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.
(響け！ユーフォニアム2 Hibike! Yūfoniamu 2)
Fan Pilgrimage Update
The contemporary Kyoto Station (京都駅) design by Hara Hiroshi met with significant opposition when announced, its imposing and very modern aesthetic felt to be out of character with Kyoto’s history and sensibility. Now approaching its twentieth anniversary, it’s the only Kyoto Station I’ve ever known, and it’s hard for me to imagine a trip to the city without the mental image of this structure.
Back when I started blogging about cities and transit years ago, one of my earliest approaches was based on the thinking that world class transit infrastructure was not just about connectivity and convenience (both of which are prerequisites), but also highly visible and frequently utilized civic space. Kyoto Station is a good exemplar of a transit hub that gets this right, with its multiple plazas and platforms that can be converted to event space. I’ve often been munching on a morning sugar burst in front of the second floor Mister Donut, unwittingly becoming audience to a concert or wedding from my balcony perch.
Keihan Rokujizō Station (京阪六地蔵駅)
Uji National Highway fumikiri (宇治国道踏切), the last grade level railroad crossing before Keihan Uji Station
Todō Senior High School (莵道高校)
The Kita Uji concert is setup on an upper level plaza, but with the wide open central space and vaulted glass ceiling, sound from here will reverberate throughout the station.
Prefectural Uji Park intersection (府立宇治公園前交差点)
(フリップフラッパーズ Furippu Furappāzu)
I’ve been watching Flip Flappers just out of enjoyment. Given the heavy fantasy element, I had intended to leave it alone with regard to the weekly, even should a few real locations pop up. That changed this week, with some really interesting material, almost all of which was identified by @fureshima, who pays particular attention to works with settings based in Fukushima Prefecture.
For clarity, only the screen captures with likely or confirmed identifications have captions under them in this entry.
This cake is from the Romio Kaisei shop (Romio 開成店) in Kōriyama.
Mizuiro Park (みずいろ公園) in Motomiya
The cream and jam filled hot dog bun is believed to be from Murayama Bakery (ムラヤマベーカリー) in Motomiya.
The “Café au lait” milk drink is produced by Rakuō Nyūgyō (酪王乳業), based in Kōriyama.
Fashion Center Shimamura Motomiya shop (ファッションセンターしまむら本宮店)
Fashion Center Shimamura Motomiya shop
Fukushima Prefectural Route 17 Kōriyama Railyard Line scramble crossing (福島県道17号郡山停車場線スクランブル交差点). That’s a mouthful.
Adatara Jinja (安達太良神社) in Motomiya
Motomiya Station (本宮駅)
Gohyakugawa Station (五百川駅). These are adjacent stations on the Tōhoku Main Line.
Embankment along the Abukuma River (阿武隈川), on the north side of the Prefectural Route 73 (県道73号線) viaduct in Motomiya
(うどんの国の金色毛鞠 Udon no Kuni no Kin’iro Kemari)
Ritsurin Garden (栗林公園)
The printed towel with local train lines is a real souvenir sold in Takamatsu.
(3月のライオン Sangatsu no Raion)
Fan Pilgrimage Update
Tsukuda (small) Bridge (佃小橋)
Chūō Bridge (中央大橋)
Kamejima River flood gate (亀島川水門)
Tsukuda (small) Bridge
Tsukuda Bridge (佃大橋)
(ユーリ!!! on ICE Yūri on Aisu)
Fan Pilgrimage Update
Saga Shimbun published an article about use of Karatsu, Saga Prefecture as a model for the setting of Yuri!!! On ICE.
Capital Indoor Stadium (首都体育馆) in Beijing, China
Palais des Sports in Paris, France
(舟を編む Fune o Amu)
Munatsukizaka (胸突坂) in Hongō Kikuzaka (本郷菊坂), Bunkyō Ward
Game Panic Kōfu (ゲームパニック甲府) in Kōfu, Yamanashi Prefecture
Update 2016/11/30: Bikkuri Donkey, Date shop (びっくりドンキー 伊達店) in Date, Hokkaidō Prefecture
Media and General Interest
Nikkei Style published an article about early pilgrimage to Hiroshima for Kono Sekai no Katasumi ni (In This Corner of the World). It talks about using augmented reality smartphone apps to facilitate touring, which is not a new thing, but may be particularly meaningful in this case. The film uses historical photographs as a basis to depict the city before it was destroyed by atomic bombing. While pilgrims can track down GPS coordinates, many of the locations may only have a few remaining clues that link them back to scenes from the film.
Japan Times published an article about the candidate list of 30 buzzwords for 2016 created by publishing house Jiyukokuminsha, which includes both the term seichijunrei and film title Kimi no Na wa. (Ranking on Jiyukokuminsha site)
dot. published an article about the record 130,000 attendance at the 2016 Oarai Ankou Matsuri. The growth from 40,000 when the festival was first held in 1998 is attributed in large part to fans of Girls und Panzer. The article quotes Hokkaido University professor Yamamura Takayoshi, a preeminent researcher in anime tourism, explaining his hypothesis that anime pilgrimage locations across the board have benefited from a knock-on effect from Kimi no Na wa., which has induced pilgrimage behavior beyond the niche base into broader, more casual practice.
EconomicNews published an article about the economic boost, estimated at 25.3 billion yen, from pop culture tourism to Gifu Prefecture induced by Kimi no Na wa., Koe no Katachi and children’s film Rudorufu to Ippaiattena.
Mantanweb published an article about Kadokawa’s Anime Tourism 88-Stop Pilgrimage. There aren’t any new developments, but the article does include a high level explanation of pop culture tourism and uses examples from Lucky Star and Slam Dunk, two titles that have appeared high on the preliminary ranking results. It also describes the strong and rising interest by tourists from Taiwan, Hong Kong and Mainland China, groups that will be likely be targeted in Japan’s push to increase inbound tourism.
@mikehattsu encountered the Yamanote Line train outfitted with advertising for the Love Live! μ’s Final Love Live! ~μ’sic Forever♪♪♪♪♪♪♪♪♪~ Blu-ray release. He rode from Akihabara all the way to Yoyogi in order to explore each car. Good job!