Pop Culture Tourism
Contents Tourism Discussion with Okamoto Takeshi

Contents Tourism Discussion with Okamoto Takeshi

With all available shelf space already occupied, stacks of textbooks, anthologies and manga line a path so narrow I have to be careful where I step. If I don’t swivel my head as I go, I might take out a lineup of miniature Gundam models with my camera bag. No, this isn’t the club room...
Kyoto Animation and Animation Do Fan Event 2015

Kyoto Animation and Animation Do Fan Event 2015

Kyoto Animation and subsidiary Animation Do held their second ever fan event over 2015 October 31 and November 1 in the exhibition space at Miyako Messe in Kyoto. Though some marketing materials for upcoming shows were unveiled, on the whole it was an opportunity for fans of the Kyoto Animation oeuvre to get up close...
2015 Butaitanbou Summit in Kagoshima

2015 Butaitanbou Summit in Kagoshima

It’s a funny thing to be over 30 and discover I’m just now finding my tribe. Stranger still that they come from a different place and culture than the one in which I grew up. For two days in July I was able to finally meet many of them face-to-face for the first time. These...
Eizan Electric Railway K-On! Walk

Eizan Electric Railway K-On! Walk

For my last day on a stay in Kyoto, I had wanted to get away from the city center and have a good, meditative walk. The original plan was to follow the full length of the Eizan Electric Railway (叡山電鉄) Kurama Line, from Demachiyanagi all the way up through the hills to Kurama-dera. In the...
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...