JAPAN PHOTOS by Philbert Ono

*Be sure to wear a mask when traveling.


Most viewed - Toyosato 豊郷町
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Old school library is now a K-ON gallery, event space, and cafe. Fans of the popular manga/anime called K-ON! gather here on weekends.809 views
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Designed by William Merrell Vories, the old Toyosato Elementary School building was built in 1937. This picture was taken in 2007, before renovations. This is the front gate.528 views
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Toyosato Elementary School after renovations in 2009. Nice new coat of paint makes the old school look almost brand new. MAP378 views
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Toyosato manhole, Shiga Pref.324 views
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Partially destroyed building. This was stopped via a court order.281 views
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Toyosato Elementary School before renovations. During 1999-2002, Toyosato gained national attention when this old elementary school building was going to be torn down by the mayor in opposition to activists who wanted to preserve the building.279 views
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Toyosato Elementary School after renovations. A ceremony was held on May 30, 2009 to mark the completion of the renovations.271 views
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Scale model of old school.270 views
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The K-ON! manga artist used Toyosato Elementary School as the artistic backdrop in K-ON!. However, the K-ON school's name and place are different.259 views
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Toyosato Elementary School after renovations. At a total cost of 650 million yen, the old building was repainted, reinforced against earthquakes, installed with an elevator, and preserved as much as possible.255 views
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Toyosato Elementary School before renovations.244 views
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From Toyosato Station to Toyosato Elementary School, statues of a tortoise and hare adorn the sidewalk.240 views
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Map of the old school. The first floor has a public library, exhibition room, children's playroom, meeting rooms, and local board of education office.235 views
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Entrance hall. You have to take off your shoes and wear house slippers.231 views
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Rear view of the old Toyosato Elementary School before renovations.231 views
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Statue of Furukawa Tetsujiro, the man who donated his own money to build the school in 1937. He donated 600,000 yen which is equivalent to today's value of a few billion yen.212 views
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First-floor corridor.207 views
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This is one of two rooms in the building which has been reconstructed as a classroom for display purposes.204 views1 comments
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Anyone can now enter this old building and look around. Free admission. The school is Toyosato's symbol. 193 views
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On the 2nd floor, this classroom has been reconstructed to look like what it was before.193 views
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First floor corridor and stairway. Notice the rabbit sculpture.192 views
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End stairway with wash basin.192 views1 comments
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Rabbit sculpture on the railing.185 views
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The new Toyosato Elementary School building.182 views1 comments
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Children's playroom178 views
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The turtle makes it way at its own, slow pace.176 views
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Public library in old Toyosato Elementary School. The renovations are very impressive.175 views1 comments
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K-ON Gallery. Guitars, life-size cutouts, dolls, manga books, figurines, and all kinds of K-ON merchandise donated and left here by fans are displayed.175 views
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On display are old photos of the school.174 views
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Protest signs.174 views
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K-ON stands for kei-ongaku (軽音楽) meaning light music or casual/informal music. The manga/anime is about a group of five junior high school girls in the Light Music Club.174 views
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In 2003, local citizens and former students staged protests against the destruction of the old school building.169 views
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View from the podium in the school auditorium. It looks like that they still use this auditorium.167 views1 comments
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Stairway with turtle statue on railing.166 views
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Rear view of the old Toyosato Elementary School before renovations.166 views
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Toyosato Elementary School name plate at the front gate.165 views
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The old library checkout counter.165 views
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Inside public library which occupies former classrooms whose walls were removed.165 views
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Weather vane on top of the main building.163 views
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Inside school auditorium.162 views
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Old gallery corner in old school library. This corner space is now filled with K-ON stuff.162 views
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This is one of two rooms in the building which has been reconstructed as a classroom for display purposes.160 views
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2nd floor corridor158 views
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This rabbit sculpture and turtle sculpture represents the famous Aesop's fable, the race between the turtle and hare.157 views
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This exhibition room is what you first see when you enter the front entrance.156 views
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Inside school auditorium.156 views
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Second-floor corridor155 views
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This part is a cafe where K-ON! fans sit and gather. In the rear is a gallery space that is now a showcase of K-ON! memorabilia donated by fans.155 views
