TOFU NO MORE: The real Initial D “Fujiwara Tofu Ten” location

September 8, 2010 12:03 am Published by

Upon this spot, the dreams of thousands of young men once stood. Now, it is nothing but a patch of weeds and gravel.

So what used to be on this little bit of wasteland in countryside Japan?

In case you haven’t figured it out by now, this is where the famous “Fujiwara Tofu Shop” from Initial D once stood! Here’s an older pic of it I found on the Minkara page of a user called “AE86 Ryuji”.

During a daytrip to see the famous Fukiware Waterfall in Gunma, I decided to stop along the way and see if the tofu shop still actually existed. I arrived at the location that I had researched on the internet, but there wasn’t anything there! I circled the block slowly a couple of times, but still couldn’t find it.

After noticing several groups of schoolboys walking along the same street that the tofu shop was supposed to be on, I decided to ask them if they knew where it was, as there’s probably not anyone more knowlegable about that subject.

Trying to look as unsuspicious as possible, I rolled up next to them in the Mitsubishi Minica I was driving and wound down the window.

“Excuse me, do you know of the manga called Initial D?” I asked.

“Yeah.” they all said.

“This might sound like a silly question, but is the real tofu shop from that still exist?” I continued.

“Ah you’re looking for it? That’s too bad! They tore it down about a year ago! It was about fifty metres back up the street.” one of them said.

Sure enough, I followed their directions, and recognised the restaurant next door, as seen in the next photo.

So that’s it. There was no mistaking it.

The Fujiwara tofu shop is no more.

As you can see in the background, new houses and shops are being built in the area. Most of the buildings around there were pretty old, and the whole block was in the middle of being redeveloped.

I was hoping to get a couple of shots like this at some time in the future, but it looks like that will never happen.

Just to make up for it, I did a little bit of Takumi-posing with the Minica where the legendary AE86 once parked.

At least the Mt Akina road still exists!

If you’re interested in seeing some more photos of the real Initial D tofu shop, just copy and paste 藤原とうふ店 into your favourite image search website.

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This post was written by Alexi

74 Comments

  • Eiji says:

    :(

    I didn’t realise it actually existed… well existed before.

    Pretty cool pose though, maybe you can photoshop the rest in :P.

  • Section09 says:

    So was this place built after the manga? As like some type of tribute or something?

    • supra says:

      there was a real tofu shop and the owner agreed to let them use it and after the movie he did not change it back when he died they moved his “shop”(not the whole shop) to a museum where the “shop” with the actual car from the movie stands

  • SoSideways says:

    Wait… since I’m not really like, fanboi status with this whole Initial D thing… was the manga actually inspired by a real Takumi like character or what? Like, what was the deal with that yellow FD and clean hachi sitting by the shop? Were they parked there by Initial D fans just for the photo op?

  • Kid Karola says:

    sadface.

  • Jake says:

    So were is the ae86 now days? Hopefully not totaled out in some junk yard

  • Ben Levy says:

    I also didn’t realize it really existed. In my mind, that would be considered a protected landmark.

  • kOOpA says:

    that’s too bad. i’m surprised nobody bought it.

  • Nama says:

    Theres one thing that I don’t understand and is about the buildings near to the Tofu Shop.
    Looks like totally diferent place.
    Please go and check again that is stranger.

    • KIKI says:

      In Japan most buildings have to be trashed down after 30 years, because earthquakes (newer houses newer tecnology to endure earthquakes). Noriyaro was luck to find at least the restaurant besides not demolished yet. So yes, it is the same location from the live movie. (that one everybody says it is horrible, but I found it quite enjoyable)

  • Isidro says:

    NNNNOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!! A part of me has been destroyed inside T_T

    Why was it taken down anyway?

  • Joey says:

    A-Spec Fd and the AE86…

    It’s kinda sad that a famous building got turned into a parking lot. You would think they’d save something like that.

    • KIKI says:

      They have a different way to preserve buildings, because they have a lot of earthquakes. Even if the building endure the earthquake, it becomes risk to keep it up (so, after 30 or 40 years, by law is obligatory to demolish old buildings, and use newer tecnology to endure earthquakes).

      For example, most pagodas are not the original buildings or materials. Instead they are dismantled and remounted using the same tecnology used at the historical age they were first build. So they preserve not the building but the way to build it. A very sad fact: Kongo Gumi was 1400 years old company (you read it right, they were on business since year 578) nwho was now absorbed by Takamatsu.

  • H05TYL says:

    Man that’s a real shame! It should’ve been heritage listed or something, lol.

    On a slightly related topic, what’s the word the Japanese use for street drifting?

