Kanon Anime Pilgrimage Part 2

Kanon is a classic anime love story that takes place in many places around Japan. Previously, I had made the journey to Osaka to explore Kanon’s iconic meeting place and to taste taiyaki. Even after that journey, I was not satisfied. I knew there had to be more connections in the real world in the anime. Please enjoy my second Kanon anime pilgrimage.
Motomachi Sign Opener

In my second Kanon anime pilgrimage, I journey to the Yokohama and Tachikawa areas to find more of the inspirations for the snow covered city of Kanon. Like Air and Clannad, Kanon has almost every one of it’s scenes inspired or based off of real life locations in Japan.
Motomachi Sign 2
Animated Kanon Sign 1
Animated Kanon Sign 2
To start my Kanon walk, I first journeyed to the Motomachi Shopping Street in Yokohama. This shopping street is located near the foreigner district and may look like it is from Europe rather then Japan.
Motomachi Streets 1
Animated Kanon Streets 1
Sadly, it does not snow often in Yokohama, so when comparing photos you will have to add the snow in your imagination.
East Building Motomachi
Kanon Animated East Building
Rope Building Motomachi
Rupe Building Animated Kanon
For this anime pilgrimage, it was especially fun running around with reference shots and trying to match them with their real life counter part because of all the name changing. Looks like Kyoto Animation is being very careful to not infringe on copyrights (rupe ^^;).
Motomachi Bread Shop 1
Animated Kanon Bread Shop 1
Motomachi Bread Shop 2
Animated Kanon Bread Shop 2
A frequent meeting place shown in the 2006 Kanon anime is the intersection by the bread shop. This shop is also where the meat bun loving “stalker” makes her first appearance. ^^;
Motomachi Jewelry Store
Ernesto Host Animated Kanon
This Motomachi jewelry store was used as the model for the restaurant “Ernesto Host” in the Kanon anime. You can really see the similarities in the architecture.
Motomachi Charmy Clock
Kanon Charmy Clock
Motomachi’s Charmy clock also makes an appearance in Kanon’s streets.

By the way, in case you are wondering, yes, people did think I was nuts. I was wondering around Motomachi for over 2 hours with about 30 pages of anime screen shots. I think I went just a little bit overboard on this one. ^^;;
Motomachi Kent Store
Kanon Kent Store
Motomachi Hair Cutting Store
Kanon Hair Cutting Store
Motomachi Hair Cutting Store 2
Kanon Hair Cutting Store 2
I had no idea that Kanon was this closely matched to the Yokohama Motomachi area until recently. I had actually been to this area many times before but only to reach the nearby Chinatown. Yokohama Chinatown is the best place in Japan to try authentic Chinese food after all. Coincidentally, Chinatown is also famous for their meat buns. ^^;
Motomachi Streets
Kanon Streets
Motomachi Western Building
Kanon Western Streets
I actually didn’t have the specific screen shots at the time for this western house. By luck, it was also featured in the Kanon anime.
Motomachi Western Building 2
Kanon Western Building 2
Motomachi Western Building 2 2
Kanon Western Building 2 2
The other large western building in Motomachi was used as a model for a coffee shop/restaurant in the Kanon anime. This building is also where Ayu makes her escape from the Taiyaki store owner.
Motomachi Store
Kanon Stuffed Animal Shop
Kanon Stuffed Animal Shop 2
Off the main path in Motomachi is the stuffed animal shop in the Kanon anime. Here, you can buy a 1/1 scale stuffed anteater for your sword wielding girlfriend. ^^;
Kanon Old Street
Kanon Reference Shot of Old Street
Kanon Childhood Meet Up Spot
Kanon Reference Shot
After my 2 hour escapade in Motomachi, day one was complete. Day two would focus on ice cream-loving Shiori for the most part.
Ice Cream Real
Shiori Ice Cream
Of course, like any anime nerd, I had to try Shiori’s favorite brand of ice cream before going. ^^;

It’s a common theme in animes which focus on cute girls to have them have a favorite food. Whether it is meat buns, ice cream, taiyaki, beef bowls, or ….melon pan, anime girls like to eat. ^^
Tachikawa Fountain
Kanon Fountain 1
To start off my Shiori Kanon pilgrimage, I went to a west Tokyo town called Tachikawa. To the north west of Tachikawa station is a massive park called “Showa Kinen Park” where just about every scene dealing with the anime character Shiori can be found….including her favorite fountain.
Showa Kinen Park Path
Kanon Animated Path
The paths leading up to the fountain were used as models for the path that the anime character Shiori frequently walks down. It is also where she has a ton of snow fall on her. ^^;
Showa Kinen Park Fountain 2
Kanon Fountain 2
Tachikawa Fountain 3
Kanon Fountain 3
The fountain in the Showa Kinen park was gorgeous even in the rain and the figures at the top are quite artistic. I can see why Shiori was so fond of her fountain.
Showa Kinen Field 1
Showa Kinen Field 2
Kanon Snow Fields
Even the snow covered fields that Yuiichi and Shiori played in are based on fields located near the Showa Kinen Fountain.
Showa Kinen Path 1
Kanon Path 1
The place where Yuiichi and Shiori ate snacks, while on their date, is also nearby….
Showa Kinen Soda Path
Kanon Soda Machines
Showa Kinen Clock
Kanon Clock
Kanon Coffee Can
Kanon Reference Coffee Can
The last Shiori locations I found were kind of sad. If you have not seen the Kanon anime, I won’t spoil their significance in this article. No worries.

