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Anime Pilgrimages 聖地巡礼

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Joined: 10 Jul 2009
Posts: 374
Location: 京都市

PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2015 10:04 am Reply with quote
聖地巡礼 (seichi junrei) Anime Pilgrimages

Finding and visiting the real-world locations of scenes from some of your favorite anime is an emotional experience to say the least. Since anime is a medium that can easily create fantastical worlds with the stroke of a pencil, it is often difficult to differentiate between what is a real-world location and what is simply a fictitious one. The iconic locations in Japan that appear in anime are usually quite easy to identify, but the lesser known areas are almost impossible to identity as real-world or fictional.

The purpose of this thread is to introduce real-world locations of your favorite anime to others so that they can either find them on their own or simply enjoy seeing the real-world locations that their favorite anime used as inspiration.

Since I live in Kyoto City, I figured I would start this thread by introducing some works by Kyoto Animation. Kyoto Animation tends to use a lot of locations in and around Kyoto City in their anime, so I should be able to update this thread at least one a month with new photos.


I picked K-On! to start with because many of the locations featured in the anime are within walking distance of my apartment. I first saw K-On! before I moved to Japan, so at that time I had no idea that the locations in the anime were actually real places that I could visit, let alone find myself living right next to.

I am going to start with a few on the locations in the first opening sequence of K-On!.

The first location is Matsugasaki Bridge. It is located next to Shugakuin (修学院)station on the Eizan Railway.


How to get there from Kyoto Station:
Take the Karasuma Subway Line from Kyoto Station to Karasuma Oike and change to the Tozai Subway Line. Take the Tozai Subway Line from Karasuma Oike to Sanjo. Take the Keihan Line from Sanjo to Demachiyanagai and change to the Eizan Railway. Get off at Shugakuin Station.

Total Cost: 660 yen (one way)
Average Time: 45 minutes

Two other K-On! photos from Shugakuin Station



Next photo is from the steps of the Kyoto University of Art and Design
(This location is much harder to find, so I will need to play around with some image editing software so I can create a decent map for how to get there)

The last photo is from the stepping stones at Demachiyanagi

How to get there from Kyoto Station:
Take the Karasuma Subway Line from Kyoto Station to Karasuma Oike and change to the Tozai Subway Line. Take the Tozai Subway Line from Karasuma Oike to Sanjo. Take the Keihan Line from Sanjo to Demachiyanagai. Walk outside Demachiyanagi Station and look for the Kamogawa River. Walk down the steps to the Kamogawa River and the stepping stones will be right in front of you.

Total Cost: 470 yen (one way)
Average Time: 30 minutes

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Brent Allison

Joined: 01 Jan 2011
Posts: 915
Location: Athens-Clarke County, GA, USA

PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2015 9:20 pm Reply with quote
I'm impressed. I'll be returning to Kyoto this June, so I might just try and visit the stepping stones at least. Can't wait to see if anyone else adds to the thread!
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2015 7:21 am Reply with quote
When I was in Kyoto several years back, I had a moment like that while walking down Sanjo street: there was a marker by the sidewalk indicating the location where the Ikeda'ya inn once stood.

I first heard of the Ikeda'ya thanks to the Rurouni Kenshin OVA. The infamous battle that took place there on the night of July 8, 1864 is dramatized in the second episode. The Ikeda'ya was raided by the Shinsengumi after a suspect confessed (under torture) that revolutionary supporters of the son'nou-jou'i (尊皇攘夷:"Revere the Emperor; Expel the (Western) Barbarians") doctrine were there plotting to set fire to the city. The Shinsengumi lost one man, and two others later died of wounds. They killed eight revolutionaries and arrested twenty three. The real Saito Hajime and Okita Souji both participated.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2015 11:01 am Reply with quote
I've been to Omi Jingu twice, which is the shrine featured in Chihayafuru and where the HS and Queen and Meijin tournaments are played.
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Thread KillerThread Killer

Joined: 24 Feb 2012
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Location: Mexico

PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2015 6:44 pm Reply with quote
I lived in Kyoto for half a year and found locations for many wonderful anime

The Eccentric Family:

This is Shimogamo Shrine, one of the oldest shrines in Kyoto and the place where the main tanuki family live

I don't have the patience to make maps, but to get there from Kyoto Station you just have to ride the #4 bus, it's a 230 yen fare and you get off at Shimogamo Shrine stop. Takes about 40 minutes becauses buses in Kyoto are slow

The series also has plenty of famous Kyoto location (the Arashiyama bridge, the Kamo river bank in Gion, the commercial district in Shijo, Daimonjiyama, Tadasunomori, etc.) but I couldn't find the screencaps, I'll look for them later

If anyone remembers, there was a special episode about Kyoto locations that were used as inspiration for the series and I made a point about visiting those places.

