The Eccentric Family 2 有頂天家族2

Welcome to this week’s review of notable instances of public transit use and urban design, as well as discussion of place identity and culture, through anime currently broadcast or screening in Japan and simulcast internationally via the web. This review also documents seichijunrei (聖地巡礼 holy land pilgrimage) and butaitanbou (舞台探訪 scene hunting), which are pop culture tourism and place-based engagement induced by the use of real locations in show settings.

Sakura Quest

(サクラクエスト Sakura Kuesuto)

Fan Pilgrimage Update

@someinu made a pilgrimage (tweet 1, tweet 2, tweet 3, tweet 4) to Johana, Nanto, Toyama Prefecture for Episode 1 and Episode 3.

Episode 3

Sakura Quest サクラクエスト

Yoshino is paraded through the shutter shōtengai.

Sakura Quest サクラクエスト

As the new representative for the town of Manoyama and its revitalization efforts, Yoshino is tasked with giving a television interview.

Sakura Quest サクラクエスト

Though the host is smarmy and goes off script, the questions he asks and points he raise are salient. He notes that efforts are being made to reinvigorate small towns like this across Japan, but success eludes many. As this will be the main focus of Yoshino’s role, he wants to know what changes she wants to see. Not only is she unable to give an off-the-cuff answer, she struggles to demonstrate any substantive knowledge about the town.

Sakura Quest サクラクエスト

Yuwaku Onsen Tourism Association (湯涌温泉観光協会) office in Yuwaku, Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture

Sakura Quest サクラクエスト

Back at the tourism board office, staff offer to bring Yoshino up to speed with regard to town knowledge using their collected reference material, but board head Kadota thinks it better for her to canvas the city.

Sakura Quest サクラクエスト

Yoshino at first has difficulty finding people that want to talk or can give coherent answers to her questions. When she does finally find people who communicate with her, the answers are discouraging.

Sakura Quest サクラクエスト

Shop staff in the shotengai tell her, “Things are fine as the are. We don’t have anything to worry about.”

Sakura Quest サクラクエスト

One person discounts her ability to effect change in the town as Yoshino is an outsider.

Sakura Quest サクラクエスト

A police officer tells her, “Most people couldn’t care less about changing this town.”

@nadukari_h discovered what appears to be a good match for the roadside shelter in Noda (野田), Nanto, very close to Jōhana Station:

Sakura Quest サクラクエスト

A bookseller tells Yoshino he thinks the town is getting by fine without tourists, though he is not optimistic for the future. He mentions the declining birthrate, but does not feel compelled to worry about something that he doesn’t believe will affect him during his time running the business.

Sakura Quest サクラクエスト

Sakura Quest サクラクエスト

The head of the shōtengai Oribe won’t even talk to Yoshino.

Sakura Quest サクラクエスト

Cafe server Erika thinks the town is beyond saving. (Side note: I love hearing voice actress Kurosawa Tomoyo do her surly voice.)

The bus drive Takamizawa thinks Yoshino’s outsider status is actually an asset. He tells her youth, fools and outsiders have the best chance of effecting change in the midst of stagnation.

Sakura Quest サクラクエスト

@budouzukinn discovered a structure near Sakuragaike that was perhaps the inspiration for the residence in the show, with its steeply-pitched gabled roof:

This type of building evokes the structures in nearby Shirakawa-gō and Gokayama, designed to shed heavy snowfall. This specific building was once a restaurant called Gasshō Kazura (合掌かず良), though it appears to now be in disuse. I came across a note that seems to indicate Kazura was at one point considered as a location for a local think-tank and resource center for a revitalization project in Nanto. The project would have worked together with Kazura’s owner to share and renovate the structure, promote an eco-village concept, and revitalize traditional industries like silk farming and washi paper making. Unfortunately, the information trail goes cold after that, but it seems almost too much of a coincidence that a building like this near the lake is quickly becoming the de facto operations center for Yoshino and her advisors.

Sakura Quest サクラクエスト

Yoshino learns that the Chupacabra was not Manoyama’s first attempt at creating a local promotion mascot, but in fact an evolution from Kabura-kun, a nod to local turnip farming. Tourism board head Kadota had decided Kabura-kun not sensational enough, hence the change. We learn that disagreement over this change is the source of the conflict between Kadota and shōtengai head Oribe.

