Great news! The first season of The Eccentric Family has been re-added to the Crunchyroll library this week, so to everyone who’s been holding off on watching this season's sequel, please give this fantastic show a try! This happy occasion also marks the perfect opportunity for me to take another look atThe Eccentric Family 2’s real-world locations.
The Eccentric Family and its equally wonderful setting, Kyoto, have been basically inseparable so far, with all of the first season and the first half of the second one taking place almost exclusively in the old capital. After all, The Eccentric Family’s whimsical and unconventional take on Kyoto is a big part of the reason why this show is so exceptional, as the city itself feels just as alive as the mischievous little tanukis or the noble tengus that inhabit it. Thus it almost feels like a big deal that we finally got to see some locations outside of Kyoto in the last couple of episodes. But where does Yasaburo head off to?
*All images were taken with GOOGLE STREET VIEW (images I shot myself are marked ‘WD’)
Yasaburo heads to Arima Onsen to spy on the gathering of the tanuki-eating Friday Club, which is supposedly celebrating the joining of Soun Ebisugawa. Arima Onsen is not only The Eccentric Family’s first major setting outside of Kyoto; it’s also a very famous hot spring town in real life. The town is located in the north of Kobe, and is considered to be one of Japan’s oldest hot spring resorts. Arima Onsen has two different types of springs, one being kinsen ("gold spring"), where the water is colored brownish from iron and salt, and the other one being ginsen (“silver spring”), which contains radium and carbonate.
But this is Yasaburo we’re talking about here, a foolish tanuki that obviously doesn’t take its recon mission all too seriously and gets sidetracked by visiting a bath house. However, he does have a point when he states that he’s in Arima Onsen, and that it would almost be rude of him to not use the hot springs while there. Yasaburo visits Kin no Yu, the larger one of the town’s two public bath houses, located in the center of the city.
And as if that weren’t enough, he then heads to this quaint little café, where he enjoys an ice cold yuzu tea (basically a citron tea).
Aside from many modern buildings and hot spring inns, Arima Onsen’s center consists mostly of lovely narrow roads and old wooden buildings. The charming little town definitely fits The Eccentric Family’s unique aesthetic quite well.
Not even this shop’s ice cream is colder than Benten’s heart.
The Friday Club's “Leisure Home” is located in the outskirts of Arima. It’s here where Yasaburo gets thrown into hell by Soun.
Amusingly, most of the locations depicted as hell in The Eccentric Family are all modeled after real places in Tokyo. Yasaburo wanders through the very real Inokashira Park here. I’m obviously not going to read too much into this, but I’d definitely be a hilarious little dig at Tokyo from P.A. Works.
Benten’s hobby is apparently to wrestle with onis in hell; and she does so in the real Ryogoku Sumo Hall in Tokyo.
While we’re still on the topic of The Eccentric Family locations outside of Kyoto, Yajiro finally decides to leave Kyoto behind in the latest episode and makes his way to Shikoku. His first stop brings him to Marugame. Pictured above is the Great Seto Bridge, a massive 13.1 kilometers (8.1 miles) series of double deck bridges connecting Okayama and Kagawa. It’s obviously not the right angle, but I took this photo atop Marugame Castle.
Yajiro then makes his way to Komatsushima in Tokushima Prefecture. He gets off at Minami-Komatsushima Station and…
…heads to the northern Kincho Shrine, home of the Kincho tanuki.
And why not also go international while we’re at it? That's the famous view of central London from Parliament Hill, where the Nidaime and Benten had an ominous encounter.
In the end, The Eccentric Family wouldn’t be the same without Kyoto, so let’s top this article off with more Kyoto locations. (In case you missed it, I already wrote in great length about the show’s real life locations here and here.) The Nidaime and Benten’s “date” takes them to the romantic Kiyomizudera Temple, located in the hills east of Kyoto, but things obviously don’t go too well.
In the background is the temple’s wooden veranda that juts out from its main hall, offering great views of the city.
Demachi Bridge, located right next to the Kamo River delta.
Demachiyanagi Station, the first stop of the Eizan Electric Railway.
North entrance of the Teramachi Shopping Arcade.
Swimming pool close to the Ebisugawa power plant.
Inside of the modern Kyoto Station.
I can only advise Yasaburo to not enter the van (dubiously dubbed Nyoigatake Yakushibo Countermeasure Headquarters), which is parked outside of the 7-Eleven here.
Demachi Bridge again.
And last but not least, the urban Rokkaku-do Buddhist Temple is the venue for the appointment of Yaichiro as candidate for the post of the Trick Magister, and the Nidaime as observer of the election. As you can imagine, this is all much to the distaste of Benten.
The updated map:
What do you think of The Eccentric Family’s real-world locations? Sound off in the comments below!
You can follow Wilhelm on Twitter @Surwill.