My First Anime Pilgrimage!

<Backlog alert: This trip was made back in 2014. Some details and information may be outdated>

Toyosato is a small town located in Shiga prefecture. It’s completely off the tourist trail so most people would not find any reason to visit … unless you are a fan of popular anime series K-ON! K-ON! tells the story of 5 Japanese high school girls who join their school’s Light Music Club – basically they form a band that plays contemporary J-pop music. The animation team based said school on a real existing school, Toyosato Elementary School.IS7A0652Actually, the functioning school has moved to an adjacent new building. You can see the new building through the window in the photo below. This old building was almost demolished if not for local residents who petitioned for it to be preserved as a historical site.IS7A0618Today, it functions as a library and doubles as a shrine for K-ON! fans. Over the years, fans have left various merchandise, instruments and props at the school to decorate and recreate scenes from the anime in real life.IS7A0633This is the recreated club room where the characters spend their after school hours having cake and tea and the occasional band practice.IS7A0621Some of the props and merchandise are displayed in a viewing area next to the gift shop. I’m not sure if these instruments are still in working condition.IS7A0637I visited on a gloomy, rainy day but was greeted by this beautiful evening sky as the sun was setting. All in all, it was an interesting day venturing off the beaten path.IS7A0665

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6 thoughts on “My First Anime Pilgrimage!

  1. This post is so interesting to share something unknown to many. When I visited Japan for the first time with a group of 10, a friend’s teenage son who is a hard core fan of these Japanese anime wanted to follow the whole trails of his comic from Osaka to Kyoto until Nara. I was baffled and kinda shocked actually before fully understanding their interests today.

    I love the last photograph which is naturally beautiful in rich colours with a unique setting, true to Vincent’s keen eyes!

    • Yes, we anime fans can be rather… passionate at times. I credit that to the Japanese in their ability to craft very compelling and immersive shows.

      As always thank you for your kind words! 🙂

  2. Nice! I’ve never heard of the anime before but from the way you describe it, it sounds like Love Live.

    I watched Love Live earlier this year (both seasons and the movie) and was quite taken by it. I wanted to go to the last Love Live concert too but it was too far from our trip. I hear the new Love Live anime is coming out (with the new case Aquors instead of Muse).

    I’ll go and watch this K-On too. Cheers for the recommendation mate! 🙂

    P/S – I’m always eternally surprised by the way Japanese leave valuable merchandise like that out there and people don’t take it. It’ll be gone in a second in Malaysia.

    • Yes, K-On! is indeed quite similar to Love Live. It also has 2 seasons and 1 movie. But I would say that K-On! is less plot driven and more slice of life.

      The new Love Live Sunshine anime will be coming out in the summer season this year (some time in July I think). I’m rather skeptical if it would enjoy the same level of success as the original Love Live. μ’s was extremely popular when I was in Japan. They were literally plastered all over Akihabara. Not sure if they will reach the same heights again starting from scratch.

      Feel free to ask me for more anime recommendations. I watch quite a lot of anime. Probably too much for my own good. HAHA.

      Yeah, the Japanese don’t quite subscribe to finder’s keepers. I once lost my camera lens in the Tokyo World Trade Center building only to find that someone has returned it to the Lost & Found counter. You can bet it will be long gone in Malaysia!

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