Visiting the School in K-On!
1 Dec 2020
Here we make a visit to Toyosato Elementary School, more commonly known as the K-On!School from the hugely popular anime K-On! For fans of the anime, perhaps the name Sakuragaoka High School is more familiar. The school is staggeringly similar to the one that appears in the anime.
A visit to the school shows just how elaborately the animators have recreated the school, and demonstrates why K-On! has such a huge following.
The best part about the school is that visitors can actually go inside. Since it no longer functions as a school, it is open to the public for free. The school buildings remain unchanged, and so visitors can get a taste of what schools in Japan are really like.
Part of the school is used as a local community center (this is only open to local residents), while other parts feature distinctive, historical architecture, and are used as filming locations for Japanese movies and dramas.
It’s well worth making the visit!
Toyosato Tourism Association website
Highlight 1: Enjoying the World of Anime
K-On! is about the life of a group of high school girls who join their school’s music club, and spots all around the school—such as classrooms, school club rooms, music rooms, corridors, stairs, and assembly halls—are exactly the same as they appear in the anime. Even if you’re not familiar with the series, this is a rare chance to see what Japanese schools look like on the inside.
Highlight 2: Trying On Some Japanese School Uniforms!
On the third floor is the room used by school clubs, and here, visitors can transform themselves into Japanese school girls with some traditional school uniforms and bags. The uniforms are only available in a medium size, though, and so those who want to take a photo but need a different size should bring their own.
In this same room visitors can write on the chalkboard, sit and chat at the students’ desks, and experience the life of a Japanese school girl—all against the same backdrop as in the anime!
Highlight 3: Connecting with K-On! Fans Worldwide
The school’s Shutoku Memorial Hall, which also functions as a tourist information center, is full of K-On! paraphernalia which has been donated by fans from across the world, as well as all of the official K-On! products.
Moreover, instruments and replicas used by K-On! characters in the music club are also on show—these are definitely worth seeing!
There is also a guestbook in which visitors can write their own messages and read the messages from other K-On! fans.
A Relaxing Trip Away
K-On!School is close to Toyosato Station, an unmanned station on the local Ohmi Railway Line. Cashless payments aren’t accepted and so passengers must purchase tickets. Nearby is the Chubei Itoh Memorial Museum, the home of a famous Japanese merchant built more than 140 years ago, which is open to visitors for free.
The whole area offers a sense of tranquility that can’t be found in the big city.
A trip to Toyosato is an enjoyable day out for both fans and non-fans alike!