Sputnik Sweetheart places

April 15, 2015 By mk

Pictures of the places possibly appeared or mentioned in Haruki Murakami’s Sputnik Sweetheart.

This Sputnik conversation took place at a wedding reception for Sumire’s cousin at a posh hotel in Akasaka. ―Haruki Murakami, Sputnik Sweetheart (Ch.1)

@InterContinental – ANA Tokyo: Akasaka, Minato ward, Tokyo

Retrospectively, in 1999 when the novel was released, the term “posh hotel in Akasaka” reminds a place which is a part of the ARK (Akasaka Roppongi Knot) Hills Complex.

Sumire was born in Chigasaki. Her home was near the seashore, and she grew up with the dry sound of sand-filled wind blowing against her windows. ―Haruki Murakami, Sputnik Sweetheart (Ch.1)

@Southern Beach Chigasaki city, Kanagawa

Chigasaki is a coastal suburban city located 60 km (37 miles) south of Tokyo. The said sandy wind comes from its southern beach confronting the western edge of the Pacific Ocean.

Her father ran a dental clinic in Yokohama. He was remarkably handsome, ―Haruki Murakami, Sputnik Sweetheart (Ch.1)

@Minatomirai, Yokohama city, Kanagawa

Yokohama is the second largest city in Japan with 3.7 million inhabitants located in 25 km (15 miles) south of Tokyo. Since 19th century, the port has been a gateway to abroad.

Sumire was living in a one-room apartment in Kichijoji where she made do with the minimum amount of furniture and the maximum number of books. ―Haruki Murakami, Sputnik Sweetheart (Ch.1)

@Kichijoji, Musashino city, Tokyo

15 minutes from Shinjuku Station, Kichijoji is characterized by its northern commercial zone and southern parkside area. With its jumbled but charming alleyways, the town always attracts young people and is known for its community of counter-culture artists and wannabees.

She’d get up at noon, and in the afternoon, with the enthusiasm of a pilgrim making her way through sacred hills, take a walk around Inogashira Park. ―Haruki Murakami, Sputnik Sweetheart (Ch.1)

@Ghibli Museum, Mitaka city, Tokyo

Inokashira Park, often pronounced as “Inogashira Park” by the locals, is in just a couple of minutes walk from Kichijoji station. In the western edge of the park, there is Ghibli Museum designed by Hayao Miyazaki.

We’d hang out in libraries, spend whole days browsing in Kanda, the used-book-store mecca in Tokyo. ―Haruki Murakami, Sputnik Sweetheart (Ch.1)

@Kanda Jinbo-Cho, Chiyoda ward, Tokyo

Kanda Jinbocho is Tokyo’s centre of antique and curio book stores. In addition to the variety of books for sale, the town’s reputation is largely due to the savvy skill of the resident shopkeepers.

We were sitting as usual side by side at Inogashira Park, on her favorite bench. The pond spread out before us. ―Haruki Murakami, Sputnik Sweetheart (Ch.1)

@Inokashira Park, Musashino city, Tokyo

The pond at Inokashira park is known for an urban legend that says that a couple will break up if they go for a boat ride because of the jealousy of the goddess of the pond―but they’ll be fine if they merely sit on the bench.

“I’m calling from the phone booth near the park. ―Haruki Murakami, Sputnik Sweetheart ―Haruki Murakami, Sputnik Sweetheart (Ch.2)

@Inokashira Park, Musashino city, Tokyo

Still now, there are several phone booths around the Inokashira park for the people who do not use mobile and the use in case of quake when the network was overwhelmed.

The restaurant Miu had made a reservation at was a ten-minute walk from the Omote Sando subway station. The kind of restaurant that’s hard for first-timers to find, certainly not a place where you just casually drop in for a meal. ―Haruki Murakami, Sputnik Sweetheart (Ch.2)

@Minami-Aoyama, Minato ward, Tokyo

There are number of cozy but in less massively exposed restaurants in the radius of ten-minutes walk from the Omote Sando station in Aoyama where the author used to live in.

Imagine if they erected a statue of your father in the square in front of Chigasaki station. (Ch.3)

@Chigasaki station, Chigasaki city, Kanagawa

The statue standing in front of Chigasaki station is like this so far.

She lives there alone. The place she and her husband have is somewhere in Setagaya.―Haruki Murakami, Sputnik Sweetheart (Ch.4)

@Seijo Gakuen-mae station, Seijo, Setagaya ward, Tokyo

Setagaya ward, southern outskirts of Tokyo, is a residential area where 0.9 million people live. In the late March to early April, the streets are coloured with white pink cherry blossoms in bloom.

