Many anime fans in Japan, both tourists, and locals, often visit real-life locations from their favorite anime. Some anime are completely set in Osaka, while other anime features Osaka for just one episode. Many fans are amazed by how similar these anime locations are modeled after real life. Here are some exciting real-life anime locations in Osaka where you can visit and feel like a star in your favorite anime!
The second season of one of the most infamously emotional anime of all time, Clannad After Story, features Osaka. Many different locations and paths from the anime still exist in the southern part of Suita, Osaka. Although the series aired in 2008, most of the locations remain identical to the original images in the anime.
The first real-life anime location in Osaka is the street where Tomoya proposes to Nagisa in Episode 12 of Clannad After Story. Relive this emotional and romantic scene between Tomoya and Nagisa after a tense visit with Tomoya’s father at the local penitentiary. The closest train station to this street is Miyakojima Station. The Osaka Detention Center where they visited Tomoya’s father is nearby, however construction has been done on it since the anime was made. Start out near O River, then walk along this marked out 10-minute path. This blog has an amazingly detailed side by side comparison photos of this scene.
REAL LIFE SIDE ROAD
Another real-life anime location in Osaka is a short walk away from Kandai-mae Station; a peaceful side road pictured in Clannad After Story. Our main characters Tomoya and Nagisa walk this path in Episodes 11 and 12. Moreover, the architecture depicted is still remarkably identical to this day. Walk this path at night so you can look for the faint glow of the actual vending machine featured in this anime. Here are more side by side comparison photos.
REAL LIFE OKAZAKI FAMILY APARTMENT
The Okazaki Family Apartment building is located near Senriyama Station in Osaka. Sadly, the real apartment building depicted in the anime, was torn down and rebuilt supposedly in May 2007. However, the structure that stands in its place has similar architecture. Moreover, the buildings and other infrastructure around the apartment remain identical to what is shown in the anime. Here is the path to the familiar apartment from Senriyama Station.
WINTER APARTMENT WALK
Right in front of the Okazaki’s apartment is the path where Tomoya and his daughter Ushio walked together in the snow in Episode 21. After you reach the apartment coming from the train station, keep going straight along this path, and you will find familiar buildings and power lines from the anime. For example, here are some photos of landmarks to look for.
The fictional city Yuki no machi (City of Snow) where Kanon takes place, is based on the Moriguchi area of Osaka and other locations in Tokyo.
MORIGUCHI TRAIN STATION-OSAKA
The train station featured in the anime is an exact copy of Moriguchi-shi station (京阪電車守口市駅). Here is a street view of the station from google maps. However, be careful not to confuse this with Moriguchi station (守口駅) as it is a completely different subway station that happens to be nearby. Here are the comparison photos.
(百花屋House of One Hundred Flowers) Hyakkaya is the cafe that Yuichi and his friends frequent throughout the series. Even though the exteriors are completely different, an actual cafe called Hyakkaya(Cafe百花) exists near the main city of Osaka. Here is a photo of the cafe from the anime. Here is a street view of the cafe in Osaka City.
The second season of everyone’s favorite swimming anime, Free! Eternal Summer has a couple of locations that you can visit in Osaka in real life.
The Towa Pharmaceutical RACTAB Dome (previously known as Namihaya Dome) is an indoor sports arena located in Kodoma City in Osaka. This dome is where the Iwatobi Swim Club competes in the national swimming competition. The RACTAB Dome is conveniently located right outside Kadoma Minami Station, moreover, has a swimming pool open year-round to the public, and an ice skating rink opens in the winter. Here are the comparison photos.
The fictional all boys highschool, Samezuka Academy, is modeled after Kinki Daigaku 近畿大学 (or Kinki “Kindai” University). It’s about a 10 minute walk from Nagase station if you want to admire the brilliant medieval architecture. Here is the path on google maps. Here are comparison photos.
In the second season of Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions we see an amusement park which is located on the outskirts of Osaka City near the Yobo river.
In real life, Hiraketa Park is actually called Hirakata Park, which is a popular location for summer episodes in many anime. This large amusement park features many attractions; for example, water slides, a Ferris wheel, a drop tower, roller coasters, and more. In addition, it’s a popular hangout for young people and is a short walk from Hirakata-Koen Station. Here is how to get there from the nearest train station. Here are the comparison photos.
In this high energy anime about the power of music, nine high school girls form a school idol group to try and save their school from closing.
KANSAI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT-OSAKA
The setting for girl idol group µ's( greek letter pronounced “muse”) 5th single “Wonderful Rush” is at Kansai International Airport in Osaka Bay. If you are flying to Osaka, you will most likely be landing at Kansai International Airport. If you are a Love Live! fan, look around during your time at the airport. If you get the chance, try to spot some shots from the music video.
Set in Osaka, Japan, the anime Hand Shakers is about kids who can form powerful psychic weapons if they link hands. These partners called hand shakers battle rival hand shakers to ultimately receive a wish granted from God as a result. Top attractions in Osaka are backdrops for some of the battle scenes.
In Episode 4 of Hand Shakers, Osaka Castle resides in the background of battle scenes. You can certainly visit Osaka Castle in real life too. This revered castle features beautiful gardens and a museum with varied exhibits. If you just want to admire it from afar, however, that’s okay too. Meanwhile, this ancient castle stands out amongst the modern buildings that surround it, which makes for an artistic photo. This is definitely one of the recommended real-life locations in Osaka for anime fans and also for tourists!
Dotonbori, one of Osaka’s hottest tourist destinations, is an extremely popular nightlife and entertainment district. The beloved Glico Running Man and the giant mechanical crab are just two of the many neon billboards and mechanical signs that decorate the area. Moreover, concept art for Hand Shakers features the Dotonbori signboards and Ebisu Bridge.
Detective Conan has been one of the longest-running anime series in history. Ongoing since 1996 with over 800 episodes, fans from all over the world find it difficult to run out of content to watch. Osaka however only seems to be featured a few times within the entire series.
NEYAGAWASHI TRAIN STATION-OSAKA
In an OVA Episode of Detective Conan, Osakan high school detective Heiji Hattori (Harley Heartwell in the English dub) takes Conan out for Okonomiyaki. They face many obstacles along the way and consequently spend a lot of time inside Neyagawashi Train Station. This station is three stops south of Hirakata Park. If you are a die-hard Conon fan and you happen to be in Osaka, look around Neyagawashi Station so you can do some real-life detective work of your own!
In short, anime is not as fictional as some people might think. Not all anime movies and series are based on real-life locations in Japan, but there are many where you can find and visit yourself. Osaka has full of beautiful and exciting, moreover hideous locations to explore. Wouldn't it be a memorable experience if you can actually visit real-life anime locations in Osaka which are from your favorite anime? As hundreds of new anime are released yearly, we continue to look forward to more real life anime locations in Osaka. Take this guide, and set out on an adventure!