The clock tower in Nishinomiya, Hyogo, which has been featured in the background in several episodes of the classic anime series, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, was removed by the local municipal government back in 2009, but thanks to the power of anime fandom, the clock, which has been deemed as an anime pilgrimage site by fans has successfully been restored.
The clock tower was installed in Hankyu Corp.’s Nishinomiya-Kitaguchi Station back in 1993 and predates both the anime and Nagaru Tanigawa’s hit light novel series. It was removed in 2009 to make way for an underground bicycle parking area and fans were clearly not happy.
The clock tower may not have played a prominent role in the anime, but it did serve as the meeting spot for the SOS brigade members whenever they try to look for aliens, espers, and time travelers. Fans seem to have loved it so much that they have successfully convinced the local government to save and restore the tower by sending letters and e-mails to restore it. In 2012, a local fan informed the government that the clock was stored in a local scrap recycling facility, and with the rise of anime tourism in many parts of Japan, the local government took action.
The now-restored clock tower now serves an anime pilgrimage spot to Haruhi fans who want to meet-up just like what the SOS Brigade usually does.
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Source: The Japan Times