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 real-life settings that made their way into the book.
Mt. Fuji & the Palace
Sora's home is on this much-venerated mountain just west of Tokyo.
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).
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.
This Tokyo street represents the sort of neighborhood I pictured Chiyo living in.
This is the main Nagoya Station where Sora and the others first arrive in the city.
The view of the shrine from the walkway outside.
The Imperial Palace bridge and gate.
Inside the Imperial Palace grounds.
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
This is Fifth Station, where the tourist buses stop (about halfway up the mountain).
The courtyard outside the shrine, with a view to the bridge.
The view of the river from the bridge.
Inside the shrine grounds.
The steps leading to the sanctuary.