Love Live! Sunshine!! started airing on 2nd of July 2016. It features Aqours, the successors of u’s. The story is set in the city of Numazu city in Shizuoka prefecture, a city which happens to be very near where I lived when I was in Japan early this year. Here are some comparisons for those who wish to pay an anime pilgrimage to the places that appeared in the anime, with photos of the actual places all taken by myself.
For those who don’t know, an anime pilgrimage is called "seichi meguri" in Japanese, which means “sacred land tour”. One will visit places and take photos of places as they appear in the anime. Truly hardcore pilgrims will get it right down to the season of the year and time of the day.
A lot of locations in anime are based on actual existing places, and Love Live is one of those anime. The first two seasons of Love Live were mainly set in Akihabara, with a short visit to Odawara in episode 11, season 2. Love Live Sunshine is set in Numazu, a coastal city on the west of the Izu peninsula. It is a very small city with beautiful nature, with mountains on one side and the Suruga Bay on the other.
This is Awashima, a small island by the coast. The Awashima Marine park is a local attraction. Chika and You visited the island to find Kanan in episode 1.
Chika and You took this boat to the island. It is the only way to access the island. There’s a ticketing booth at the dock, so just get a ticket and hand it to the boat captain. As of July 2016, there are special boats with Aqours design meant for visiting love liver pilgrims!
Looks like Awashima Marine Park is going to lots of visits soon eh? Hopefully this article will bring plenty of foreign love livers to Numazu as well.
This is the pier leading towards the island, with the aquarium building on the left-hand side. There is a seafood restaurant called the “Rikkyu” to the left of the pier, but it didn’t show up in the anime.
This is actually a frog exhibition in real life, but in the anime they turned it into a diving center where Kanan helps out. The anime is currently only at episode 2, so not much is known about her yet, but I guess her family probably runs the place.
In episode 1, Mari is shown to take a helicopter to Awashima Hotel. You can consider staying there for a night if you visit Awashima. (Photo is from wikipedia since I didn't take one myself)
This is the road along the coast of Uchiura Bay. Simply walk along the road until the next destination, which is…
Mito Sea Paradise, another major sponsor of the anime just like Awashima Marine Park. Aqours’ second single “Koi ni naritai Aquarium” actually refers to this aquarium. The whole PV of the song is set in Mitosea (officially a shorthand of Mito Sea Paradise).
A picture from the PV versus a picture I took.
Two other important places appeared in the anime, but I didn’t visit either of them. One of them is Uranohoshi Jogakuin (called Nagaisaki Junior High School in real life), which is Aqours’ high school. The other is Tochiman Inn (called Yasudaya Inn in the real life), which is the inn run by Chika’s family.
Numazu is about 3 hours away from Tokyo by non-shinkansen trains, so a day trip is entirely possible. For those interested in visiting these places, find out detailed instructions in my next article!