Like Air and Kanon, Clannad is another Key/Kyoto Animation anime that is heavily inspired by real life locations in Japan. Being the completest and Key fanatic I am, I had to make a Clannad anime pilgrimage article as well. The only thing is, Clannad is one of the most difficult anime journeys to make. Several of Clannad’s locations are spread throughout Japan from Osaka to the tip of Tohoku. This journey is to just a few of the most well known and accessible locations in Japan that are seen in Clannad TV and Clannad After Story. Please enjoy my photowalk in the bittersweet city of Mizuho, Japan: home of many memories….good and bad…
The path to school is probably the most iconic Clannad location I visited. You can find it near the Mizuho View Park (directions at the end of the article).
It is a special place because the main character of the Clannad anime, Tomoya Okazaki, first meets the young girl who would bring light into his dark life. Her name is Nagisa Furukawa. Throughout the years, Nagisa and Tomoya would walk this cherry blossom lined path to their school at the top of the hill.
Towards the top of the hill is the exact angle that appears on one of the Clannad DVD covers. It took many attempts (and car dodging) to get the angle just right. ^^;
The school that appears at the top of the hill in the Clannad anime is actually based on another one located in Shibuya. The Mizuho one looks drastically different. I actually tried to find the Shibuya Clannad school today but the amount of police in the area was unreal. I didn’t want any trouble. ^^;;
As if the path to school wasn’t geeky enough, at the bottom of the hill was the slope that is shown in Clannad’s opening credits as well as in various episodes of the show. It was one of those places that just hits you and makes you feel like you are really in the anime. ^^;
At the base of the slope, and near the start of the path to school, is the staircase to the Mizuho View Park. The characters in Clannad would frequently have meetings at the top.
The park at the top is actually quite small and the trees block most of the view. In fact, I was unable to get a good view shot of Mizuho city during my entire trip due to these trees. ^^;
Getting the right angle for the park bench was extremely tough. There is a huge bush that prevents you from backing up. ^^;
One thing I had to watch out for was the sheer amount of spiders in Mizuho city. This is actually one of the smaller ones. Some spiders were almost the size of my palm. I almost ran face first into these spiders on multiple occasions. ^^;
This familiar looking pond from the Clannad anime is called “Sayama Pond Park” in real life. It is peaceful park that houses a shrine, fishing docks, and a large water fountain.
To my surprise, the park was actually kind of crowded and folks were wondering what in the world was this foreigner up to way out in the middle of nowhere. ^^;
While taking this shot of the stone steps, the kids on the dock saw my reference shots and could not believe that an anime was based on there little pond. ^^;
For the Clannad anime pilgrimage, reference shots are a must because a lot of the locations look ordinary and are hard to pick out.
Out of all the pond shots, I wanted to take this one the most. Nagisa notices a pretty water fountain come out of the lake all of a sudden and watches it with Tomoya. It’s a romantic scene so I’m happy to have gotten a shot of it. Well, that and I can image that I’m watching it with Nagisa as well. ^^;;
The fountain is actually another iconic Clannad location. I was worried that it wouldn’t be turned on for my visit. Thankfully that wasn’t the case. ^_^
The Sayama Pond Park is actually shown in several Clannad episodes and several times characters would have conversations on these two benches. This reference shot from the anime is when Tomoya talks with the “stalker” of the character Kotomi.
Before leaving the pond, I took a few shots of this small store….er building. It was actually shown on one of the Clannad DVDs as well. You can find it on the outskirts of the pond.
After viewing the pond, I set off to look for various streets that appeared in the anime….without luck. In my opinion, the Clannad anime pilgrimage is the most difficult one you can go on. Unlike most animes, many of the locations are so normal that you would be hard pressed to actually find the exact areas that appeared in the anime. The shots I did get were mostly by luck and from wandering around long enough. ^^;
Even though I struck out on a lot of city locations, I did manage to find the Clannad shrine. This shrine is shown several times throughout the series and is based on the real life “Azusa Miten Jinja”. This shrine is quite distant from the station and although it is walkable, you might do better taking a cab so you don’t get lost. The shrine is on the left side of the “Ome Kaido Road” when heading from the station if you choose to walk.
The shrine is about as country as you can get. In fact, I don’t think anyone was even in there.
I wonder if I was the first foreigner to visit that shrine? People were flipping out and doing double takes when they saw me walking around. ^^
After leaving the Clannad shrine, I was pumped. I found my motivation to see as many Clannad locations as I could. Of course, I would end up not finding even half of what I set out to find, but I ended up having a lot of fun looking.
In addition, I end up seeing and going into areas of Japan that just don’t get explored by foreigners. It’s fun to go off the beaten path once and a while.
This lot was shown early on in the series when Tomoya was lamenting about how he hated his life and the city he lives in…..well, until he met Nagisa that is…
That’s all for the city of Mizuho, Japan for Clannad locations. Of course, there are more places there that appeared in the anime but I’m only so good at finding them. ^^;
My next stop was the nearby city of Hamura and it’s iconic train station that was also shown in the Clannad anime several times.
Hamura station is the “Clannad Train Station”. The characters will frequently go shopping at the nearby shopping streets or have conversations while waiting for the bus.
If I looked odd at the shrine, I looked even more odd here. Hamura is not exactly a tourist metropolis and here we have a foreigner taking a lot of odd pictures of random stuff. The police officers were watching me like a hawk to see what I was up to. ^^;;
Even with the cops watching me intently, I proceeded to try and get the right angle of one of the Clannad DVD covers. This road is right outside the station and next to a Family Mart. Consequently, it is insanely hard to get this shot without cars or people in them. I think I pretty good. ^^
Like Mizuho, there is a lot more places from Clannad in Hamura, but I had no idea were to start looking. I decided to spend my remaining sunlight looking for the Clannad school and searching one more place.
As I said earlier, I actually had no luck finding Clannad’s school, but I did find a rather frequently shown intersection, by Numabe Station, completely by accident.
This intersection is probably shown more then any other in the Clannad anime. I only managed to find this one because of the maroon building which really stuck out.
Overall, I think I did pretty good for a two day Clannad Anime Pilgrimage. Naturally, this is only the tip of the iceberg for just how many real life Clannad locations there are out there. I think I managed to get most of the iconic ones though. I hope you enjoyed my little adventure into Nagisa’s hometown. ^_^
For Mizuho Clannad Locations
1.) From JR Shinjuku station, take the Chuo Line to Hachioji Station.
2.) At Hachioji station, transfer to the Hachiko Line and ride to Hakonegasaki station.
3.) Hakonegasaki station actually has an English electronic map in the station. I strongly recommend taking pictures of these maps to guide you to where you want to go.
4.) Map from Hakonegasaki station to Sayama Pond Park
5.) Map from Hakonegasaki station to Mizuho View Park/path to school/slope.
For Hamura Clannad Locations
1.) If coming from Hakonegasaki station, transfer to the Ome Line at Haijima Station when heading back towards Hachioji.
2.) If you are coming from the Tokyo area, take the Chuo line from JR Shinjuku station to Tachikawa station.
Transfer at Tachikawa station to the Ome line.
3.) Exit at Hamura station.
For Numabe Station Clannad Locations
1.) From Shinagawa station, take the Keikyu Line to Keikyu Kamata station.
2.) Exit the station and follow signs to JR Kamata station.
3.) Take the Tokyu Tamagawa Line (near JR Kamata station), to Numabe station.
4.) The intersection is a short walk north from the the station and near a convenience store.