Sakura Quest サクラクエスト

Yoshino thinks she’s found a lead in promoting Manoyama though reverting to Kabura-kun and more broadly highlighting local agriculture products, though when she heads to a turnip farm to investigate, she finds locals don’t have a particular strong affinity for these either.

Sakura Quest サクラクエスト

Sakura Quest サクラクエスト

Yoshino and Kadota (as the Chupacabra) are set to present themselves at a regional mascot competition, though a wardrobe malfunction leads to the tourism board staff searching for the Chupacabra mask while Yoshino’s team unearths the old Kabura-kun costume with the intention to use it as a replacement.

Sakura Quest サクラクエスト

Sakura Quest サクラクエスト

Sakura Quest サクラクエスト

Amidst the argument over which costume to use, Yoshino comes to the realization that neither one captures the essence of Manoyama nor inspires the affection of the people who live there. She forces Kadota to wear parts of each costume, to make the point that the town will have to abandon these failed approaches and begin to address the fundamental issue of understanding its identity as a place.

Sakura Quest サクラクエスト

Sakura Quest サクラクエスト

Sakuragaike (桜ヶ池) in Tatenohara-Higashi, Nanto

Sakura Quest サクラクエスト

Sakura Quest サクラクエスト

Sakura Quest サクラクエスト

After the event, Yoshino confirms with Kadota that she is committed to her role in the town revitalization project, but on the condition that she can include her ad hoc team of advisors. Over the course of the episode, Yoshino has grown from relatively uninvested warm body to enthusiastic project manager.

Sakura Quest サクラクエスト

Sakura Quest サクラクエスト

The Eccentric Family 2

(有頂天家族2 Uchōten Kazoku 2)

Fan Pilgrimage Update

NHK World program imagine-nation broadcast an episode (available online until 2017 May 2) featuring Uchōten Kazoku 2 and extensive discussion of pop culture tourism associated with the series. The half hour program covers official collaborations with Shimogamo Jinja, which promotes the show through marketing material and goods sales on grounds, with the Eizan Electric Railway, which features marketing collateral on and inside its trains, and with the city of Kyoto, which appointed a Special Goodwill Ambassadorship to the work and uses it in tourism promotional campaigns in Japan and overseas. The segment features interviews with P.A.Works staff, including director Yoshihara Masayuki. The program also frames travel to Kyoto by fans of Uchoten in the broader context of anime-induced tourism, citing Kimi no Na wa. and Yūri!!! on ICE as recent examples.

Kyoto Shimbun published an article about pop culture tourism to Shimogamo Jinja and other Kyoto locations for Uchōten Kazoku.

@ye_bi_su made a pilgrimage (updated post) to Kyoto for the OP.

@mikehattsu made a pilgrimage to Hampstead Heath in London, England for the ED.

Episode 3

The Eccentric Family 2 有頂天家族2

Tanukidanisan Fudō-in (狸谷山不動院)

The Eccentric Family 2 有頂天家族2

The Eccentric Family 2 有頂天家族2

The Eccentric Family 2 有頂天家族2

The Eccentric Family 2 有頂天家族2

The Eccentric Family 2 有頂天家族2

The Eccentric Family 2 有頂天家族2

The Eccentric Family 2 有頂天家族2

The Eccentric Family 2 有頂天家族2

The Eccentric Family 2 有頂天家族2

The Eccentric Family 2 有頂天家族2

The Eccentric Family 2 有頂天家族2

The Eccentric Family 2 有頂天家族2

The Eccentric Family 2 有頂天家族2

The Eccentric Family 2 有頂天家族2

The Eccentric Family 2 有頂天家族2

The Eccentric Family 2 有頂天家族2

The Eccentric Family 2 有頂天家族2

The Eccentric Family 2 有頂天家族2

Rokudō Chin’nō-ji (六道珍皇寺)

The Eccentric Family 2 有頂天家族2

The Eccentric Family 2 有頂天家族2

The Eccentric Family 2 有頂天家族2

The Eccentric Family 2 有頂天家族2

Intersection of Karasuma-dōri (烏丸通り) and Rokkaku-dōri (六角通り)

The Eccentric Family 2 有頂天家族2

The Eccentric Family 2 有頂天家族2

The Eccentric Family 2 有頂天家族2

The Eccentric Family 2 有頂天家族2

The Eccentric Family 2 有頂天家族2

This is just a hunch, but considering its proximity to Shimogamo Jinja, I’m thinking the gift from Yasaburō and Yashirō to Nidaime is a nod to the signature mame-mochi from confectioner Demachi Futaba.