After geeking out at all of Shiori’s Kanon locations, I went a few stops north on the train to check out the model for Kanon’s school.
Tachikawa High School
Kanon School
This one had me worried. There were tons of high schoolers about and although I believe the Kanon school is actually a nursing school, it still made me feel a bit creepy. I’m no spring chicken anymore so people might get the wrong idea if I’m around high schoolers. ^^;
Tachikawa Cuteness
And to make matters worse, to get a good shot of the Kanon school, you must go inside the school grounds. Needless to say, after a few pictures I was confronted by a security guard. ^^;;

I explained in broken Japanese what I was doing and showed him my reference shots. He understood and asked if I would like to go inside for a tour (I think). My Japanese is not very good so when he went inside (to get someone to show me around?), I got spooked and went back to my hotel. ^^;;

In my profession, the last thing we want is media and police attention. ^^;;
Tachikawa School
Kanon School 2
Even with the close call, it was really cool to visit Kanon’s school in person. Though, as you have read why, I do not recommend visiting the Kanon school. ^^;; If you do, make sure you can explain yourself, either in Japanese or with pictures.

Well, I hope you enjoyed my rather extensive Kanon adventure. The weather wasn’t the best but, in my opinion, it came out as a rather nice photo article. Plus, I had a lot of fun. I now feel closer to Kanon’s cast, as if I went into their world for a moment.

Directions:
For Kanon’s Streets/Motomachi Street
1.) From Tokyo: From Tokyo Station or Shinagawa station, take the JR Yokohama line to Yokohama.
Alternatively, from Shinagawa, you can take the faster Keikyu line to Yokohama station (green or red colored only).
2.) At Yokohama station, transfer to the Minatomirai line and ride it to it’s last stop, Motomachi-Chukagai Station.
3.) Exit towards Yamashita Park.

For Shiori’s Fountain/Showa Kinen Park
1.) From JR Shinjuku station, take the Chuo line to Tachikawa station.
2.) Exit at the north exit and head north west (more west then north). There will be a few signs along the way to guide you.
3.) Entrance is 400 yen a person.

For Kanon’s School (I advice against visiting)
1.) From JR Shinjuku station, take the Chuo line to Tachikawa station.
2.) Exit the north exit and walk to Tachikawa Kita Station
3.) Take the train to Tamagawa-Josui station (opposite direction of Tama center)
4.) Head directly east of the station (along the railroad tracks) to reach the Kanon school

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13 comments on “Kanon Anime Pilgrimage Part 2

  1. kuraikawai says:

    Wow! it’s amazing how you could find the same places! you are a good observer :) nice job!!

  2. shrike900 says:

    Wow that town resembles northern european town from either Germany, Switzerland or Holland! So are you taking the time to enjoy your last months in Japan before the move to Hawaii?

    • punynari says:

      Like a mad man. ^^;
      I have a little over 2 months left (really less then that, when taking into account underway time), to explore Japan.

      I’m going to miss this place.

  3. Psycho says:

    KyoAni known using word reference for their background. Actually I just notice this in Haruhi Suzumiya no Yuutsu. Never though they did it before, in Kanon.

    I watching Kanon after Haruhi and Clannad is popular. Makes me want to watch other KyoAni production.

  4. elle says:

    wow, it is awesomeee.. love your article very much!!

  5. motormind says:

    Well, I finally went to the Showa Kinen Park myself today, entering through the entrance at Nishitachikawa station. It began to pour right when I entered, and I was really dripping when I finally reached the fountain. Unfortunately, the fountain had been switched off, likely to preserve energy. It’s fun though to see those locations for real. I walked the lanes a few times, and I tried to sit on Shiori’s spot, but it’s really hard because of all those bushes they planted on the inner wall. Yuichi also would have sat quite a way away on the other wall as well. I also found the spot near the bridge where Yuichi and Shiori have their snack… and of course THAT place with the vending machines.
    It’s too bad that there were helicopters roaming over the park all the time, really ruining the atmosphere, but all in all it was a nice outing.

  6. punynari says:

    More images were added to this article today. Now it’s even more obsessive then before. ^^;

  7. Miyazakehime says:

    Your experience in Kanon school is so interesting,suppose I was there ,it would be fun.

    I’m translating this one at present.

  8. Gamera says:

    Greetings, Punynari dude.
    I’m Gamera @ Hong Kong.
    FYI, last year (2011), on 11/29 to 12/06, I also went as anime/game pilgrimage, to Yokohama and other cities in Japan: Hiroshima, Kyouto, Oosaka, and Toukyou.
    When you’re having a boring Sunday afternoon, maybe you take a look at my blog, and compare notes?

    http://tw.myblog.yahoo.com/jw!jqK9OXSTAxY5_CNyfkps95VHr.8w/archive?l=f&id=12

  9. Tom says:

    would be funny if you live their and start watching kanon; Hey!! that’s MY house!!! :3

  10. Harold Owen says:

    I’m wondering what KyoAni actually took as a model for all those establishing shots that had so much detail. I thought I had it nailed when the police message that Yuichi and Naiyuki saw in the snow about “…towed to Kuroishi …” was shown, but that is south of Aomori. Then when he and Shiori are eating in the school cafeteria he says”…they really know how to do curry down here…” I was at a loss. Oh well way too much time on my hands. Now to find Minomi Hill :)

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