I’m always over the moon when the ever popular class trip episode in an anime is finally upon us, as those do not only result into some major romantic plot development most of the time, but also entail a lot of new and interesting locations for me to cover. And all of that holds true for the latest episode of Tsukigakirei, in which Kotarou’s and Akane’s class heads to Kyoto! These first four episodes of Tsukigakirei have been very charming and relatable, while at the same time extremely nerve-racking as well, as I was not expecting the relationship of our soon-to-be couple to take off so fast. But I couldn’t be happier with how things have been progressing so far, and can’t wait to find out what’s still in store for us with a lot more episodes to go.
*Unmarked images were all taken with GOOGLE STREET VIEW (images I shot myself, or my travel buddy in this case, will be marked ‘WD’)
First things first, there are still a couple of shots from the third episode that I want to get out of the way, before we finally head to Kyoto. I already extensively covered the show’s main location, which is Kawagoe, in another article, but there were still a couple of new shots in the third episode. The picture above shows the entrance to Kawagoe Kumano Shrine, where Kotarou seems to be working part-time. It’s also the shrine where Kotarou mustered up the courage to ask Akane out, and I’m not going to lie, I squealed like a little kid during that scene.
Kotarou rinses his hands and mouth at the water basin of Kumano Shrine’s temizuya water pavilion, to purify his body and mind.
Washing your money in this pond will grant you even greater wealth, probably.
Chinatsu is running across Takazawa Bridge here. The shrine in the background is the Motomachi-Mutsuzuka Inari Shrine.
Now that all the leftover Kawagoe locations are out of the way, let’s finally move on to the class trip in episode four. They meet up at the famous Tokyo Station, which you’ve probably already seen countless time in other anime, from where they take the Shinkansen to Kyoto. The image above shows the station’s historic brick-built western side façade, which is also called the Marunochi Side.
Only quite recently ago, Google also implemented Street View inside a large number of Japan’s major train stations.
With the Shinkansen it shouldn’t take them all too long to get from Tokyo to Kyoto. Kyoto Station was opened to the public 20 years ago, and stands in stark contrast to the historic image of the city, due to its contemporary design and modern architecture. The station’s roof is called the Matrix, and represents the city’s grid street plan.
Just across from Kyoto Station stands the 131 meters tall Kyoto Tower, which, just like Kyoto Station, has also been depicted in numerus other anime already.
The first tourist destination the class heads to is one of Kyoto’s most famous ones, the beautiful Kiyomizudera Temple, located in the hills east of Kyoto.
The iconic view of Kyoto, including Kiyomizudera’s wooden veranda that juts out from its main hall.
Beneath the main hall is the Otowa waterfall, which gets divided into three different streams. Each of the three streams is believed to have a different effect, such as longevity, success, or love. You’re only supposed to drink from one of the three streams though, since you’d be considered greedy otherwise. I drank from the one on the right, but unfortunately forgot which one was which, so I’ll just have to assume at this point that I got the one that grants longevity. The temple also gets its name from this waterfall, as Kiyomizudera literally means “Pure Water Temple”.
Right behind Kiyomizudera’s main hall is Jishu Shrine, which is dedicated to the deity of love and matchmaking.
These schoolgirls are gushing over the relationship stone located within Jishu Shrine’s compound. There are actually two of these stones located there, and if I recall correctly, you’re supposed to safely navigate from one stone to the other with your eyes closed, which’ll bring you luck in finding love. They say love is blind and always finds a way, but it’s nearly impossible to complete the challenge without trampling down a dozen of other tourists.
Akane and her friends buy some romance fortunes at Jishu Shrine, and she actually manages to get one with excellent luck. I only bought a road safety charm for our car, and that one worked out great so far, so no complaints there.
In the background to the right is Kiyomizudera’s impressive entrance gate.
Matsubara Street is lined with all kinds of souvenir shops and restaurants, and leads right up to Kiyomizudera Temple.
You should recognize the green roofing if you’ve been following The Eccentric Family 2 this season. These run along the eastern part of the famous Shijo Street, located across the Kamo River towards Yasaka Shrine, which is mainly lined by a lot of smaller shops selling local specialty foods and crafts.
The class stays in the Shogoin Gotenso, a traditional Japanese ryokan, which used to be a temporary imperial residence. The image above is taken from the online accommodation booking site Rakuten Travel.
That’s Sanjo Bridge, but viewed from Shijo Bridge.
Akane and her friends take a break at the famous Yasaka Shrine, which was founded as early as 656, and is known for the popular Gion festival.
Kotarou luckily still manages to tell Akane to meet up with him in front of Doimaru Department Store, just before his phone gets confiscated by one of the teachers. Doimaru Department Store is of course based on the Daimaru Department Store along Shijo Street in real life.
Even though Kotarou was the one that told Akane to meet up with him in front of the department store, he somehow thinks it’s a good idea to check all the side entrances first.
The Daikokuya pawnshop got changed to Daikakuya in the anime.
Luckily he finds Chinatsu just outside of Nishiki Market, a narrow shopping arcade specialized in all things food related, located right behind the Daimaru Department Store.
Thanks to Chinatsu’s phone, Kotarou is able to call Akane and explain the situation to her. However, instead of telling her to wait right where she is, which was like a maximum of two minutes away from him, he tells her to meet up with him at Honnoji Temple now, which should be a 15-20 minutes walk from where he currently is.
Hannoji Temple entrance.
The main hall of Honnoji Temple.
My first thought was that Kotarou, that sly womanizer, deliberately changed their meet-up location to a quiet temple, as that seems like a more appropriate date spot for those two, than some bustling department store where they wouldn’t even hear each other's voice. But on second thought, Hannoji Temple is actually the very place where the legendary daimyo, Oda Nobunaga, met his demise in 1582. During what’s called the Honnoji incident, he was attacked at the temple by the forces of one of his trusted generals, Akechi Mitsuhide, and was forced to commit seppuku. Now, I don’t want to read too much into this, but I just really hope that’s not the direction this story is headed in.
And with only a measly tree still putting some distance between our two love birds, everything seems to have worked out quite well this episode. I really hope that they’ll stay in Kyoto for another episode, and that we’ll maybe get to see a little date between Kotarou and Akane.
As promised, I updated the map with all the new locations. Please let me know if there are any missing.
Tsukigakirei has rapidly turned into my favorite show this season, and I’d kindly like to urge all of you to give this charming and highly relatable show a try! What have been your thoughts about the show so far, and have you maybe been to some of these locations yourself? Sound off in the comments below!
You can follow Wilhelm on Twitter @Surwill.