Pop Culture Tourism
Fushimi Inari Taisha

Fushimi Inari Taisha

Fushimi Inari Taisha (伏見稲荷大社) is a colossal Shinto shrine that sprawls up the western slope of Mount Inari in Fushimi Ward, Kyoto. It is the head shrine of over 32,000 Inari sub-shrines, approximately one third of the Shinto shrines with full-time resident priests in all of Japan. Inari is the Shinto god (kami) of a...
聖地巡礼と舞台探訪者コミュニティとの初めてのオフ会

聖地巡礼と舞台探訪者コミュニティとの初めてのオフ会

今回の話をどこから始めるべきか決めるのはなかなか難しい。表面的にシンプルに言ってしまえば、東京と京都で開かれた2つのオフ会の話になる。一人を除いてほぼ全員が初めてお会いする方々だった。これ自体はさほど珍しいことではないのだが、今回のオフ会が特別であったのは、この2年間(そのルーツは更に過去に遡る)追い続けてきた長い道のりの転換点となったことである。
Animation, Urbanism and Tamako Market: A Discussion with Moriwaki Kiyotaka

Animation, Urbanism and Tamako Market:
A Discussion with Moriwaki Kiyotaka

Even before the release of preview footage, with only a handful of promotional images and a very short description, I knew Tamako Market (たまこまーけっと), created and produced by Kyoto Animation (京都アニメーション), was something I would want to give special attention. At the end of 2012, I had been writing about urbanism in anime for about...
First Offline Meetings with the Seichijunrei-Butaitanbou Community

First Offline Meetings with the Seichijunrei-Butaitanbou Community

It is difficult to figure out where to begin with this story. On the surface, it is simply about two gatherings of friends, the first in Tokyo and second in Kyoto. That I am meeting all but one of them face-to-face for the first time is significant, though not especially unusual. The meetings are special...
Demachi Masugata Shotengai, Session 2

Demachi Masugata Shotengai, Session 2

It was just one day shy of a year since I had last stepped in the Demachi Masugata Shōtengai (出町桝形商店街), a small covered pedestrian shopping arcade near the intersection of Kawaramachi and Imadegawa, between the Kamo River delta and backside of the Kyoto Imperial Palace. I had quickly run through earlier in the afternoon, on...
Hanayamata and the Enoshima Electric Railway

Hanayamata and the Enoshima Electric Railway

I only have the chance to ride public transit in Japan every so often, but I am still able to observe it almost everyday through its frequent inclusion in anime and other pop culture media. The Enoshima Electric Railway (江ノ島電鉄), or Enoden (江ノ電), is something of a poster child for this phenomenon, notable not just...
Spirit Festival 2014 in Demachi

Spirit Festival 2014 in Demachi

3つめの神輿。 pic.twitter.com/XKnKqO6RQD — あんこう ミ´ω`ミ (@ankou_anko) May 18, 2014 Spirit Festival (御霊祭) is a local celebration currently held each year on May 18 in Demachi, and is said to be the oldest known festival in Kyoto. A large procession that includes very ornate carts and portable shrines (神輿 mikoshi) makes its way around the entire...
Tamako Love Story Premiere, Afterparty at Demachi Masugata Shotengai

Tamako Love Story Premiere, Afterparty at Demachi Masugata Shotengai

違和感なく普通に立っているw #tamakolovestory #たまこラブストーリー pic.twitter.com/Gpkoa3F73T — エンドス@宮崎⇔京都 (@los_endos_) April 26, 2014 Tamako Love Story, the film sequel to the 2013 TV series Tamako Market, opened in theaters across Japan on Saturday, 2014 April 26. In this work, Kyoto Animation explores some of the story elements left relatively unexplored in the broadcast. The premiere also meant an...
Demachi Masugata Shotengai

Demachi Masugata Shotengai

On one of the last evenings of 2012, a man wanders into Demachi Masugata Shōtengai (出町桝形商店街), a 164 meter covered pedestrian shopping arcade in Demachi, a predominately residential area just beyond the Kyoto Imperial Palace, where the city’s urban core begins turning over to suburban outskirts. The man’s footing is unsteady, having spent the better...
Beyond the Boundary Anime Pilgrimage to Nara and Kashihara

Beyond the Boundary Anime Pilgrimage to Nara and Kashihara

Urbanism and Pop Culture Tourism Fifteen months ago I began writing a regular column, the Weekly Review of Transit, Place and Culture in Anime. The initial concept was to point out examples of how urbanism in Japan influences everyday behaviors and is reflected in the visual and narrative elements of popular culture output. It was...