo’s famous canine hero Hachiko, to make way for large renovations expected to go ahead at the station later in the year.

The plan to move the carriage to Ōdate in Akita Prefecture is anticipated to happen in early June, where it will be used as a rest stop for visitors to the Akita Dog Museum starting from July.

The train carriage, known as the “green frog” has been located at the western exit of Shibuya station, opposite the famous Hachiko statue since 2006, and serves as an information point with historic photos of Shibuya city inside. The carriage is a retired section of the Tōkyū 5000 rail series and was in use from the 1950’s to the 1980’s.

The train currently sits opposite the famous Hachiko statue at Shibuya station. Photo Credit: Dick Thomas Johnson CC by 2.0/ Original Image

As part of Hachiko square, in addition to the information centre inside, the train also makes for a popular meeting point amongst both visitors and locals of Tokyo.

The famous dog, shocked the nation and became a worldwide symbol of loyalty and love in the 1920’s when he would show up at Shibuya station to greet his master, Hidesaburo Ueno, after work on a daily basis for nine years, nine months and fifteen days after his passing.

Hachiko was born in Ōdate, Akita Prefecture in 1923, and was brought to Shibuya to live by his master in 1924. Every day Hachiko would meet his owner at Shibuya station following his daily commute home from work. Disaster struck on May 21st 1925, when Ueno died of a cerebral hemorrhage whilst at work. Despite never seeing his master again, Hachiko continued to show his love and loyalty to Ueno by returning to the station every day until his own death on March 8th 1935 to await his return.

The story of Hachiko attracted the attention of millions and has led to the production of three films and multiple children’s books. In 1948 the well known bronze statue of Hachiko was erected outside of the west exit of Shibuya Station. A copy of the statue also stands outside of Ōdate station, and in 2004 another statue was put up outside of the Akita Dog Museum in Ōdate.

A friendly relationship has continued to exist between the cities of Shibuya and Ōdate and following the announcement of renovation works at Shibuya station, the two cities have agreed to relocate the train to Ōdate. The renovation project will see large changes to the area with a complete reconstruction of Shibuya station, already underway, involving multiple skyscrapers popping up across the city of Shibuya, which is set to become an international business center.

By - Connie Sceaphierde.