  • Nigel says:

    They can take away the old building but not the spot where the shop existed. (All we can do is preserve these things in our imagination by not forgeting the story, even if the story is fiction.)

  • Shane B IDA says:

    Can you show us you downhill drift skill on (akina) Haruna?

  • Fury-S12 says:

    how was that buidling still standing with all those vines and stuff on it suprosed it didnt crumble long ago lol RIP to a peice of anime legend tho

  • Killua says:

    Aww, that’s too sad. Could not they wait a couple of decades until I had enough money to fly to Japan?

    I wonder if the tofu was good there. Well, as long as they don’t tear down the water tower on Mt. Haruna…

  • James says:

    This post made me a sad panda =[

    It will live on in my heart.

  • Q says:

    Riding guy… where is your 8月6日 stuff. You did nothing but tease us… and I’ve been waiting. よろしく。

  • gfunk says:

    +1 for protected landmark, this would have been a tourist attraction!

  • Slappy says:

    This post is fantastic.

  • 5hu7o says:

    RIP tofu shop!
    all good things turn to parking lots

  • genkin says:

    The sign written awning from the front of the store actually went on sale on Yahoo Auctions around the time the building was torn down. Imagine having that hanging over your garage!
    I think the frosted sign written windows also went on sale.

    Alexi, I think you had an older photo of a replica Fujiwara tofu store and Takumi AE86 from Megaweb History Garage in a previous post. Obviously Toyota knows it means something to the people :P Imagine if they built and opened a cafe based on the Fujiwara Tofu store. Actually, I think Carland in Kyoto should build a replica on the carpark next to the workshop! They are already pretty much the official supplier of Initial D replicas to Toyota.

    I’ll keep dreaming…

  • Alexi says:

    @Q

    Some of the pics were sold to a magazine, so you might have to wait a bit for the rest.

  • Paco says:

    man that really sux it would of been really cool if it was still in business and seein the ae86 there

  • KAIZER 433 says:

    Dude, I love the post it rocks!! Peace out to Fujiwara Tofu Shop that once stood there, man its been awhile since I have watched initial d. Shout out to my homies who drive the rx-7 in yellow and the white ae86 with the carbon fiber hood. I soooo wish that could GO TO JAPAN and meet up at some drift track one night, with my Nissan Skyline r-34 GT-R V-Spec with about 1300 bhp or that all-wheel Honda Civic 92 hatchback that I want to make, think about it a 92 Honda Civic hatchy with about 500 bhp to the wheels and all-wheel drive with a full carbon chassis and body. It would be SICK!

  • jagar says:

    IS that mean no more Initail D 2 the movie ?

    • KIKI says:

      They addapted a real tofu shop to be identical to Fujiwara tofu ten. If somebody wants to do another movie, they can build another one if necessary. They build newer building every 30 years around (because earthquakes, the law says they have to trash down old ones, and build new ones with new earthquake tecnology)

  • huon says:

    awesome! what a shame it was demolished :(

  • Ben Comana says:

    @Eiji, I never knew it existed in real life either… must have been so awestriking to see it in person.

  • Lone Racer says:

    O_O!!!!! nooo , damn, well at least my dream of driving up Mt.Haruna can still be done. Thanks for this awesome post ALEXI. I love posts like these. Oh, very cool picture too

  • Leon Bosman says:

    WOW , thank you for this post , im such a BIG Initial D fan , its such a nostalgic feeling to see the real place … i need to make a trip to japan …

  • Simas says:

    Man thats a shame :(

  • Ray says:

    Who originally wrote the comic? Were they in any way related to the owners of the original tofu shop? :)

  • Milo says:

    Something in my heart just broke. I am a big Initial D fan since it started. No more Initial D and the 86 is getting rare on the roads. I think i’m getting old :)

  • Harley says:

    I remember a year ago I found on yahoo auctions that they were selling the signs on that building
    Thats when they must of demolished it :(

  • driftzone says:

    What I heard is, Initial-D was inspired from Dori-kin’s life of drifting…

  • Anthony says:

    kOOpA says: September 8th, 2010 at 5:35 am
    that’s too bad. i’m surprised nobody bought it.

    Seriously, if i knew about it back in the day, I so would have moved to japan and bought it/kept the shop running.

  • Donnie says:

    lolz good stuff. ill visit Mt Haruna before I leave Japan.

  • Zeether says:

    I actually heard this had happened last year.

    Very sad news for the fans. I wonder who has the signs for the shop now?

