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Behind the Scenes

Picturing the Characters
My actor "models" for some of the main characters can be seen here.

My Travels in Japan
Blog posts from my trips, with pictures and commentary

The 2011 Japan trip
The 2013 Japan trip

Story Locations
The real-life settings that made their way into the book.

Mt. Fuji & the Palace

Mt. Fuji
Sora's home is on this much-venerated mountain just west of Tokyo.

traditional ryokan interior
As far as I know, there isn't actually a palace built into the mountain, but the kami palace I envisioned was based on imperial palaces like the one in Kyoto (which didn't allow interior photography) and the traditional ryokan we stayed in (see above).


Kiso Valley forest
The "valley of the doves" where Rin lives is one I made up, but the scenery was inspired by our hike through the Kiso Valley.


Tokyo residential neighborhood
This Tokyo street represents the sort of neighborhood I pictured Chiyo living in.


Nagoya Station at night
This is the main Nagoya Station where Sora and the others first arrive in the city.

Nagoya's shrine
The view of the shrine from the walkway outside.

Tokyo again

the gate to the Imperial Palace
The Imperial Palace bridge and gate.

inside the Imperial Palace grounds
Inside the Imperial Palace grounds.

the courtyard of the Atsuta Shrine
This is the main courtyard of Atsuta Shrine, which I don't name in the book but is where Sora and the others take shelter after they leave the Imperial Palace.

Mt. Fuji again

Mt. Fuji's Fifth Station
This is Fifth Station, where the tourist buses stop (about halfway up the mountain).


Ise Shrine courtyard
The courtyard outside the shrine, with a view to the bridge.

Ise Shrine river
The view of the river from the bridge.

Ise Shrine grounds
Inside the shrine grounds.

Ise Shrine steps to sanctuary
The steps leading to the sanctuary.

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