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 sacred site pilgrimage) and butaitanbou (舞台探訪 scene hunting)—on this website referred to collectively as anime pilgrimage—which are forms of place-based engagement induced by the use of real locations in show settings.
Media and General Interest
Anime Tourism Association
Kadokawa revealed a preliminary list (news release) for its Anime Tourism 88-stop Pilgrimage initiative at AnimeJapan 2017, with a final list to be presented in 2017 July. The current list includes many of the usual suspects—plenty of works by Kyoto Animation, P.A.Works and A-1 Pictures—and doesn’t appear to be too stacked in favor of Kadokawa properties. There appears to be recency bias, many of the works were produced in just the past five years, and there are only a few works that are 10 years or older. There are also a few works that are unfamiliar to me, and a handful that haven’t been released yet. It will be interesting to see how this all shakes out in the final count.
Yayoi-ken Idolmaster seichi
Asahi Shimbun published an article about annual fan pilgrimages to the Yayoi-ken restaurant in Takatsuki, Osaka Prefecture every March 25 in observance of the fictional birthday of character Takatsuki Yayoi from The Idolmaster.
Hida Kimi no Na wa. marketing
Mainichi Shimbun pusblished an article about marketing collateral for tourism to Hida, Gifu Prefecture featuring large images of scenes from Kimi no Na wa. on high-speed long-distance buses.
Hinokage Miyamizu Jinja
Sankei Shimbun published an article speculating whether tourists would come to visit Miyamizu Jinja in Hinokage, Miyazaki Prefecture (the only shrine with this name in Japan) due to the coincidence of sharing its name with lead character Miyamizu Mitsuha from Kimi no Na wa. Several shrines in Gifu Prefecture have been identified as contributing some visual elements to the film setting, though there are still yet unknown details. The shrine in Hinokage does not appear to match up with any from the film.
(小林さんちのメイドラゴン Kobayashi-san Chi no Meidoragon)
Fan Pilgrimage Update
Year end sales bring a lively crowd to the shōtengai.
Many older, smaller shōtengai still hold this kind of prize lottery, either at the end of the calendar year or during special events. Sometimes tickets can be bought, though often they are given as rewards in proportion to a shopper’s buying volume over the course of the year, as in Tōru’s case.
Ningyōchō Station (人形町駅) in Nihonbashi, Chūō Ward, Tokyo Metropolis
Hatsumōde (初詣), the first shrine or temple visit of the new year
No one has found any solid leads as to the identity of this shine (it may, as with the shōtengai, not be a real location). However, the chest of drawers containing omikuji does look very similar to the one at Sensō-ji in Asakusa, one of the most popular locations for hatsumōde visits in Tokyo.
Hatsuhinode (初日の出), first sunrise of the new year
Tōbu Skytree Line (東武スカイツリーライン)
Sumida Park (隅田公園). The street that bounds the park on the west side of the river is named Sukeroku Yume-dōri (助六夢通り).
Azuma Bridge (吾妻橋)