Apart from her office at her company in Akasaka, Miu had her own small office at Jingumae. ―Haruki Murakami, Sputnik Sweetheart (Ch.4)

@ARK hills, Akasaka, Minato ward, Tokyo

Compared to Jingumae, Akasaka is the place for more established business. The back street of ARK hills is filled with people in business attire.

Apart from her office at her company in Akasaka, Miu had her own small office at Jingumae. ―Haruki Murakami, Sputnik Sweetheart (Ch.4)

@Cat Street, Harajuku, Shibuya ward, Tokyo

In Jingumae, Cat Street is filled with fashionable smaller independent shops and dining venues and is called “Ura-Hara (back street of Harajuku)”.

They live in a four-room condo they purchased in an elegant building near Yoyogi Park. ―Haruki Murakami, Sputnik Sweetheart (Ch.5)

@Yoyogi Park, Shibuya ward, Tokyo

Beside Harajuku station, 540,529 sqm (133 acre) Yoyogi Park always attracts a variety of people and is packed at the time of cherry blossoms in bloom.

Definitely worth the move. Yoyogi Park was nearby, and she could walk to work if the spirit moved her. ―Haruki Murakami, Sputnik Sweetheart (Ch.5)

@Yoyogi Park, Shibuya ward, Tokyo

As many people practice, it is worth running or making a detour walking in Yoyogi park especially in a beautiful morning.

The day the letter arrived, I’d gone out to Shinjuku for the first time in quite a while, picked up a couple of new books at the Kinokuniya bookstore, and taken in a Luc Besson movie.―Haruki Murakami, Sputnik Sweetheart (Ch.6)

@Kinokuniya, Shinjuku, Shinjuku ward, Tokyo

Kinokuniya bookstore is the largest bookstore chain in Japan. Its Shinjuku flagship store is a landmark of the town and is mentioned frequently in the Murakami novels.

Barely beating the rush hour, I boarded the Chuo Line and read one of my new books until I arrived home at Kunitachi. ―Haruki Murakami, Sputnik Sweetheart (Ch.6)

@Shinjuku station, Shinjuku, Shinjuku ward, Tokyo

Shinjuku station, frequented by 3.6 million people each day, is regarded as the world’s busiest station. The Chuo line starts from Tokyo station and heads westbound via Shinjuku, Kichijoji and Kunitachi station.

At dawn I boarded the Chuo Line to Shinjuku, hopped aboard the Narita Express, and arrived at the airport. ―Haruki Murakami, Sputnik Sweetheart (Ch.7)

@Shinjuku station, Shinjuku, Shinjuku ward, Tokyo

Narita Express connects Narita International Airport with major urban stations in and around Tokyo. The car was designed by GKID and received International Brunel Awards in 2011.

She said she’d drive me back to my apartment in Kunitachi. ―Haruki Murakami, Sputnik Sweetheart (Ch.15)

@Kunitachi city, Tokyo

Kunitachi is a college town located in 30 minutes by train from Shinjuku and 20 minutes from Kichijoji. The cherry trees on University Avenue were planted to commemorate the birth of Crown Prince in 1933.

I was on my way to visit some relatives who lived downtown and was stopped at a traffic light in Hiroo, at the intersection near the Meidi-ya store, when I spotted the navy-blue Jaguar inching its way forward in the heavy traffic. ―Haruki Murakami, Sputnik Sweetheart (Ch.16)

@Hiroo, Shibuya ward, Tokyo

The protagonists of other Murakami novels hang around Hiroo as well.

All he ever did with it, though, was drive it over the same short, jam-packed route every day from his home in Hiroo to the office in Akasaka, rarely exceeding forty miles an hour. ―The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (Book3, Ch.17)

With the help of an older friend from college, she found a job as an instructor at a sports club in Tokyo’s swank Hiroo District. Aomame was primarily in charge of classes in muscle training and martial arts. ―1Q84 (Book1, Ch.11)

The following day Tsukuru met Sara in Hiroo. They went into a small bistro in a secluded part of the neighborhood― Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage (ch.12)

Hiroo is located in the far eastern part of Shibuya ward, and it is where “K” came across Miu in navy-blue Jaguar, where Akasaka Nutmeg lived, where Aomame worked at a sports club and where Tsukuru met Sara at the bistro.