A Special Educational Tour Inside the Old Halls of Toyosato Elementary School, a Tangible Cultural Property Dubbed the "Chalk Education Palace"

Last update :
Written by Editorial department

Established in 1937 based on a design by the American architect William Merrell Vories (1880-1964). Follow the Toyosato Travel Guide and venture inside the school buildings, which were awarded the title of Tangible Cultural Property in 2007! The guide will take you on a special tour of rooms and locations that you usually cannot access.

Preserving and Opening to the Public an Elementary School designed by Vories

The old halls of Toyosato Elementary School, located in Ōmihachiman, Shiga Prefecture, were designed by the office of the architect Vories, who developed his work across Japan from 1908. Even among the over 1,000 works by Vories, this public elementary school is quite peculiar. At the time, it was furnished with leading-edge facilities such as reinforced concrete buildings, long, wide hallways, an independent library, and more. Enjoy touring around the old school buildings, dubbed "the best elementary school in the East", with a Toyosato Travel Guide.

Reinforced concrete school buildings, which were rare at the time. The outer wall color has been restored to the color it was at construction.
Reinforced concrete school buildings, which were rare at the time. The outer wall color has been restored to the color it was at construction.
Listen to Toyosato Elementary School's history and interesting facts while making your way around the school buildings.
Listen to Toyosato Elementary School's history and interesting facts while making your way around the school buildings.
The school's characteristic spacious hallways: 100 meters on the first floor, 88 meters on the second floor, and 3-meter wide. Even the hallways had hot water heating!
The school's characteristic spacious hallways: 100 meters on the first floor, 88 meters on the second floor, and 3-meter wide. Even the hallways had hot water heating!

Aesop's Fable "The Tortoise and the Hare" is pictured on a staircase handrail!

The statue based on the Aesop's Fables story "The Tortoise and the Hare" is the focal point of the school building's staircase. Climb the stairs starting from the Tortoise and the Hare's "ready... go!" and progress the story. The playful statue is the symbol of the old halls of Toyosato Elementary School and also one of its highlights. It paints the building with a gentle atmosphere.

Lessons that value unwavering persistence are also well-suited for an elementary school.
Lessons that value unwavering persistence are also well-suited for an elementary school.

Take a Careful Look at the Culturally Valuable Designs of Vories

In recent years, the old halls of Toyosato Elementary School have gained attention for their use as the setting for an anime and as the location for movie shoots. You can tour the auditorium and exhibition rooms freely, but what makes this tour special is having access to locations you usually wouldn't be able to take a look at. Take a short trip to a modern Japanese elementary school, dating back at the beginning of the modernization period!

Even now, the third floor is used as an anime fan exchange area. You can also write a message on the blackboard!
Even now, the third floor is used as an anime fan exchange area. You can also write a message on the blackboard!
You can get a panoramic view of Toyosato's scenery from the usually off-limits rooftop.
You can get a panoramic view of Toyosato's scenery from the usually off-limits rooftop.
The chapel-like auditorium, where various events and school functions are held even now.
The chapel-like auditorium, where various events and school functions are held even now.

You can experience these things here!