Translation: “Sketchbook Pilgrimage in Fukuoka, Part 1”

2011 September 13
by Spiritsnare

I think I’ve mentioned I love Sketchbook before, so hopefully that needs no introduction. If you need one, consult Wikipedia.

Recently, two members of the Sketchbook cluster on Twitter traveled to Fukuoka with the intent of visiting its suburbs, of which the anime adaptation Sketchbook ~full color’S~ largely draws its scenery from. One of them, doujinshi artist Yuzuneko, posted his notes and photos to his blog; I asked him for permission to translate the post, which he graciously granted (thanks!).

What follows is my (very rough) attempt at translating his post.

A couple of notes:

  • This is, once again, a rough (and sometimes loose) translation.
  • Picture tooltips provide episode numbers and cue points, synced to SpoonSubs’ fansub releases, since that’s probably what most English readers will have access to. For those who actually have the DVDs (good job!!!), if the point is after the opening, you can subtract about seven seconds to get to where you want to be.
  • Picture tooltips that aren’t necessarily linked to a specific episode cue were fabricated by me. Go go HTML 5 standards and WordPress’ insistence on adhering to them. (Well, that’s fine.)

I’ve mentioned this in my previous post, but over the course of two days, 9/9 and 9/10, I went on a Sketchbook pilgrimage disguised as a simple trip to Fukuoka. There’s a friend who went with me for the same reason. He hadn’t lost his interest in the anime and whatnot, but the so-called Bennett-like Kakashi was a complete novice to everything Sketchbook-related.

…well, I think that’s fine.

There isn’t too much that’s been said about holy-land tours like this. I’d almost thought about winging it, but then I thought about the disastrous time I attempted Comiket without scouting circles out first, so I ended up concocting a plan while consulting trailblazer sites and footage. I screencapped some shots from the anime, took a look at each and every locale, marked maps, and, most importantly, put all the details together. And suddenly, everything had been compiled.

But meanwhile, I’d collected so much info; I ended up putting together a PowerPoint with 30+ slides, sorta like putting together a proposal. It took about an eighth of a day, and the labor costs were about xx yen (truncated)

Anyhow, I gathered together the materials and put together a route.

First of all, seeing this for the first time, you can say it looks a bit difficult. Also, I’d heard that Shioujiyama, Dazaifu High School, and Houmangawa would take a terribly long amount of time without a car, so I planned this kind of rotation:

Although you could call having concrete plans like this ideal, I opted for grabbing some alcohol as I made my way around town. Although it’s easy to imagine what bad things might happen when two guys go around on a weekday drinking beer flailing their cameras around…well, I don’t have too much self-control, so yeah.

In any case, day 1. Choosing to take the first train and following airplane out, I arrived at Fukuoka Airport at a little past 8:30. Just as planned, I headed over to the Shime area.

This isn’t from any scene in particular, but first of all, truthfully, my target was actually pretty far from the station. Well, not like I have a problem with walking, but there wasn’t a convenience store to be found — and thus, no chance to grab a beer, which sucked.

In the end, I found one…right next to my destination.

To begin with, a drink.

Below, some Shime area comparison shots.

Shime: Railway Park

The park neighbored the convenience store from where I bought my can of beer. It’s formally known as the “Shime Railway Memorial Park”.

The two students waiting for Kasugano-sensei. Although my friend got my shoulder and back point right, I guess I should’ve moved a bit further forward.

You’re supposed to see the coal mine from the front of the park like this, but it’s actually hidden if you take the picture from the same angle. Moving left a bit, it slightly changed.

The place where Kallen Kozuki and Diethard — I mean, Asaka Kamiya and Kuma meet. Identical.

The place where Sora feeds Haa the expired salmon. The shady guy in the middle there is me. At this time, I’d finished my alcohol, so I felt slightly loopy.

Although there’s only one bench, this is the place, right?

Looks a bit forced, but this is the only shot in which I could get the coal mine, a house, and a tree in a single picture.

Shime: Intersection

The place where I’d heard Asou say “birubiru” instead of “biribiri”. Behind it is a commerce building.

The scene where Hazuki’s hyped up about the sale. The traffic light provides a subtle difference.

The scene in which our lead character arrives. The shape of the roof is the same.

The dashing scene. Although the building on the left’s the same, the right building’s definitely off.

Although identical, in the anime, the building’s shorter.

Anime version Sora’s traumatic moment…just kidding, her small victory over her shyness. I’d say the angle of that roof needs someone like Peter Parker to climb it…

Shime: Bus Stop

Although it looks like it’s close to the Railway Park in the anime, it’s actually pretty far away.

The bus stop bench. Incidentally, the real version’s business isn’t actually in front of Nishitomo.

There’s no tree in the background, as confirmed by a previous report. Although it’s funny how they put it in there so that Kuri-chan could play with the walking stick.

The Suzukaze combo version. Probably the same place, but it seems like they’ve added more to the bus stop…

The scene in which Kasugano-sensei arrives. But, well, having seen the background in real life, the bus stop is unfortunately the only thing that remains.

