In front of the enormous Shibuya train station in Tokyo, there is a life-size bronze statue of a dog. Even though the statue is very small when compared to the huge neon signs flashing, it isn’t difficult to find. It has been used as a meeting point since 1934 and today you will find hundreds of people waiting there for their friends to arrive- just look for the crowds.
Hachiko, an Akita dog, was born in 1923 and brought to Tokyo in 1924. His owner, Professor Eisaburo Uyeno and he were inseparable friends right from the start. Each day Hachiko would accompany his owner, a professor at the Imperial University, to Shibuya train station when he left for work. When he came back, the professor would always find the dog patiently waiting for him. Sadly, the professor died suddenly at work in 1925 before he could return home.
Although Hachiko was still a young dog, the bond between him and his owner was very strong and he continued to wait at the station every day. Sometimes, he would stay there for days at a time, though some believe that he kept returning because of the food he was given by street vendors. He became a familiar sight to commuters over time. In 1934, a statue of him was put outside the station. In 1935, Hachiko died at the place he last saw his friend alive.