The Eccentric Family 2 有頂天家族2

Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend Flat

(冴えない彼女の育てかた♭[フラット] Saenai Hiroin no Sodatekata Furatto)

Fan Pilgrimage Update

@touyoko_com made a pilgrimage to Ikebukuro and Takada, Toshima Ward for Episode 2.

@ssslocation made a pilgrimage to Wakō, Saitama Prefecture; and Ikebukuro, Toshima Ward, Tokyo Metropolis for Episode 1 and Episode 2.

Episode 2

Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend Flat 冴えない彼女の育てかた♭

Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend Flat 冴えない彼女の育てかた♭

Junkudō Shoten Ikebukuro main store (ジュンク堂書店 池袋本店)

Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend Flat 冴えない彼女の育てかた♭

Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend Flat 冴えない彼女の育てかた♭

Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend Flat 冴えない彼女の育てかた♭

Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend Flat 冴えない彼女の育てかた♭

Shakey’s Ikebukuro Higashiguchi shop (シェーキーズ 池袋東口店)

Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend Flat 冴えない彼女の育てかた♭

Ikebukuro Station (池袋駅) east side

Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend Flat 冴えない彼女の育てかた♭

Sunshine-dōri (サンシャイン通り)

Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend Flat 冴えない彼女の育てかた♭

Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend Flat 冴えない彼女の育てかた♭

Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend Flat 冴えない彼女の育てかた♭

Cinema Sunshine Ikebukuro (シネマサンシャイン池袋)

Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend Flat 冴えない彼女の育てかた♭

Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend Flat 冴えない彼女の育てかた♭

Tsubaki-ya Coffee Shop Ikebukuro cafe (椿屋珈琲店 池袋茶寮)

Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend Flat 冴えない彼女の育てかた♭

Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend Flat 冴えない彼女の育てかた♭

Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend Flat 冴えない彼女の育てかた♭

Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend Flat 冴えない彼女の育てかた♭

Sunshine 60 (サンシャイン60)

Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend Flat 冴えない彼女の育てかた♭

Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend Flat 冴えない彼女の育てかた♭

Ikebukuro Station north concourse under platform 7-8

Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend Flat 冴えない彼女の育てかた♭

Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend Flat 冴えない彼女の育てかた♭

Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend Flat 冴えない彼女の育てかた♭

Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend Flat 冴えない彼女の育てかた♭

Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend Flat 冴えない彼女の育てかた♭

Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend Flat 冴えない彼女の育てかた♭

Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend Flat 冴えない彼女の育てかた♭

Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend Flat 冴えない彼女の育てかた♭

Utaha is standing at platform 7, Tomoya at platform 6

Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend Flat 冴えない彼女の育てかた♭

Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend Flat 冴えない彼女の育てかた♭

Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend Flat 冴えない彼女の育てかた♭

Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend Flat 冴えない彼女の育てかた♭

Nozokizaka (のぞき坂) in Takada (高田), Toshima Ward, Tokyo Metropolis

Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend Flat 冴えない彼女の育てかた♭

Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend Flat 冴えない彼女の育てかた♭

Tsuki ga Kirei

(月がきれい)

Fan Pilgrimage Update

@touyoko_com made a pilgrimage to Kawagoe, Saitama Prefecture and Hachiōji, Tokyo Metropolis for Episode 3.

@fureshima made a pilgrimage to Mitaka, Tokyo Metropolis for the OP, Episode 1 and Episode 3.

@ssslocation made a pilgrimage (updated gallery) to Shinjuku for Episode 2; and Mitaka for Episode 3.

@dejiboo1 made a pilgrimage (tweet thread) to Hachiōji for Episode 3.

