Elfenlied in Real Life

Size-Warning: The videos on this page are fairly high-resolution and so far not well compresses, so I do not recommend to download them on a mobile-plan! You have been warned!

It is decently well known amongst fans, that many of the places that Elfenlied displays exist in real live, more specifically in Kamakura and Enoshima, south of Tokyo.

After many missed chances due to Covid, I finally got the opportunity to visit Japan after getting a talk on Post-Quantum Noise accepted at Real World Crypto 2023. Naturally I did not let the opportunity pass to take about three weeks of vaccation while I was in Japan and my first destination after Tokyo (where the conference was) and Sendai (that I visited to catch more glimpses of the Cherry blossoms, whose best season was already over when the conference ended) was Kamakura.

For me, a diehard fan of Elfenlied, this was very much one of the best parts of the entire trip, possibly the best and I visited it a second time later during my vaccation. Naturally I took pictures and a few videos of which I present a selection below.

Episode 1: Begegnung

The pre-title scenes aside, Elfenlied starts at Gokurakuji-Station, and takes a natural path from there to the beach, with the one caveat that if you just wanted to go to the beach, it isn’t really sensible to leave a Gokurakuji, instead of Hase or Yugihama.

Episode 2: Vernichtung

Episode 3: Im Innersten

Episode 4: Aufeinandertreffen

I did not recognize at the time, that this I was in the tunnel through which Yuka was walking here, so I sadly don’t have a better picutre than this one, but I am certain that this is the right location. (The only reason I took this picture in the first place was because of the artificial Sakura-leaves on the pavement in the tunnel):

Episode 5: Empfang

It bears mentioning, that I did not find the find the following place because I was looking for it, but because it is simply the most sensible way to get from Gokurakuji to the beach.

This is not the right place: It’s on the western side of the bay looking north-east, whereas the still from the series is on the northern side looking south-west. That said, I again don’t really have a picture of the corect railing an this was the closest one I do have.

Episode 6: Herzenswärme

This is roughly the same place as the previous picture and very close to real-life, but as stated before, I don’t have a real picture.

The following is the amazing Sasuke Inari Shrine that is well worth a visit on it’s own, but comes with one very important warning: Do not let Google Maps lead you to it! It will lead you over terribly sketchy mountain-pathes into a very remote place in the middle of a forest on a mountain-path from which you will bareley be able to make out some red flags further down the mountain, but unreachable due to a steep hang that is overgrown with foilage between you and the shrine. Instead you need to ask it to lead you to the “Approach to the Sasuke Inari Shrine”, which is where you actually want to go to, but will not show up in the results if you search for the shrine itself! Instread you need to zoom in on the map, select the approach or search explicitly for the approach.

Episode 10.5: Regenschauer

“Regenschauer” is German for “rainshower” and ironically enough that is exactly what happened to me: After visiting the Inari-Shrine (see above) I went on to take a look at the Zeniarai Benten Shrine, where I got trapped by heavy rain for quite a while. At the time I did not recognize the place as the location in the OVA and was a bit annoyed that I had not, in proper Elfenlied-style, gotten trapped at the Sasuke-Inari Shrine.

The other thing about that I would mention about this shrine is that I discovered it on the previous day on my search for the Inari-Shrine, but didn’t enter it because I was still trusting google-maps to be less terrible than it was.

Episode 11: Vermischung

By the end of it, we finally get to Enoshima via the Enoshima Benten Bridge. We can already see the Sea Candle next to which the final big confrontation will occur.

Episode 12: Taumeln

The train goes into the wrong direction and it’s not night, but still:

Episode 13: Erleuchtung

I have a lot of pictures from Enoshima, that I don’t include here because they are not related to Elfenlied, but I strongly recommend that everyon go up on the Sea-Candle, it really offers an amazing view!