5 Anime Pilgrimage Spots in Saga for the Popular Series Yuri!!! on ICE
Yuri!!! on ICE is an extremely popular anime television series based on men’s figure skating. Here is a list of information on 5 pilgrimage spots in Karatsu, Saga, the setting of the show!
What is Yuri!!! on ICE?
Yuri!!! on ICE is a Japanese anime television series about men’s figure skating. The main character is Yuri, a figure skater who carries the weight of Japan’s expectations on his shoulders. After suffering defeat in the Grand Prix Final, he returns to his hometown in despair. As he struggles with the decision of continuing his career or putting down his ice skates for good, five-time world champion Victor Nikiforov enters the picture. With his appearance, a new chapter unfolds.
What Kind of Place is Karatsu, Saga, the Setting of Yuri!!! on ICE?
Karatsu is a city located in the northwestern part of Saga Prefecture. There aren’t that many extremely hot or cold days here, and the average yearly temperature is relatively warm at 15℃. Their popular specialty products are Karatsu ware and Shoro manju (traditional Japanese confection).
How to Get to Karatsu (Karatsu Station) from Saga Airport: Saga Airport -> Saga Airport Line Bus (toward Saga Station Bus Center) -> Get off at Saga Station Bus Center -> Walk to JR Saga Station -> Get on JR Karatsu Line (toward Karatsu) -> Get off at Karatsu Station
1. Karatsu Station
In the first episode, the main character Yuri gets off at Hasetsu Station, but this station doesn’t actually exist in real life - it’s actually modeled after Karatsu Station. In the anime, there was a squid statue in front of the station, but in real life, it’s a statue of a lion.
2. Karatsu Castle
In the second episode, Hasetsu Castle makes an appearance in a scene in which five-time world champion figure skater Victor reveals his location to the world with a picture in front of the castle. Like Hasetsu Station, Hasetsu Castle was actually based on Karatsu Castle. You can recreate Victor’s photo by taking a picture in front of it, too!
How to Get There: Get off at Karatsu Station on the JR Karatsu Line -> Walk for approximately 20 minutes
3. Mikaeri Waterfall
The waterfall that Yuri and his rival Yurio visit for training is said to have been modeled after Mikaeri Waterfall. This waterfall is listed under Japan’s top 100 waterfalls, and you can enjoy various views here over the seasons, like cherry blossoms in spring, deep green nature in summer, and fall foliage in autumn.
How to Get There: Get off at Ouchi Station on the JR Karatsu Line -> Approximately 7 minutes by car
4. Karatsu Shrine
Mitsuro Kubo, the manga artist who was in charge of writing and character designs, visited Karatsu Shrine to pray for the anime’s success. While it doesn’t appear in the show, it’s included as a pilgrimage spot for fans and is an absolute must-visit!
How to Get There: Get off at Karatsu Station on the JR Karatsu Line -> Walk for approximately 10 minutes
5. Niji no Matsubara
In the ending credits, Niji no Matsubara (Rainbow Pine Grove) appears in the scene where Yuri and Victor can be seen playing around at the showers next to the beach. There are actually showers next to the beach in Niji no Matsubara, and you’ll likely want to take pictures at these places in the same spots as the characters. Take a photo here in the same angle!
How to Get There: Get off at Nijinomatsubara Station on the JR Chikuhi Line
You’ll recognize many spots that appear in Yuri!!! on ICE in Karatsu City, the setting for the popular anime television series. Fans of the show will be ecstatic to see them all with their own eyes! Take a trip over and immerse yourself in the world of anime!
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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