Anime Pilgrimage: Visiting The Real-life Places of K-on in Toyosato, Japan
Visiting real-life places of K-on in Toyosato. K-ON!’s story revolves around four (and later five) Japanese high school girls who join their school’s Light Music Club. The show follows the daily lives of each member and shows their interactions with each other, their teachers, friends and families. Following their adventures, we’ve found numerous real-life places of K-On. Read throughout the article to get to know these places
Real-life locations of K-on
The riverside of the Takano River
Tojikawara Children’s Park
Toyosato Elementary School
Fast Food Place
Sarasa Nishijin is a café renovated from an 80-year-old bathhouse. It opened in 2000, two years after the closure of the original Fujinomori Onsen bathhouse. It’s the second café operated by Café Sarasa, which also operates six restaurants, cafés and confectionery stores in Kyoto. The Café appears in K-On exactly as in real life.
The next on the list of real-life places of K-On is Takaragaike Park, a large park located in Kyoto City’s Sakyo ward, a little north of the city centre. The main attraction of this park is the huge pond, ideal for families as well as couples and groups of friends. Guess what? Dogs are allowed and there is a boat renting a place in the park!
Episode 5 of the show contains one of the real-life places of K-On called The Philosopher’s Path, a pleasant stone path through the northern part of Kyoto’s Higashiyama district. The route follows a canal which is lined by hundreds of cherry trees.
Usually, in early April these trees explode with colour, making this one of the city’s most popular hanami (cherry blossom viewing) spots.
Approximately two kilometres long, the path got its name due to Nishida Kitaro, one of Japan’s most famous philosophers, who was said to practice meditation while walking this route on his daily commute to Kyoto University.
There’s supposedly not an exact match with the anime, but there are several similar locations,
The Hanazono Kaikan is a modern Japanese-style hotel managed and operated by Myōshin-ji. The six-storey building stands in quiet surroundings on the east side of Myōshin-ji and is conveniently located for visits not only to Myōshin-ji itself but also Ryōan-ji, the Golden Pavilion, Daitoku-ji, Tenryū-ji, and other popular sightseeing destinations in western and northern Kyoto.
Facilities include a large restaurant offering Japanese dishes, a shop selling various Buddhist goods and Kyoto souvenir items, and Japanese-style public baths. In episode 4 of the second season of K-On!, we can see the hotel.
Ichijoji Station, located in Ichijoji Satononishi-cho, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto City, is a stop on the Eizan Main Line, which is operated by the Eizan Electric Railway Co., Ltd. On September 27, 1925, Ichijoji Station opened as a stop of Kyoto Dento and on April 1, 1986, Ichijoji Station became a stop of Eizan Electric Railway Co., Ltd., upon the transfer of operations.
Another location seen in the first OP of the second season is this road, mikehattsu.blogspot.com
Kitano Tenmangū is a Shinto shrine in Kamigyō-ku, Kyoto and was first built in 947 to appease the angry spirit of a bureaucrat, scholar and poet Sugawara no Michizane, who had been exiled as a result of political maneuvers of his enemies in the Fujiwara clan.
The shrine became the object of Imperial patronage during the early Heian period and due to its historical background it’s one of the best real-life places of K-on! you could visit.
A modern school building designed and built in 1937 by an American designer, William Merrell Vories. Currently, it is known because of the scenes from the K-ON! show. A large number of fans of the anime gather there.
In addition to the exterior, we can also see how the interior perfectly matches
The park is a 5-minute walk from Hankyu Arashiyama Station and a 15-minute walk from JR Saga-Arashiyama Station. You can also ride the bus, which usually takes about 20 minutes longer than the train when coming from Kyoto Station. According to the park’s website, the nearest bus station is Arashiyama Koen.
Total travel time from Kyoto Station ranges from 35 to 55 minutes, depending on the mode of transportation. The park’s entrance is a short walk up from Iwatayama’s (Iwata Mountain’s) base.
Recommended scenic route
Take a 15-minute train from JR Kyoto Station to JR Saga-Arashiyama Station (¥240 one way).
Walk down the scenic streets over the bridge of the Oi River to get to Monkey Park, which is on the opposite side of the river.
Stroll through Arashiyama Koen Park along the way.
The last of the real-life places of K-on you can visit is this fast food:
What to know about K-on!
K-on! (Keion! “けいおん!”) is the anime adaption of Kakifly’s manga of the same name, which was produced by Kyoto Animation and aired in Japan between 2009 and 2010 in two seasons. The anime became a worldwide success and allowed the franchise to gain much more depth by highlighting facts.
The anime also introduced real music, partly based on lyrics from the manga but mostly entirely new compositions. The music from the anime contains several “Original Soundtracks”, and “Character Image Songs” for most individual characters and several musical productions by the main band, Ho-Kago Tea Time. Find more on the anime’s official website (Japanese)!
Image source for real-life: mikehattsu.blogspot.com