Clannad Anime Pilgrimage

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…
Clannad Path to School

Animated Clannad Path
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.
Clannad Path DVD Cover
Animated Clannad DVD Cover
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. ^^;
Mizuho Clock Tower
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. ^^;;
Clannad Slope
Clannad Slope
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. ^^;
Mizuho View Park
Animated Path to Park
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.
Monument
Monument 2
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. ^^;
Mizuho View Park
Animated Park Bench
Getting the right angle for the park bench was extremely tough. There is a huge bush that prevents you from backing up. ^^;
Mizuho Spiders
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. ^^;
Clannad Pond
Animated Clannad Pond
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.
Mizuho Pond
Animated Medium Shot Pond
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. ^^;
Stone Steps Real Life
Animated Stone Steps
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.
Real Life Clannad Fountain
Animated Fountain
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. ^^;;
Fuko Landscape
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. ^_^
Clannad Pond Real Looking Back
Animated Looking Back Pond
Clannad Bench
Animated Park Bench
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.
Clannad Store
Clannad Store Animated
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.
Clannad Path
Clannad River
Fire Cover
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. ^^;
Clannad Shrine
Animated Clannad Shrine
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.
Azusa Miten Jinja
Animated Clannad Shrine
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. ^^
Side Shot Torii
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.
Clannad Lot
Animated Lot
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
Animated Hamura Station
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.
Hamura Station 2
Animated Hamura Station
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. ^^;;
Clannad Real Life DVD Cover
Clannad Animated DVD Cover
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 did 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.
Clannad Intersection
Animated Clannad Intersection
Animated Clannad Intersection 2
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.
Clannad Intersection 2
Animated Clannad Intersection 3
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. ^_^

Directions:
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
Mizuho Map 1
5.) Map from Hakonegasaki station to Mizuho View Park/path to school/slope.
Mizuho Map 2

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.

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28 comments on “Clannad Anime Pilgrimage

  1. yamada25 says:

    Wow this is really awesome, most of your pilgrimage articles make me wanna visit the place, kinda odd when I say that though ^^;

  2. dumbass says:

    do you use reference shots or just possess stunningly vivid photographic memory?!
    either way, i’m really impressed with the fidelity of your camera shots, thank you very much for sharing this pilgrimage!
    i rarely visit blogs but your topics about anime pilgrimages and those WW II tunnels make for entertaining reading. i personally don’t think pilgrimages are ‘nerdy’ but rather provides interesting, possibly even enlightening personal insights as to why those locations were selected. even i don’t remember some of the iconic locations in clannad, despite the anime having a profound impression on me. i wonder if clannad’s illusionary world is based on a location in japan, haha

    • punynari says:

      Most of the time, I’ll just take the screenshots from the anime before hand and review them before I go. Clannad was different though, I needed to bring the shots with me on this one as they are not obvious locations.

      Also, you are not alone. I also had trouble recalling Clannad’s locations before rewatching the anime. The only ones I remembered before rewatching were the pond fountain and path to school.

  3. hikky says:

    OMFG, many thanks for the effort put into this. I knew that Key has a habit of using real life locations as reference but the similarities between the artwork and to the real life pics in this case are really awesome. The way to school, the pond (+fountain), the backstreet, the shrine….hngggggg… must be really awesome to stand there. I’m glad you made it back without being arrested. ^_^ Is a foreigner really that uncommon in that city?

    • punynari says:

      I’m also glad I wasn’t arrested, especially in Shibuya. I had forgotten the name of the school Clannad’s was supposed to be based on, so I ended up walking around all the schools in the general area. There are so many police around the schools and I can imagine what they were thinking: an older foreigner looking into Japanese junior and high schools…….. I had to call it early quits on that one. Sometimes you got to trust your gut feeling. ^^;;

      As far as foreigners out there, it might happen, but there’s really little motivation to sightsee that area unless you are a Clannad fan.

  4. christgch says:

    Amazing!, thank you for showing us this, i´m a big Key fanatic and this is just… wow.

  5. Okazaki-san says:

    Such memorable places yet so inconspicuous,they really did a good job on these locations.For some reason,I’d have forgotten when I saw these spots until you highlighted them in the anime screenshots.^^;You must have had quite the luck to have found so many places ‘just wandering around’.Is it really that suspicious to see foreigners taking pictures there though?I was sure they would be quite accustomed to people in their city by now.Pity you couldn’t find the school,would have liked to see what it looked like in reality.Perhaps someday I could go on my own pilgrimage,since I love Clannad a lot.

  6. Psycho says:

    Awesome pilgrimage. Makes me remember when I watching Clannad. This is good reference for me.

  7. Kpo14 says:

    WOW! thanks a bunch for this.. I will really visit this place in Japan.. :))

  8. Xhiinen says:

    i wonder if the furukawa bakery and sunohara’s place is also real?

  9. Miyazakehime says:

    Speaking of that shrine,“Azusa Miten Jinja”
    what does it mean?Is it simply a name ,or have meaning?
    Can you help me ?

    • punynari says:

      It’s simply a name. I’m sure it does have some kind of meaning though but I don’t know it. ^^;

      • Miyazakehime says:

        That’s fun.
        I’ve never been to Japan,so I wonder whether the shrine is important in a city of Japan.
        Are they paticular or familiar?
        Is there a sign broad in front of the shrine ,or the folks told you the name.
        It’s very fun ask.
        Any how ,so envy you.

      • punynari says:

        There were a few streets signs pointing to the shrine by name (in English) but all other signs were in Japanese.

        Also, Japanese shrines are important but there are tons of them everywhere. They start to look a bit similar to each other after a while. ^^;

      • Miyazakehime says:

        Interesting,
        Well,most of the temples in my country like the shrines in Japan are deserted now,they do nearly nothing in our life.What a pity.I don’t like that.

        Anyway,thank you~
        If I have chance,I’d most like to go to the Washinomiya Shrine like you did.^-^

  10. Rezombie says:

    That was really beautiful. Thanks for taking the time and sharing these with us ^^

    The only thing that wouldn’t encourage me to go there are those gigantic spiders ;-;
    I’m kind of arachnofobic…I admire them, but am just too afraid of…u.u

    Apart from that, I would love to make a trip like yours someday ^^

    Cheers!~

  11. Ericar says:

    I can only wonder what sentimental value those places must hold in the hearts of the creators, for them to recreate it in their works with so much detail. Thanks for posting this, makes me want to go visit those places too.

  12. Wow, great pics. Wish you took those photos on sunset though.

  13. Lourence says:

    Um…. how’s your impression about Mizuho? It’s a peacefull city?

    • punynari says:

      Peaceful would be a good word to describe it. Just people going about their everyday lives. Fishing/Hiking/Commuting to work. It’s a ordinary city. (:

  14. しょうたろ says:

    Do you know where the school is? or the name of the school?

  15. Narigane says:

    Simply magnificent work. I have my suspicions but I really am surprised the places are based on real city.
    they all are taken in that.. Mizuho city? Oh, it looks like there was several place in different location i see..

  16. Breanna says:

    really amazing! wish i can go to these places .. c:

  17. Princesama says:

    Can you give me link in google map?XD im too stupid to find it ^^ (sry for bad english)

  18. Lau-chan says:

    Hey, I actually went to Mizuho two weeks ago using this guide. Thank you so much! I wouldn’t have found it without you. It was truly amazing and absolutely beautiful. Thank you!!

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