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A Journey of the Heart – the Places of BokuYaba

Longtime readers of the site will know that I’m not necessarily a huge anime pilgrimage person. I’ve checked out a few places but generally speaking, I haven’t done much of it over the years.

But, well – this is BokuYaba we’re talking about.  And the second season is just about to kick off – not to mention we’re right at the time when Kyou and Anna did their hatsumode (first prayer of the new year) together.  Being in Tokyo it just seemed like too good an opportunity to pass up.  So I headed out to Meguro Ward in West Tokyo, where most of the series takes place, and checked out as many of the series locations as I could find.

The first of those would be Meguro Station itself.  The kids passed through there after the career day visit to Akita Shoten (the manga publisher behind BokuYaba), on their way home from Iidabashi. After taking JR from Iidabashi, they transferred to the Meguro Line.  But Kyou stopped in the bathroom (I used it myself today, ROFL) and then he and Anna ran down these stairs and just missed their train home. Anna started crying and sat down on this bench, and Ichi bought her a milk tea (which he remembered was her favorite).

Next up, Senzoku Station – the home station for the main cast.  This prominently featured in the episode where Anna forgot her bag of stuff and Kyou followed her to the station in the rain (among other times).  Funnily enough there was another fan there snapping photos at the station when I was there (I can’t see any reason why anyone would want to photograph little Senzoku).  There’s also the “Papico” Family Mart – Anna must surely be one of their best customers – where lots of stuff took place across many chapters.

Next we have the police box where Kyou panicked when he and Anna were riding tandem on his bicycle (needless to say I was very discreet snapping that).  And I did go to the junior high school the kids attend, but I won’t share pics of that as the Japanese are very sensitive about that sort of thing.  Finally, there was Meguro Fudousan Temple (Ryuusenji) where the hatsumode episode took place.  It’s one of the most important temples in Tokyo, historically, and quite lovely.  We can see the lantern next to which Anna was discreetly waiting for Ichi to show up, as well as the main hall where she gave him a helping hand with his prayer.  It also happens to be the resting place of Konyo Aoki, the man who popularized the sweet potato in Japan.

It was pretty wild seeing all these places in person, given my unconditional love for Boku no Kokoro no Yabai Yatsu.  I have no idea if Norio-sensei lives in Senzoku, or grew up there, but she clearly knows it well.  It’s a quiet, unassuming middle class neighborhood – leafy and pleasant, but wholly unexceptional in every way.  Except that it’s the setting for the greatest romcom in manga today and as close to a pilgrimage site as this writer is going to find.

That last photo is one I snapped in one of those totally “only in Tokyo” moments.  I was walking around Meguro after an early dinner and, glancing down a side street, saw this astonishing tableau of Mount Fuji at sunset.  My iPhone camera can’t remotely do it justice.

The post A Journey of the Heart – the Places of BokuYaba appeared first on Lost in Anime.

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