Shime: Neighborhood

Cuts in which you can see the coal mine from town. Because it’s hard to do this from a car, I ended up searching by foot.

The scene where Inuo’s following Negishi-kun, who’s returning home. Thinking about the angle of the coal mine and the two rooftops, this shot might be wrong.

The scene in episode 11 where Sora catches a cold. Questionable, but this is the only place in which I could get a shot with the coal mine angled like this.

*There actually aren’t any more buildings further down from here.

Forgot which episode this is from, but the scene in which you see the coal mine. Keeping the balance of telephone pole and whatnot in mind, it seems like it’d be this area.

Here’s where I took my second drink.

Even though there isn’t a point in the anime where they have a shot of the coal mine up close, I ended up taking a look anyway.

Formally, it’s known as the Shime Mining Industry Area Shaft Tower. It was built nearly 70 years ago. I’m not especially a fan of ruins, but I couldn’t help but think of Hinata from Ro-Kyu-Bu (unrelated) going “oohhh”.

At this point, it was 1 in the afternoon; remembering my plans, I thought, “Oh, yeah, let’s head over to Hakata.” In the interest of speeding things up a bit, let’s head over to Zasshonokuma.


The nice town in which the protagonist lives and often appears in. I’d made some screencaps of this iconic place, but in the end I didn’t jot down any particulars…

I’d thought about grabbing a drink from that 24-hour liquor, but it had changed into a flower shop.

Instead, I opted to go inside a nearby 7-Eleven to grab this.

The shot in front of the railway crossing in front of Gourmet City, looking up. The back was under construction, so that’s rather different. As an aside — I thought I’d heard of the name “Gourmet City” before, before I realized that the 24-hour supermarket I always get my liquor from is also a Gourmet City.

Had to pull the camera a bit back for this one, but here’s the railroad crossing scene. It’s a bit hard to see, but the cleaning shop’s there.

The scene in which we see Natsumi and Hazuki, who didn’t go to the sketching session. The cleaning shop on the left is as-is. I ate lunch at Sandoria, the café on the right.

Because I ended up with a bit more time on my hands, I decided to head over to Nishitetsu Futsukaichi that day instead of going on Day 2.

Nishitetsu Futsukaichi Station

The station that appears in the overnight trip episode. Nearly identical, save for a handful of subtle changes.

This definitely looks like a forced comparison…

Aside from the window and a couple of other things missing, it’s identical.

I’m a bit further away from where I’m supposed to be, but if it weren’t for the cars, I guarantee you I’d have this shot down.

Once again, I’m a bit further away from the actual spot, but standing in the road’s dangerous.

Mostly matching. The “travel company” sign isn’t there, but I guess that’s a sign of the times.

Here, the “travel company” sign is also missing. The person I don’t know in the picture I took is unrelated.

Identical, aside from the shop. The old lady who I don’t know who happened to be in Kasugano-sensei’s position is also unrelated.

We also wrapped that up in a short amount of time. If this were day 2, I’d be visiting the school after this…then I looked at the map and decided that wasn’t going to happen. Instead, as planned, our next destination was Nishitetsu Fukuoka (Tenjin).

Nishitetsu Fukuoka (Tenjin)

The first-years’ party of 4 visited this town in episode 12. Compared to when I visited before, there were a lot more people. Sorta reminded me of Ikebukuro and the like.

From this angle, it seems to be simply unchanged.

The lion. I like the Ginza lion better, myself.

The pole on the right-hand side is different, but other than that, it’s the same.

They just did away with the specifics for this one, ouch…although they got the lights right.

I needed to ability to Force Jump my way up to the angle I would’ve liked, so I gave up on that.

The objet d’art in front of the bank. Although it’s quite easy to compare the two, it seems like a stamp rally point.

I couldn’t quite find a park that matched completely…but I managed to find this, which almost gets the job done.

Afterward, I’d head back to the inn at Hakata, visit two bars, and because I’d be driving that rental car tomorrow, I ended up drinking just once more before turning in for the night.

That said, Kyuushuu shochu is pretty reasonable. At a shop offering beer for 490 yen, the shochu was 300 yen – for a sizable portion, at that! I can say going for more shochu than beer on a Kyuushuu trip is definitely the right choice.

Although this post ended up being quite long, I’ll start working on Day 2 tomorrow. I’ve got a lot of pictures, so I imagine they’ll take some time to process…


He’s since posted part 2 (in fact, he posted it this morning), so if you’d like, you can go ahead and read that. Hopefully I can knock out a translation later out this week…

2 Responses leave one →
  1. 2011 October 12
    Sinkun permalink

    Whoaaah this is truly AWESOMEEEE!!
    I’m very envious…
    Thanks alot for sharing these photos and experience :3

  2. 2018 December 14
    Shirl permalink

    Thank you so much for this! This post was in 2011 so I’ll be hopeful the places still look the same.

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