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 Some details and information may be outdated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.Actually, 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.Today, 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.This is the recreated club room where the characters spend their after school hours having cake and tea and the occasional band practice.Some 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.I 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.