Just got back from my trip to the southern portions of Japan, namely Hiroshima and neighboring suburb of Onomichi. Onomichi is a very quant and beautiful suburb but is almost always passed over by foreign tourists, and for good reason. There just isn’t a whole lot there that would be interesting to someone who is not at least somewhat acquainted with Japanese or Japanese history/culture (I’m talking about the real history/culture not the otaku one!). I admit my intentions for going there were far less than sincere :P, but you’ll just have to keep reading to find out why.
Onomichi is a small town (by Japanese standards) of 148,085 people that is largely home to people who work at the local shipyard and factories. However, it is a town with nearly 500 years of history and has numerous cultural relics (buddhist temples and shrines) and historical relics. However! To me, what’s important is………….. it’s home to Tadano Mugi and HINAKO of Pastel “fame”. I doubt Pastel is that popular of a manga, but to those of you who like it, this might be a nice treat.
You’re all probably wondering what the heck does Pastel have to do with any of it, right? Well Pastel is a shonen romance manga that I’m currently loving to death. It’s spanned 19 volumes and the protagonists live in Onomichi. The author also grew up in Onomichi and many of the settings in the manga are in fact real. I decided to check that out for myself and headed to Onomichi. Gosh I feel like I’m falling deeper and deeper into the pit of otakuism. I didn’t have the manga on hand as I took the pictures, so some of them are from the incorrect orientation unfortunately, but I tried.
To visit every single place mentioned in the manga would be impossible, so I’ve decided to just focus on volume 14 where HINAKO makes her last stand against the evil Yuu!
So here we go! First shot! Hinako and Mugi meet up and talk :P. O.. and Onomichi has stairs.. slopes, sloped stairs, and more stairs. The town is literally built on a mountain.
Next up we have, Mugi and Hinako’s first date course!
Mugi + Hinako have a special place near the top of the mountain, from which you can see the city and the street cars. The author took a few liberties with the placement of the foliage, but I think I have the right spot.
Hinako and Mugi go shopping in the shopping district! Because the town is so small, the “shopping district” is only 3 blocks of covered shopping streets. These stores were essentially all next to each other and was rather straight forward.
Next up, the ultraman shop :P. The shop is closed but the ultraman is still there with the hula hoops.
This picture is a bit off. I swear I have the right spot because the scenery Hinako says she can see matches up with what I could see from this spot.
And.. Hinako’s defeat….
Unfortunately, I took the next picture in the wrong direction :(. However, with the house looking so similar, I think you can tell it’s the same place.
I actually took alot more shots than the few here, but I ended up missing locations ever so slightly and they ended up looking completely different. If I ever do this again for another manga I will definitely make sure I have the manga on hand before going. I didn’t manage to get photos of everything, but I definitely managed to go to all the spots that showed up in volume 13 and 14 though. Now full of Pastel atmosphere, I like the manga even more than before 😛
Are any of you guys interested in doing this sort of thing? Travelling to where the manga you’re reading occurs? Hope you enjoyed this post. Next post is on Hiroshima, the nuked city!
I’ll just finish up this post with some unused stock photos that ended up looking like nothing from the manga.
Senkouji Shrine. Mugi and Hinako do in fact go here, I recognize the flags on the side. However, the manga artist avoids drawing the temple at all, which makes for an impossible photo:P