Kurama temple at Mt. Kurama
This location inspired the base of operations of Kurama, the eldest of the three siblings

Getting there takes a while and you literally have to climb to the top of the mountain (takes about an hour, just the climb) so it's basically a one-day trip. From Kyoto station you can either take the train (I don't know this route but it requires doing two or three transfers) or a bus to Demachiyanagi station (this takes longer, but I find it less complicated because many buses take you there). Once you're in Demachiyanagi you ride the Eizan train and get off at the last stop. From there you can either take a bus or walk for about half an hour. You'll have to pay a 200 yen fee to climb the mountain and you'll first pass a small shrine dedicated to tenguu called Yuuki Shrine. You can also get a walking stick to help you climb the mountain at the base. There's a cable that takes you halfway up if you want to, but I recommend walking, the mountain is beautiful. Kurama-dera too is gorgeous, you can't take photos inside the main hall, but it's truly beautiful and well worth the long journey.

Another Kyousogiga location is Genko-an temple, famous for its rectangular and circular windows that appeared in the first episode of the series in this most beautiful and sorrowful scene

(that's me, hi!)

This temple is a little hidden. To get there from Kyoto Eki you should take the JR Sagano line and get off at Nijo station (190 yen) and find the Nijo Eki Mae bus stop. Ride the #6 Bus (230 yen) and get off at Takagamine Genkoan Mae. You have to pay a small fee to get into the temple (the fee rises in autumn during kouyou season, when it's said to be particularly beautiful). In regular season it has very few visitors but it's rather lovely and the many windows and hallways give it a very special sort of light.

Lastly there is Kozan-ji, the family's home and based on the temple that was run by the real monk Myoue, who among other things was known for being the first to have a tea planctation in Japan. Myoue in Kyousogiga is also based on the real Myoue

The real thing is a lot smaller than it looks in the anime, but it's nonetheless beautiful with all the lush greenery. To get there from Kyoto Station the only way is to take a JR Bus to Takao (530 yen) and get off at Toganoo station, from which there's a small walk until you find the entry to the grounds. To enter the Sekisu-in (where this particular location is) you'll have to pay 600 yen (500 additional to enter the grounds during kouyou season). The Sekisu-in also hosts the original Chojuugiga, considered the first ever manga and another inspiration for the Kyousogiga anime.

Lastly Inari Konkon, most of which takes place at the famous Fushimi Inari Shrine in the outskirts of Kyoto (actually, every character of the series is named after places in Kyoto, and the main character shares the name of the shrine)

The show had just finished airing when I visited so there were lots of references to it in the shrine

This particular location has been used in plenty other anime

Getting there from Kyoto station is extremely easy. Take the JR Nara Line and get off at Inari Station (it's just two stations away). The entrance to the shrine is right outside of the station. The one-way trip is 140 yen and you don't have to pay any fees to get in.

Tamako Market also has some famous Kyoto landscapes, and a recent Assassination Classroom episode took place in Kyoto too. If GeminiDS85 doesn't make a post about it I'll try to do it over the week.
Kyoto is a gorgeous city and a wonderful place to visit, either for general sight-seeing or for Anime pilgrimage because it's inspired a lot of creators. I hope I can go back to Japan some day and visit Kyoto once again
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2015 9:24 pm Reply with quote
Regarding Kyousougiga, it's probably nice to note that if you're visiting Kurama temple you'll also see references to Yase along the way.
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Joined: 09 Sep 2004
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Location: earth

PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2015 11:46 pm Reply with quote
i don't want to steal picture from other websites.
Here are some cool locations to visit. Even if you don;t like anime those location is still good to visit.​2012/​08/​06/​sakuchu-​enoshima-​island-​home-​of-​tari-​tari/​​anime-​news/​2013/​02/​02-​1/​city-​of-​takayama-​distributing-​hyouka-​location-​maps

Sivler spoon is based on hokkaido obihiro agricultural high school, but i don't think you can just go there. many P.A.Works anime are based on real live locations, you can easily look up those anime.
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Get off my lawn!Get off my lawn!

Joined: 20 May 2008
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Location: Edinburgh, UK

PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2015 5:01 pm Reply with quote
I guess the most likely one I'd be able to do any time soon is Alice's house from Kiniro Mosaic, given that it's only a train ride away from me. If I ever go to Japan though, I'd love to see Omi Jingu.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2015 10:34 am Reply with quote
This is actually incredible. Not only do I appreciate the lengths you went to get the right angle in the photographs but I also have a new appreciation for the effort put in by the artists to make the settings as real as possible.
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Encyclopedia Editor

Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 9616
Location: New Taipei City, Taiwan, ROC

PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2015 3:24 am Reply with quote
While most anime pilgrimage locations are in Japan, here's a good example for NYC Love Livers:​bbs/​LoveLive_Sip/​M.​1430204187.​A.​63B.​html

I wonder if one day there will be LL cosplayers dancing on Time Square. Very Happy
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