Episode 3

Tsuki ga Kirei 月がきれい

Kawagoe Kumano Jinja (川越熊野神社)

Tsuki ga Kirei 月がきれい

Tsuki ga Kirei 月がきれい

Tsuki ga Kirei 月がきれい

Tsuki ga Kirei 月がきれい

Tsuki ga Kirei 月がきれい

Inokashira Park (井の頭恩賜公園)

Tsuki ga Kirei 月がきれい

Takazawa-bashi (高沢橋)

Motomachi Mutsuzuka Inari Jinja (元町六塚稲荷神社) in the background

Tsuki ga Kirei 月がきれい

Tsuki ga Kirei 月がきれい

Tsuki ga Kirei 月がきれい

Tsuki ga Kirei 月がきれい

Hachiōji City Kamiyugi Park Athletic Stadium (八王子市上柚木公園陸上競技場) in Hachiōji, Tokyo Metropolis

Tsuki ga Kirei 月がきれい

Tsuki ga Kirei 月がきれい

Tsuki ga Kirei 月がきれい

Tsuki ga Kirei 月がきれい

Kawagoe Kumano Jinja

Tsuki ga Kirei 月がきれい

Tsuki ga Kirei 月がきれい

Tsuki ga Kirei 月がきれい

Tsuki ga Kirei 月がきれい

Tsuki ga Kirei 月がきれい

Tsuki ga Kirei 月がきれい

Tsuki ga Kirei 月がきれい

Tsuki ga Kirei 月がきれい

Tsuki ga Kirei 月がきれい

Fast food chain restaurant used as third place

Tsuki ga Kirei 月がきれい

Tsuki ga Kirei 月がきれい

Kawagoe Kumano Jinja

Tsuki ga Kirei 月がきれい

Tsuki ga Kirei 月がきれい

Tsuki ga Kirei 月がきれい

Tsuki ga Kirei 月がきれい

Tsuki ga Kirei 月がきれい

Tsuki ga Kirei 月がきれい

Tsuki ga Kirei 月がきれい

Tsuki ga Kirei 月がきれい

Tsuki ga Kirei 月がきれい

 

Special Items

Other Current Season Pilgrimage

@lidges made a pilgrimage to Sakaide, Zentsūji and Takamatsu (all Kagawa Prefecture) for Yūki Yūna wa Yūsha de Aru -Washio Sumi no shō- Dai 2-shō “Tamashī”, the second of a three-part theatrical release.

@touyoko_com (post) and @ssslocation (updated gallery) made pilgrimages to Jingūmae, Shibuya Ward, Tokyo Metropolis for Alice to Zōroku Episode 2.

@Surwill compiled a Street View tour of locations in Kabukichō and Shinjuku, Shinjuku Ward; and Jingūmae, Shibuya Ward (all Tokyo Metropolis) for Alice to Zōroku Episode 1.

@anime_pq made a pilgrimage to Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture for Fukumenkei Noise.

@kimchi_fuji made a pilgrimage to Tachikawa, Tokyo Metropolis for Frame Arms Girl OP, ED and Episode 1 through Episode 3.

@ssslocation made a pilgrimage to Kichijōji, Musashino; Inokashira Park in Mitaka; and Shimokitazawa, Suginami Ward (all Tokyo Metropolis) for Hinako Note Episode 1 and Episode 2.

@ssslocation made a pilgrimage to multiple Tokyo inner wards locations for Seikai Suru Kado OP.

@626shin (photo essay), @ewi (photo essay) and @keihi49 (pilgrimage) published reports on the Love Live! Sunshine!! “HAPPY PARTY TRAIN” marketing collaboration with the Izuhakone Railway Sunzu Line.

Past Season Pilgrimage

@touyoko_com made a pilgrimage to Kagoshima City, Kagoshima Prefecture for Chūnibyō demo Koi ga Shitai! Ren.

@mikehattsu made pilgrimages to Heathrow Airport, Paddington Station, Bibury, Cirencester, Kemble Station and Fosse Farmhous in Castle Combe (all England) for Kin’iro Mosaic and Hello!! Kin’iro Mosaic.

@paffue made a pilgrimage to Biei and Furano, Hokkaidō Prefecture for Pretty Rhythm: Rainbow Live.

@mikehattsu made a pilgrimage to Heathrow Airport for Eiga K-On!

@11922911Rinngo made pilgrimages to Mizuho and Denenchōfu-honchō, Ōta Ward (both Tokyo Metropolis) for Clannad.