The Old Halls of Toyosato Elementary School

Preserving and Opening to the Public an Elementary School


Exclusive Access Tour Inside Former Toyosato Elementary School

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.

See an experience report for this facility!


  • Reinforced concrete school buildings, which were rare at the time. The outer wall color has been restored to the color it was at construction.
  • 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!
  • Lessons that value unwavering persistence are also well-suited for an elementary school.
  • 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.
  • The chapel-like auditorium, where various events and school functions are held even now.


  • Katie Allen

    Experiencing how Japanese classrooms were set up and the facilities they had. Enjoyed seeing the anime room from the famous K-ON anime.

  • Happy Ronin

    Toyosato Elementary School is a beautiful school. From it`s remarkable long wooden hallways to it`s church like auditorium, the school is both Japanese and Western in style.

    During the tour I came to learn that the reason for this is because the school was designed by the American born designer, William Vories. I liked how Mr. Furukawa, the man who donated the buildings, incorporated a lesson of perseverance a teacher of his once taught him through the story of the turtle and the hare. On the staircase handrails you can see small cute sculptures of both a turtle and a hair depicting their race going all the way up to the top floor. My favorite room in the school was the science room. They had many preserved scientific instruments. From an early ultraviolet light generator and a massive electrometer to a wide variety of taxidermy, I could get a feeling that the students had wonderful science classes. The school is also famous for being the setting for the anime, K-On. I did not know much about this anime, but was able to appreciate it due to all the fans that were visiting while we were there. Lastly, the volunteer guides were extremely friendly and talkative and made us feel very welcome.

  • Lioneye

    Visit to the science room.

  • Matthias

    Seeing the old classrooms.

  • Charlie

    Really interesting to see a unique school within Japan and to get a look at how classes were arranged.

  • Diana

    Visiting classrooms makes you feel the atmosphere of Japanese school many years ago. Very nice to get to know it.

  • alistair95

    The science class room was the most interesting part as it had materials from a long time ago.

  • Coop

    I really enjoyed seeing the science class rooms. It is so crazy that the school was so advanced with it's technology compaired to America.

  • Steve

    Charming old tourguide who was an OB. K-on club room. Seeing k-on otaku enjoying their time. Tea after tour and casual conversation with tourguide.

  • Charles

    Cool to see such an old building, and how japanese schools were run!! Nice to see where K-on was inspired by too! So cool!

Experience information

Name of facility
The Old Halls of Toyosato Elementary School
Name of experience
Exclusive Access Tour Inside Former Toyosato Elementary School
518 Ishibatake, Inukamigun Toyosatocho, Shiga 529-1169
Business Hours
9:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m.
Tour time is 60-90 minutes
You can consult about your desired date and time through the advance registration system.
No holidays
3,000 yen/person (comes with guide book)*
*Tours are available from 4 participants.
Payment methods
Cash only
Number of people accepted (group)
Up to 45 people per group.
Telephone number
0749-35-3737 (Toyosato Tourism Association)
Languages spoken
Japanese only
reservation must be made at least one week in advance.
Official Website
Official Website (English)