Monday, February 3, 2014

Japan (Oct2013): Day 11 Visit Toyosato and Nagahama.

Day 11 (5/11/13): Kinosaki onsen to Kyoto. Visit Toyosato and Nagahama.

Day breakdown:
0713-0732 Kinosaki onsen to Ebara via Ltd Exp Hamakaze train
0750-1006 Ebara to Kyoto via Ltd Exp Kinosaki train
1006-1109 Deposit luggage at hostel near Kyoto station
1109-1128 Kyoto to Maibara via Shinkansen
1139-1214 Maibara to Toyosato station via Ohmi line
1215-1432 Visit Toyosato
1432-1450 Toyosato to Hikone via Ohmi line
1518-1535 Hikone to Nagahama via JR local train
1535-1629 Visit Nagahama
1629-1642 Nagahama to Maibara via JR local train
1654-1714 Maibara to Kyoto via Shinkansen
1730-1810 Dinner at Kyoto station
1820 Arrived back at hostel

110yen Water
520yen Train fare from Maibara to Toyosato on Ohmi line
400yen Train fare from Toyosato to Hikone on Ohmi line
100yen Kani Korokke (Crab Croquette) from convenience store at Nagahama
1100yen Dinner (Tonkatsu set) at 1 of the restaurants at Kyoto station
205yen 2 bottles of water
315yen 3 packets of Fried rice seasoning powder from convenience store

After a 3hr train ride from Kinosaki onsen in the morning, I finally arrived at Kyoto. 
Although the train which I took from Kinosaki onsen to Kyoto is not a direct train (I had to transfer at Ebara station), but there's actually a direct train from Kinosaki onsen to Kyoto, just that the departure time for that direct train is abit too late for me since I wanted to arrive Kyoto as early as possible on this day.

My accommodation for the night is Piece Hostel at near Kyoto station. I went to deposit my luggage at the hostel after arriving at Kyoto, then I headed out again to catch the Shinkansen to Maibara, where I then had to transfer to another train to reach Toyosato.

Piece Hostel in Kyoto.
This particular blog post will be focusing mainly on the anime "K-On!". 
Because my visit to Toyosato is to a school building where this anime is based on.
This is termed as an "anime pilgrimage".
Therefore, those of you who are not fans of K-On!, please bear with me for now. :)

First stop, Kyoto station. In K-On!, the students went on a trip to Kyoto, and I managed to find the spot which appeared in the anime. This area is on the Shinkansen side of Kyoto station, just before you take the escalators up to the Shinkansen platforms.
Anime vs real life. Kyoto station.

Anime vs real life. Kyoto signboard.
From Kyoto station, it was just a quick 20mins Shinkansen ride to reach Maibara station. 
Shinkansen ride
And upon arriving at Maibara station, I had to transfer to the Ohmi line (non-JR train, therefore JR railpass holders will have to pay for this) to catch the train to Toyosato.
The trains running on this line are pretty infrequent, with only 1 train departure every hourly or bi-hourly.
So please use the hyperdia website to check train timings when you plan your trip. 
It costs me 520yen for the 35mins train ride from Maibara to Toyosato. 
There are no toilets onboard this train.

Regular train on the Ohmi Railway line

Train is pretty dark, since the lights were not switched on during the day.

After 35mins train ride from Maibara, I arrived at Toyosato station. The moment I stepped out of the train, and I saw these pics of K-On! characters.

This is an old and unmanned station. There are no shops here, but there's a public toilet next to the station though.

Toyosato station.

Train schedule at Toyosato station. (photo taken in Nov 2013)

Entrance area of Toyosato station.

Toyosato station exterior
From Toyosato station, it is just a 10mins walk to reach Toyosato Elementary School.  Along the way, you can see posters of K-On! past events as well as some familiar sights.




Map of Toyosato Elementary School.

Finally arrived at Toyosato Elementary School. It's free admission, so you can just walk in.
The actual school have shifted to a newer building behind this older building, therefore you don't really have to worry about interrupting classes.

Official website of Toyosato Elementary School:

Anime's Sakuragaoka High School vs Real life Toyosato Elementary School's old building.

Entering the main building...remember to take off your shoes and change into the provided house slippers when you enter the building.

Peeked into 1 of the old classrooms

Entering the Music Room, where the girls from K-On! tends to hang-out.

 Items in this room were brought over by fans of the anime to replicate how it looked like in the anime.

Looking out of the Music Room's window.

Then I head over to the next building, which used to be a library of sorts, which now houses a gift shop corner as well as an area where they display all the various items brought over by fans of K-On!.

The area where they display items donate by fans of K-On!.

Yes, even instruments were being donated.
Yui's Gui-tah in the anime

Signature by voice actress (seiyuu) of K-On!

Giftshop corner...
There is not many K-On items for sale here though. 

Sold out

Finally left the school to start my stroll back to Toyosato station to catch my train.
Cafe opposite Toyosato Elementary school, which seems to serve some K-On! themed food. Too bad it was closed on the day of my visit.

Can see the station...

Arrived back at Toyosato train station.

Waiting for the train to Hikone.

Remember to take a ticket when you board the train, so that the train staff will know which station you boarded from and will know how much your train fare should be when you alight.