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The local mayor Ono Wasaburo was forced to stop his plans to destroy the building. He was later ousted from office, but later re-elected.152 views
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K-ON! fans have donated and dropped off numerous K-ON! merchandise like these figurines of the K-ON! characters.151 views
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Telephone booth149 views
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Study desks inside public library. They face a window with a view of the new Toyosato Elementary School building.148 views1 comments
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What it looked like before the new school building was built.148 views
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Exhibition panels explaining school's history.147 views
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VIP room.147 views
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On the 2nd floor, this classroom has been reconstructed.146 views
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Little statue in the entrance hall.144 views
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Entrance to new public library.144 views
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Front entrance of the new Toyosato Elementary School building.142 views
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This old school library is most interesting architecturally.140 views
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Inside the old library which also has a local tourist information counter.140 views
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As the rabbit sleeps.139 views
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Old telephone138 views
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Cubby hole138 views
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School auditorium.138 views
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Looking toward the school auditorium.138 views
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Before the new Toyosato Elementary School building was completed, the school held classes in this temporary structure in front of the old school building.137 views
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K-ON! dolls. Too bad they don't sell any K-ON! merchandise.137 views
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The school auditorium also has an upper level.136 views
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Another reconstructed classroom on the 2nd floor. This one was for homemaking.133 views
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Upper level of old school library.133 views
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Classroom door132 views
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2nd floor corridor132 views
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On the opposite side of the auditorium is the old library.131 views
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Spiral staircase131 views
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School auditorium.130 views
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Stairway129 views
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On the second floor, a mural depicting a train station.128 views
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School auditorium entrance.126 views
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Classroom windows as seen from the outside.125 views
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The old school library.125 views
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Old camera that was used to take the school pictures on display.124 views
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K-ON! fan's car.120 views
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Name plate for the old school library.119 views
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VIP room.118 views
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Colorful and artistic K-ON! postcards written by fans.117 views
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The old school library.116 views
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On the third floor is the music room where live bands play on weekends.111 views
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Ohmi Railways Toyosato Station. MAP101 views
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Itoh Chube'e Memorial House (Itoh Chube'e Ki'nenkan). Itoh Chube'e (1842-1903) was the founder of Itochu Corporation and Marubeni, two of Japan's largest trading companies, in 1858. MAP73 viewsThis house displays his former residence and some of his possessions. A short walk from Toyosato Station, the house is open to the public on Tue., Thu., and Sat. Free admission.
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Bathroom sink68 views
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Built in 1935, a memorial for Itoh Chube'e in Kurenai Park. くれない園68 views
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Butsudan Buddhist altar in a butsuma (Buddhist altar room).66 views
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Kitchen61 views
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Memorial marking Itoh Chobe'e's house, right near Itoh Chube'e's house. Chobe'e was Chube'e's older brother and co-founder of Marubeni Corporation.61 views
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Shopkeeper's desk53 views
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Front garden51 views
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Western-style bath from the early 20th century. Very unusual at the time. 西洋風バスルーム50 views
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Entrance to Itoh Chube'e Memorial House49 views
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Toyosato Station platform.49 views
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Tokonoma alcove and scroll. 奥の間48 views
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Kitchen48 views
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Maid's room46 views
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Inside entrance. The house was occupied by Itochu company founder Itoh Chube'e and his son, Chube'e II.45 views
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Shopkeeper's desk45 views
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Inside Toyosato Station.45 views
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Entrance to Itoh Chube'e Memorial House44 views
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Shopkeeper's desk43 views
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Exhibits of Itoh Chube'e II, the son of the founder Chube'e (1842-1903).43 views
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Stove 炊事場43 views
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In 1998, the house was donated to a local foundation. In 2002, the house was opened to the public.42 views
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Front garden41 views
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Bust of Itoh Chube'e II (1886-1973), his walking sticks, bag, and shoes.38 views
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