Pop Culture Tourism
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...