Shiga Holy Land Pilgrimage to the Stage of K-ON!

K-ON! is a four-frame manga by Kakifly that was adapted into an animated television series from 2009 to 2010, depicting the adolescence of the light music club at Sakuragaoka Girls High School.

Kyoto Holy Land Pilgrimage to the Stage of K-ON!Why not enjoy Kyoto while both sightseeing and making a pilgrimage t...

It is an extremely influential work that sparked the light music boom and became a social phenomenon. It is a moving story that depicts the adolescence of the light music club (Houkago Tea Time) consisting of Yui, Mio, Rik-chan, Mugi-chan, and Azunyan, with laughter and tears.

We’ll introduce the former Toyosato Elementary School in Shiga Prefecture, which served as the model for Sakuragaoka Girls’ Private High School.

What is K-ON?

K-ON! is the story of a light music club at a private high school for girls in Sakuragaoka: Hirasawa Yui (Yui), Akiyama Mio (Mio), Tainaka Ritsu (Ritsuchan), and Kotobuki Tsumugi (Mugi-chan) form a band and start from scratch while the club is in danger of being closed.

When they are in their second year of high school, they welcome a new student, Azusa Nakano (Azunyan), and the total of 5 students depicts the formation of the Light Music Club to their graduation from high school, with both laughter and tears.

The image shows, from left to right, Mugi-chan (keyboard), Azunyan (rhythm guitar), Yui (lead guitar and vocals), Mio (bass guitar and vocals), and Rik-chan (drums), who form a band called Houkago Tea Time (HTT).

Former Toyosato Elementary School in Shiga Prefecture, the Stage of K-ON

This is the old school building that served as the model for the private Sakuragaoka Girls’ High School that appears in K-ON.

It is located in Toyosato Town, Inukami-gun, Shiga Prefecture.

Designed by the famous architect William Merrell Vories, the school building was once called “the best elementary school in the East,” not only for its exterior but also for its ingenuity in many other areas.

Therefore, even if you are not a K-ON fan, you can fully enjoy this school building.

It is also portrayed in the work in a way that is not too at odds with real life.

Below, we will show you in an easy-to-understand manner, alternating between the anime images above and the actual photos below.


Former Toyosato Elementary School: Main gate of Sakuragaoka Girls’ Private High School (anime)

This is the main gate of the school building.

Frankly speaking, it looks so splendid that it is hard to believe that it is an elementary school.

Passing through the main gate, you will reach the entrance of the school building.

In the foreground is the fountain that was also depicted in the animation.

The fountain is drawn slightly more compact.

In the animation, water does not come out of the fish in the center of the fountain.

This is the principal of Sakuragaoka High School, which has appeared in many works.

The form is exactly the same.

As you can see in the photos above, most of them are so faithfully reproduced that you cannot distinguish between the animation and the real one.

Former Toyosato Elementary School in Shiga Prefecture (corridor)

Let’s start with the hallway.

It is a wooden building, so it has a taste and gives us a nostalgic feeling.

There was a mirror on the right side in the foreground, so perhaps this is the place where the animation and the photograph coincide.

The smell of the wooden structure is somewhat nostalgic, and the place is full of emotion.

For those who graduated from elementary and junior high school, this feeling of the hallway is nostalgic.


Next is the stairway with the characteristic rabbit and turtle figurines.

Are the rabbit and the turtle in the animation really there?

I thought so, but when I actually visited the former Toyosato Elementary School…they were there!

Incidentally, the Hare and the Tortoise is really based on the anecdote, “The Hare and the Tortoise.

The hare and the tortoise start a competition. At first, the tortoise is slow and the hare is fast and has a tremendous lead.


Next we will sneak into the important place, the club room!

Former Toyosato Elementary School (club room) in Shiga Prefecture

Now, it’s time to sneak into the clubroom where the members of Houkago Tea Time spent their youth!


When we actually entered the room, we found that it was a reproduction of the anime with pots for tea time.

It was probably contributed by a K-ON fan.


Visitors were free to write on the blackboard.

Everyone has written their own messages on the blackboard.

I thought it was wonderful because it felt like a space created by everyone.


Next is the place where Mio sang “Pyua Pyua Heart” for the fan club members.

If you are a K-ON fan, you may remember this scene vividly.

This is the place where the shy Mio sang enthusiastically for her fans and made the high school girls, her fans, melancholy and distressed.

As you look at the photos, you may have been able to recall a place with many spectators as in the anime.

These are the photos of the author who made a pilgrimage to the holy place of K-ON.

Information on the former Toyosato Elementary School Holy Land Pilgrimage

On Saturdays and Sundays, the office and other facilities are locked, but the tour itself is possible.

Anyone is free to write on the blackboard in the light music club room on the third floor.

Pilgrimage notebooks are also available for visitors to pick up and write in.


Basically, it is safe to bring in props, except for dangerous ones.

As mentioned above, since the museum is a town complex, there is no charge to visit or enter.


A tourist information center is also open in the former library (now a gallery).


Access to the former Toyosato Elementary School
518 Ishibata, Toyosato Town, Inukami-gun, Shiga 529-1169
*A 10-minute walk north from Toyosato Station on the Omi Railway.
*If you are going by train, please be sure to check the return timetable before heading there, as the number of trains is quite limited, only one every one to two hours.
The museum is open from 9:00 to 17:30

Notes on the former Toyosato Elementary School

About the former Toyosato Elementary School

Currently, the former Toyosato Elementary School is used by the town people on a daily basis as a town complex.

Incidentally, on the day I visited, an event was being held with the town people.

There are many K-ON fans who come here to make a pilgrimage to the holy place.

Let’s try to behave moderately so as not to disturb them!

Also, try to be quiet because part of the school is used as a library.

The hallways of the school building are also very slippery, so please be careful.

About the third floor of the former Toyosato Elementary School

The school wishes to remain faithful to the anime for the benefit of K-ON fans.

Please do not do graffiti more than necessary, especially on anything other than the blackboards in the 3rd floor club rooms, as it is totally prohibited.

Also, there are many goods donated by K-ON fans throughout the school.

Of course, taking these items home without permission is also prohibited.

The former Toyosato Elementary School is the best space created by everyone, so please observe moderation and good manners.


Experience Japan With Wabunka


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *