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Takachiho locals no. 1 idols, ‘Oshi-no-Ko’! A Pilgrimage Guide to the Sacred Sites from the Manga

Introducing the trending manga ‘Oshi-no-Ko’!

Did you know that the place that holds the key to the story is Takachiho?

In this issue, we introduce you to the sacred places of the manga, which are known only to local fans.

 

Roki, a local in Takachiho, says with a smile: “I am the self-proclaimed leader of the ‘Takachiho Oshi-no-ko fan group'”.

She has been following the anime works since it was first released as a manga.

“I originally liked Akasaka’s work, but when it was illustrated by Yokoyari, who is renowned for her illustrations of cute girls, I felt like I have no choice but to read this!”

“More so, at the beginning of the first episode, there was one scene that caught my eye, ‘This is Takachiho, isn’t it ……?’, I felt a sense of destiny and started supporting the anime” says Roki laughing.

Roki continues enthusiastic, “The scenery of Takachiho appears in the work just as it is, so as a local I was very moved by it”.

We asked her to show us the sacred places from the ‘Oshi-no-Ko’ manga, with her special insight from being a local.

 

What is the manga ‘Oshi-no-ko’?

First of all, let us start with a review of ‘Oshi-no-Ko’.

The manga is written by Aka Akasaka (original story) and drawn by Mengo Yokoyari (artwork). It is currently in its 13th volume and is serialised in Shonen Jump.

It has also been made into an anime, the first season of which was broadcast from April to June this year 2023, with a second season set to be broadcast in 2024.

 

It is a revenge drama set in the entertainment industry, which begins when Ai from the idol group ‘B Komachi’, appears in front of Doctor Goro, an obstetrician and gynaecologist working in a provincial town.

According to Loki, “The characters are not only cute, but there are also suspenseful elements that make it hard to read the development of the manga. It is a work that is double, even three times as enjoyable, as you enjoy the story, and at the same time get to see a glimpse into the backstage world of the entertainment industry”.

 

The story begins in Takachiho town. The first episode takes place in Takachiho.

But!

Takachiho town will reappear again! It is in volume 8 that the town’s scenery appears in the drawings, just like as is.

“It is not just the tourist attractions, but the everyday scenery of the town is depicted just as it is. I recommend walking around the town with volume 8 in your hand and taking pictures as your favourite character from the series!” says Roki.

 

Sure to be moved when you see it! A pilgrimage to sacred sites in Takachiho

The scenery between the Takachiho Gamadase Market and Takachiho Shrine appears frequently in the 8th volume of the manga.

There are many scenes that are more difficult to conclude where they are, unless you are a local!

A signboard of the entrance to Takachiho Town appears in episode 74 (vol. 8, p. 68) (please note that the town is located near the border to Kumamoto Prefecture and it takes less than 20 minutes by car from the centre of Takachiho Town).

This is a scene where the characters are on their way to Takachiho from Kumamoto Airport in a rented car. From here the story takes place in Takachiho.

In episode 74 (vol. 8, p. 70), a signboard in the middle of the landscape that the characters reading ‘Yoi tomo’ (translated as ‘good friend’).

But the actual sign says ‘Ii tomo'(still meaning “good friend”), but other than the change of letters, it is shown just as it is, right?

In episode 74 (vol. 8, p. 75), the characters are walking along Koudo Street in the centre of Takachiho town.

They are walking from Takachiho Gamadase Market to the street, heading in the direction of Takachiho Shrine.

Incidentally, although it is not visible, there is a signboard on the lamppost on the left that reads ‘Ii tomo’.

Do you recognise this place, glimpsed in episode 75 (vol. 8, p. 79)?

Although it is only depicted from under the statue’s chest, hidden by a speech bubble in the manga, it is a stone statue of Tajikarao near the entrance to the Takachiho Gamadase Market. It may be pretty amazing if people recognise it immediately!

★Click here for directions to Takachiho Gamadase Market

The background of the scene in episode 75 (vol. 8, p. 80) where the characters are having a conversation.

Although more difficult, this is the Takachiho Shrine intersection. Loki stands in the same posture as one of the main characters. The Takachiho Shrine is at the end of her line of sight.

 

A power spot frequently visited by celebrities! The Aratate Shrine section

Aratate Shrine, which enshrines the well-known god of the arts, also appears in the manga.

With the torii gate from this angle, ‘Oshi-no-Ko’-fans will know which frame they are looking at!

Reproduction of the next frame after the torii gate: Perhaps B-komachi members walked through the shrine precinct like this?

A wooden board in the precincts of the Aratate Shrine, it is said to make wishes come true. The image doesn’t explain this, but in the manga, MEMcho introduces it as: “I heard that if you hit the wooden plank with a mallet, it has the effect of one prayer!”.

Praying with the torii gate in the background. In the manga, this is the scene where the 6 of them, members including Aqua, while visiting Takachiho for a music video shoot and a consolation trip, stand side by side and join hands.

★Click here for directions to Aratate shrine

A fictional place, but even so, it is sure to be something like this!

The ‘hospital’ where the first episode takes place is a fictional place.

“But this is what the view from the rooftop must have looked like for the characters!” Roki took us to the place matching the scenery the characters saw from the hospital roof.

Kunimigaoka, overlooking Takachiho town.

★Click here for directions to Kunimigaoka

“The hospital in the film is set on a hill, so I’m sure they were looking at this view from the hospital!”

There is a scene in the manga where Ai says, “The stars are clearly visible even at dusk. ……” The night sky in Takachiho is really beautiful. Even from the high ground near the town centre, you can see so many stars!

 

Conclusion

We have introduced some of the “sacred pilgrimage spots” in Takachiho. How was it?

In addition to the places introduced here, there are many other picturesque landscapes in Takachiho. Please come and visit Takachiho with a copy of the book in hand.

 

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