Clannad Pilgrimage the Second, and Shibuya Crosswalk

Wait, it's Tuesday already? Did I skip something? Yes I did. I'll talk about it plenty in the next post, so don't get too flustered. Today, we're going back to Hakonegasaki station to see more Clannad stuff, and then the famous crosswalk in Shibuya!

 After doing some internet research Monday night, I discovered that I had missed something really cool just a few blocks away from the Clannad park: The hill road where Tomoya first meets Nagisa, the hill they climb to school every day!

 I headed north from the station instead of northwest like I had before. There were a lot more houses, and it did have a pretty Clannad feel to it.

I found it. It wasn't as obvious as I thought it would be; If I wasn't looking for it I might have missed it.

Makes me want to visit in April.
Once I crossed the street, and was actually walking along the road, I started to really notice the similarities. It wasn't sakura season, to be fair, but it's safe to say Kyoto Animation embellished the beauty of the place a little. The road wasn't surrounded by forest, but by houses and walls.

The road doesn't feel as much like the anime as most of these places do. There were cars coming and going, so walking in the middle of the road was something I had to do carefully and sparingly. Also, the road was perforated with these circle-shaped divots, unlike the flat asphalt of the anime. I would guess this is to help with slipping in snowy conditions.

I'm shocked at how perfectly I took this picture, considering
I didn't know any of the angles.

I was disappointed, but not very surprised to find that there is no school at the top of the hill. There is a large dirt field, and a building that may be related to one of the nearby schools, but none of them is the school.

Off to the side of the road there is a nice looking park, but I was more interested in the shrine at the top of the huge staircase.

At the top of the long, long flight of stairs I found this structure, which I didn't recognize from the anime, but I was told that it appeared during the Yukine story arc. It certainly looks like the same structure, but the surroundings are totally different. In the scene, they were sitting at a table, but I think I recall seeing it around the back of the shrine. I guess KyoAni improvised a bit with that shot. There were a lot more trees at the top of this hill, as well.

I took a road around the back of the building next to the soccer field, where a few children were playing. There wasn't a whole lot to see, unfortunately.

Just as I was about to leave the area, I spotted one last familiar site from the anime, a road branching off at the bottom of the slope.

I took a look at a nearby school, thinking that perhaps it is the school from the anime, but it seemed I had seen all I was going to see of this Clannad pilgrimage. Even from the restricted distance, I could tell it was a totally different building.

It's a little weird to me how closed off schools in Japan are. There are huge walls and fences surrounding them, and signs warning trespassers to not set foot on site. There is usually a main gate with a guard booth. Where I live, pretty much any sap can stroll onto high school grounds, and even elementary and middle schools don't have signs like this. Although I'm sure if you were acting suspiciously, they would investigate, visitors aren't outright banned.

There were plenty of unique neighborhoods to see, but I had been here before, so I didn't spend too much time. I had a tourist trap to visit.

Japanese people sure come up
with some appealing drink names.

I've mentioned before that I hate tourist traps. I don't like being rushed by a crowd, and too many foreigners makes being in a foreign country kinda pointless. Truth be told, though, I didn't have a whole lot of places left in mind to visit. I needed something to fill the gaps.

The crosswalk was only slightly less mundane to me than it likely is to the average Japanese salaryman on his way to work. After all, I was just crossing the street. I took a seat upstairs in the Starbucks on the second floor and got a nice picture of the action, and then I explored the area to see if there was anything of interest. There wasn't a whole lot. Shopping centers were all a little underwhelming after seeing Akihabara.

There was a bit of interesting art outside of the Shibuya station. Inside the station, there was an ad for a women's manga magazine. Apparently there's a Steve Jobs manga. I'm not really sure what that could be about.

I was only at Shibuya for an hour, tops. For the last stop of the day, I was going back to the place I went Monday night. Read about Gokurakuji and Enoshima, the Elfen Lied pilgrimage, in my next post.

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