Though Sōichirō Yamamoto, the author of the Karakai Jōzu no Takagi-san manga, said that the manga does not set in any specific real-life places, the anime series is set clearly and almost entirely in the small seaside town of Tonoshō (土庄町, Tonoshō-chō, "町" (chō) means "town"), Kagawa Prefecture, Japan, which is Yamamoto's hometown. It lies on the northwestern part of Shōdoshima (小豆島, Shōdo-shima, "島" (shima) means "island"), an island in the Seto Inland Sea.
Locations in the town
Virtually all of the characters in the series attend or work at the same junior high school in Tonosho, which is modelled after the real-world Tonoshō Municipal Tonoshō Junior High School (土庄町立土庄中学校, Tonoshō Chōritsu Tonoshō Chūgakkō).
The Abandoned Lot
Takagi and Nishikata use this open space in their neighbourhood for a variety of purposes, including as an area to safely practice tandem riding (Chapter 15; Season 1 Episode 6); a dodgeball pitch (Chapter 75; Season 2 Episode 6); and the starting point for a game of hide-and-seek (Chapter 79; Season 2 Episode 11). It is also popular as a secluded location for would-be couples; Hamaguchi and Houjou come here to relax during Season 2 Episode 11.
The Vending Machine
A vending machine on Takagi's and Nishikata's route home from school is a frequent setting for challenges involving drinks, or those in which the loser has to buy the winner juice. It is most notably featured in the main series's Chapter 5 and Ashita wa Doyōbi Chapter 6 (adapted in Season 1 Episode 3), in which Takagi and Nishikata have an empty can throwing competition at the machine and Mina tries drinking coffee purchased at the machine.
Nishikata lives within walking distance of school. In his bedroom, Nishikata has a television, a bookshelf full of 100% Unrequited Love manga volumes, and a small desk. Above his desk, he has Takagi's status quo calligraphy from Chapter 25 (adapted in Season 1 Episode 2) pinned up (much to Takagi's delight when she comes over to Nishikata's place in Chapter 28, adapted in Season 1 Episode 7).
Takagi also lives within walking distance of school, on a street that branches off from Nishikata's route to school.
A library lies just across the river from the school. It is modeled after the real-world Tonoshō Municipal Central Library (Street View). Nishikata and Takagi study here on a number of occasions, including for a math test in Chapter 11 (adapted in Season 1 Episode 5) as well as during the summer.
Down the road from the school lies a small bookstore where Nishikata attempts to secretly purchase volumes of the 100% Unrequited Love manga in Chapter 9 (adapted in Season 1 Episode 5). It is modeled after the real-world Books Kotobuki (ブックスことぶき, Bukkusu Kotobuki) bookstore (Street View).
The Candy Shop
In the vicinity of the school is a candy shop staffed by an elderly man, with a small table inside and bench outside for eating and relaxing. Nishikata and Takagi visit the shop on a number of occasions, especially in the context of Nishikata trying to trick Takagi into eating a sour or otherwise unpleasant-tasting candy. In Chapter 53 (adapted in Season 2 Episode 6), Nishikata and Takagi eat together for the first time at the candy shop after their dodgeball game - they spend time in the shop eating the instant ramen that they purchased and prepared there. At the same time, Kimura and Takao visit the shop. On the same day, Mina, Yukari, and Sanae come to the shop to buy and eat snacks (Ashita wa Doyōbi Chapters 35-36).
Near the school is a small shrine which Takagi visits in Chapter 44 (adapted in Season 2 Episode 9) to take some time for herself after having a disagreement with her mother. After Nishikata visits her at the shrine and cheers her up, it seems to takes on new meaning for her as a place of fond shared memories with Nishikata, and she offers that they visit the shrine again in Season 2 Episode 11. The shrine is called the Kashima Myōjin Shrine (Street View, Street View). It also is a destination for anime pilgrimage, where people can write their feelings about the anime.
Angel Road (エンジェルロード, Enjeru Rōdo) is a sandbar that appears only when the tide is low, which connects Shōdoshima Island and small islands (the Yoshima islands). It is known as a "sanctuary for lovers" because of a legend that says that the relationship between lovers will be strengthened if they walk through the road hand-in-hand. It appears in the opening sequences for the Season 1 and 3.
- 【祝！アニメ化】山本崇一朗先生が語るキョーコちゃん＆高木さん誕生秘話 | rooVeR [ルーバー]
Interviewer: Both of "Kyōko-chan" and "Takagi-san," including its spin-off "Ashita wa Doyōbi," seem to be set in the same place. I think the links between their characters may be a reason for it, but is there any place you used as the model for it?
Yamamoto: No, there's no specific model at all. (Laughs.) It's just somewhere in the countryside.
Interviewer: It's not an urban area?
Yamamoto: Not an urban area, right.
Interviewer: Isn't it based on your hometown?
Yamamoto: It isn't. But I think I sort of always unwittingly draw backgrounds like that because the scenery of the place I grew up in was like that. (Laughs.)
- なんでうちの写真を？書店も神社も驚き 聖地になった島：朝日新聞デジタル
Translation: It is drawn by Sōichirō Yamamoto, a manga artist from Tonoshō, and is serially published in a monthly magazine. It has been made into an anime from January to March 2018.
- Angel Road: A mysterious sandbar that can only be crossed at low tide - Japan Today