Clannad Pilgrimage

Clannad is a masterpiece. It was originally a game made by Key, but it has been adapted into several other forms, including an anime by Kyoto Animation. That means that it has real-life setpieces! On Sunday, I decided to take a trip to one of the most iconic places featured in the anime; the park with the fountain.

My first order of business that morning was to check if I could get tickets to the Ghibli Museum. The night before I had done some research, and found that you had to get tickets way in advance, as well as where you could order them. Inside Lawson convenience stores, there are terminals for ordering tickets and various other things. I was out of luck, however. The first ticket available was the Saturday after the Friday I would be getting on a plane.

I jumped on a series of trains headed northeast, until I landed at Hakonegasaki Station. Try saying that five times quickly. There was a map near the exit to the station which gave me a pretty good idea of where the park was. Although I did have my app to show me, it was nice to be reassured. I took a picture, just in case.

There was some kind of event going on. I've seen it before in manga and anime, but I'm still not sure what it's called. The kids were carrying around a portable shrine.

The city was very spacious and beautiful. It almost didn't feel Japanese, until I saw a cemetery.

Yep, I'm still in Japan.

Eventually I came across this stream surrounded by lush scenery. I was happy that my map was telling me to go that way.

This sign warns children and parents about
the dangers of the stream.

Just a little ways up the stream, I found the park. It was gorgeous. The trees surrounded the park in such a way that it was easy to forget there were streets and neighborhoods just on the other side.

I took my time strolling through that park. I would have been content to sit there and read for a while, or just take a nap in the sun, but I had too many places to see, and such little time.

A Familiar Place

Suddenly, I knew exactly where I was. There was no mistaking this pond. I had seen it before many times, in the heart-warming/heart-crushing anime Clannad.

I somehow managed to take pictures from nearly perfect angles, despite not having any reference shots. There were a few groups sitting in the park, probably wondering what on God's green earth a foreigner was doing clear up in this remote town.

Much like the rest of the park, every tree, every stone, and every wooden structure was a feast for the eyes. It's no wonder this park was chosen as a setpiece.

Here again, I'm amazed at myself for capturing such
a perfectly angled shot.

I took a few last shots of the park, and started making my way back to the station.

A block or two away from the park, there were even more festivities going on. I dodged them and took a different path then I was planning.

I passed that same cemetery on my way back, so I could tell I was almost there. I was also incredibly hot, so I stopped by 7-Eleven and picked up this ice treat, which seemed to essentially be frozen lemon-lime soda. It was good, though.

I had seen some pretty good scenery, but it was an overall pretty underwhelming trip. I didn't go straight back home, though. They day was still young. Next stop, Harajuku!

No comments:

Post a Comment