  • Akiko says:

    to clear things up with some people…the anime/manga is NOT based on a true story…this building was made for the live action movie version, with Jay Chou. the tofu shop was owned by some family “fujita” tofu or something like that (i know, ironic haha) which the movie people decided to borrow. they recreated the front to look like the Initial D place and the owner didnt take it down seeing as it actually brought more customers in.

    until the city talked about making roads bigger so they needed to re-construct the area. which, came the end of this tofu shop :p

  • dimsum says:

    What is the actual address? I’m heading to Japan soon and want to visit…even if it’s only grass now….

  • interceo says:

    please give us the adress or at least a picture marked on googleearth… please let us go to that place once more

  • HyperSonicRacer says:

    You know,I CAN’T F***ING BELEVE THOSE A**HOLES DID THAT!!! I think i’ll do something… lol even know i’m 10 (Why did i say that?), I’m changing my name, geting a Trueno AE86 just like Takumi’s and open a tofu shop.Then i’ll be the legendary racer with the legendary 86 with the tofu shop and mount Akina nearby. WOOO!

  • HyperSonicRacer says:

    Well that is, when i am 16.

  • HachiGoRacer says:

    Oh my God!? I guess Bunta kicked the bucket from years of chain smoking. Guess Takumi sold it and decided to live with his rich golfer chick.

  • MAnny D says:

    Please give address, or gps coords for google earth. you can see images of previous time satellite images on Google earth now so we can all see it in its glory days. Please? Thanks in advance…

  • wkwkwk says:

    the building beside Fujiwara Tofu Shop on 5th pic has been tore down, maybe the shop is the last one that should be tore :(

  • InitialDfan says:

    wow, i didn’t realize that it exists
    :(
    too bad that its gone now.

  • InitialDfan says:

    where is the owner of the AE86??
    and if the manga of the initial d is based on a true story?

  • Chris says:

    would have liked to try the fried tofu :(

  • Raymund says:

    can anyone provide a full translation of the writing on the Yellow and White awning there? i’ve always been trying to figure that out

  • TakumiFujiwara says:

    WHY?!?!?!?! SERIOUSLY I HATE JAPAN FOR DOING THIS! THIS WAS HISTORY!

  • harachi noila says:

    本当に悲しいこのが起こったかもしれない、まだアニメになる、映画は本当に、番組が好きし、これだけは怒り:(何を意味は最後のコメント ミスこれも申し訳ないです。

  • Mindy says:

    I am so sad, I can’t even…

  • FC3Sfan says:

    no lie man i cryed. this was one of my dreams to visit this place WTF ASSHOLES YOU HAD TO TEAR IT DOWN

  • AdrisJDM says:

    I know this is an old post but I just want to say that if I get to live in Japan I want to buy the place and reconstruct the tofu shop

    Plus I’l build the hachi-roku and the impreza and I’ll take my dad to drive the suba , :( my most sincerely apreciation to all initial D fans remember 5th stage coming on november 9

  • Tofushopx_x says:

    Myhest feels heavy from seeing this…. I care what anyone says I don’t care if it was fiction . That 86 and that tofu shop was my heart and this being torn down tears part of it out. I have a fear the original 86 is gone as well. For now my heart stays as is until I know for sure it’s gone. I feel great sadness at this time……

  • Tofu-Tofu says:

    Keiichi was the real person based on initial D which is why he is called the drift king, he also drives an AE86

    • supra says:

      initial d is based on a fictional story with fictional characters and fictional places although when shooting the movie they had to find the best locations and it is also based on touge not drifting, keiichi tsuchiya san started drifting on a track not mountain roads ,for your information, however keiichi tsuchiya san advised them when making initial d.

  • Jake says:

    Man, this is terrible. I remember reading that it got torn down, but I never believed it. Such a shame. Oh well, it shall live on in my memory. And the fujiwara tofu decal I’m buying for my A4. The Red Suns decal will finally have a friend!

  • Brian Keisuke says:

    I just came upon this, and why Do I feel so bad?

  • supra says:

    the tofu shop lives on in a museum!!!…with the the actual car!!!… M. Yokota Museum in Gunma, Japan

    http://lostandfoundlife.com/?p=339

  • Takumi says:

    They saved the front of the building, and made a replica Hachi-Roku, and they are both in a museum as an Intial D display.

  • Ray says:

    Initial D 2 movie is confirmed and now is in production, stay tuned!!!

  • mark edgar luch a. honoridez says:

    whhhhaaaat why i am so sad that is a very good building that is from initial d waiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiitttttttttt the toyota corolla trueno ae86 it is still alive no junk but iam so sad the fujiwara tofu shop

  • mark edgar luch a. honoridez says:

    i wish there will be a new fujiwara tofu shop

  • felix says:

    I wish I could get that Toyota sprinter AE86 TRUENO….

  • Jimmy chen says:

    I was just here about an hour ago (21st OCT 2017 4.30pm japan time). This is sad.. its gone

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