Exploring the World of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
1 Dec 2020
Here we take a look at the world of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, a hugely influential anime.
Since its screen adaptation in 2006, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya has maintained a strong following among fans of anime. With faithful, anime-inspired recreations of actual scenery, detailed portrayals of characters, and an innovative story, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya is one of the works that significantly transformed notions of how anime ought to be.
In pop culture tourism, fans visit sites associated with their favorite music, movie, or other media. In Japan, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya was behind the rise of pop culture tourism, leading to fans visiting spots connected with their favorite anime. With The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, this is partly because so many actual locations appear in the story.
Are you ready to see some of the sites that appear in the anime?
Locations on the Way to School
Hankyu Koyoen Station is around 30 minutes away from Umeda in Osaka, and features in The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya when characters are travelling to and from school. Nearby is also a set of stairs that appears in the series.
Nishinomiya Kita High School was the model for the high school in the series, and is around two kilometers away from the station. It’s up a steep hill, so it might be best to take a taxi. Be aware that the school isn’t a tourist spot, of course, and that tourists won’t be able to enter the school as students will be in the middle of class.
The hill which leads to the school—known as “Haruhi hill” among fans—and the exterior of the school are exactly as they appear in the anime. The quality of the techniques used by Kyoto Animation to recreate these actual scenes are clear to see.
Be careful when taking photos not to include any students or local residents.
The Return of the Nishinomiya-kitaguchi Station Clock Tower
The next spot is the clock tower in front of Hankyu Nishinomiya-kitaguchi Station, a meeting point used by characters in the series.
Although the clock was at one stage removed, fans of the anime discovered where it was prior to its disposal, and rallied for it to be put back. As a result, the clock was successfully returned to its original location, and has since been looked after as a symbol of the series.
You can walk to a number of other spots from Nishinomiya-kitaguchi Station!
- Hirota-jinja Shrine: This historical shrine appears in the series, and at more than 1,800 years old, it is the oldest shrine in Hyogo Prefecture.
- Shin-ike Pond: Known as Mikuru-ike Pond by fans of the series, Shin-ike attracts numerous pigeons.
Ice Cream Soda at Coffee-ya Dream
The final spot is Coffee-ya Dream, which is also near Nishinomiya-kitaguchi Station.
After the original owner of the café passed away, the plan was to close the café down. Following support from fans of the anime and the café’s regular customers, however, the owner’s family decided to keep the café open, albeit in a different location. As such, although the exterior looks different to the one that appears in the anime, the inside is reminiscent of familiar scenes. Go ahead and order an ice cream soda!
Also inside the café are numerous messages from fans of the anime who have visited from across the world, associated books, and other merchandise, showing just how popular the series is.
Nishinomiya City in Hyogo Prefecture is the hometown of the author of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, and so locations from all around the city are recreated in the series.
Why not watch the series and stop off for a visit to Nishinomiya to discover what daily life is really like in Japan. Discovering real scenes that appear in the anime is sure to be a fascinating experience!