Now in its fifth season, Terrace House — the so-called “scriptless” show — has earned itself a growing following outside of Japan. Getting inside the actual houses themselves is, of course, not possible, but there are a wealth of locations in Karuizawa and the greater Tokyo area that fans — whether living here or visiting from abroad — can easily visit.
It’s even possible to drop by the workplaces of a few current and former cast members since they continue their day jobs while living in the house and often have their workplaces featured in the show. Although I personally advocate for keeping a respectful distance when running into your favorite boy or girl in the city, the added thrill is certainly undeniable.
If you’re a fan of this binge-watching favorite that’s slowly growing in popularity, sign in to your Netflix account and settle in. Here are seven locations from various Terrace House seasons that are well worth a pilgrimage — including locales from the last season, Opening New Doors. Locations one through four are in the greater Tokyo area, while five through seven are in Karuizawa, Nagano Prefecture. While most locations are quite accessible, a few might require a little extra courage and planning.
Fans looking to go even deeper can check Terrace House’s official website, which meticulously lists the locations used in every episode (and was my research bible for this piece).
The most-visited Terrace House location is probably Lattest, the workplace of fan-favorite Mizuki Shida. The coffee shop is a 10-minute walk from Omotesando station in Tokyo and also near the popular Harajuku neighborhood, making it a simple addition to the average tourist’s route. When Shida is behind the counter, some Terrace House pilgrims chat and ask for a photo, while others attempt to play it cool and just soak in the atmosphere (I may or may not be speaking from personal experience). The coffee is worth your while, too.
- Address: 3-5-2, Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
2. Yokohama: Cup Noodles Museum and night view
Yokohama is incredibly rich in Terrace House locations and the Cup Noodles Museum is a clear first stop. The largely kid-oriented museum was an almost symbolic backdrop for one of Riko Nagai and Hayato Terashima’s dates, memorable for the hilarious shot of Nagai wearing five cup noodle packages around her neck. The museum’s Noodles Bazaar was the setting for the couple’s awkward conversation about relationship boundaries — “If I’m not in a relationship with someone, I wouldn’t hold hands with him” — a conversation that rang increasingly false as the season progressed.
Yokohama is also famous for its night views, which truly shone in Terrace House scenes shot on location. Both Hikaru Ota’s brutal rejection of Misaki Tamori and the intentionally mirrored confession of love by Yuuki Byrnes took place around the Minato Mirai port area, overlooking the twinkling city lights.
- Address: 2-3-4 Shinko, Naka-ku, Yokohama
3. Blast Hair and Make
Although coffee shops, museums and night views are accessible to everyone, the next two locations might be more of a challenge and probably require some Japanese language ability (hey, more motivation to get studying).
Fans looking for another unique experience could spend time relaxing at Blast Hair and Make, which appeared in a couple scenes in Boys and Girls in the City as the workplace of Tatsuya Uchihara. Rumor has it that Uchi no longer works there, nonetheless going to a Japanese salon is a treat in itself, especially the head massage that will almost certainly come with any cut. At Blast, a head spa treatment similar to the one Minori Nakada received — although probably less, uh, steamy — will run you around ¥4,000.
The delicious burger shop Golden Brown, Byrnes’ workplace, is within walking distance of Blast.
- Address: 27-1 Sarugakucho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
- www.blast-hairmake.com (Japanese)
4. Target Shibuya kickboxing gym
… it’s possible to drop by some of the establishments featured in the show where the relevant cast member still works.
The Target Shibuya kickboxing gym is run by all-time Terrace House great Daiki Miyagi. In addition to being the backdrop for many scenes in the first season, Boys and Girls Next Door, the gym returned the next season when Arman Bitaraf began training for his kickboxing match. Former cast member Ippei Shima also works at Target. Daring fans, even those with zero experience kickboxing can take a trial class for ¥3,000, but the gym’s website (and probably the class itself) is only in Japanese.
- Address: 6F Tsukada Building, 33-8 Udagawacho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
The following three locations can be found in resort town Karuizawa, the main setting for the Terrace House season Opening New Doors. Karuizawa is a roughly one-hour ride from Tokyo station on the Hokuriku Shinkansen, perfect for a weekend or day trip.
The yakitori (grilled chicken on a skewer) restaurant Wakadori, summer workplace of cast member and snowboarder Takayuki Nakamura, is a convenient, centrally located Terrace House spot in Karuizawa. Noah Ishikura also joined the Wadakori staff as a part-timer, but his work ethic was the subject of debate among other house members. While Noah may be scarce on the grounds, check out the warm yakitori joint anyway.
Including Wakadori, the following three locations can be found in resort town Karuizawa. Karuizawa is a roughly 1 ½ hour shinkansen ride from Tokyo station, perfect for a weekend or day trip.
- Address: 3-4 Karuizawa, Karuizawa-machi, Kitasaku-gun, Nagano
- tabelog.com/en/nagano/A2003/A200301/20021684 (Tabelog)
6. Kera-ike Ice Rink
The Kera-ike Ice Rink, accessible from Karuizawa station by bus, is the site of one of fan-favorites Tsubasa Sato and Shion Okamoto’s dates. The rink is only open October through March but the area also houses an onsen and a number of restaurants and shops.
- Address: 2148 Nagakura, Karuizawa-machi, Kitasaku-gun, Nagano
Soba restaurant Sasa, located a 25-minute walk south of Karuizawa station, is run by Tsubasa’s father, Tomio. The restaurant — more than just a backdrop for the show — saw a number of fun and moving scenes during Tsubasa’s time in the house, including the second part of her skate date with Okamoto. Word is that thanks to the show’s popularity, lines are out the door, so plan your visit accordingly.
- Address: 1058-16 Karuizawa-machi, Kitasaku-gun, Nagano
- tabelog.com/en/nagano/A2003/20009908 (Tabelog)
Technically speaking, Costco does not physically appear in Terrace House. But it lives large in show lore as Arisa Ohata’s painful, prolonged rejection strategy: when Yuki “Tap” Adachi tried asking Ohata on a date, her response was to repeatedly bring up wanting to go to Costco. There are multiple Costco locations scattered throughout the Tokyo area and Japan in general, so if you have a membership card, try checking one out. But remember: Go with everyone.
This list just scratches the surface of potential destinations for a Terrace House pilgrimage. No matter a fan’s interests — whether they be eating, shopping, sightseeing or exercising — there is an intersection with Terrace House in areas of Tokyo and Japan to be explored. Foreign viewers often comment that they enjoy the show as a window into another culture. If the opportunity arises, lovers of the series should definitely try experiencing that culture for themselves, too.
If you’re a fan of Terrace House, where would your pilgrimage take you? Let us know in the comments!