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
@626shin (post) and @kbt_tigers1985 (post) published reports from cherry blossom viewing at Nishigishi Station in Nanao, Ishikawa Prefecture, an annual tradition among fans of Hanasaku Iroha. The station is used as a model in the setting of the anime. At the end of festivities, attendees conducted a thorough litter cleanup of the station and surrounding area. Shin also photographed blossoms and Haniro train wrappings at Noto-Kashima Station.
Numazu photo contest
Shizuoka Shimbun published an article about a photo contest and exhibition of photos taken of Numazu, Shizuoka Prefecture submitted by fans of Love Live! Sunshine!! The exhibition will be held in the city until May 7.
Keihan anime collaboration
Tōyō Keizai published an article about leading efforts by the Keihan Electric Railway and its subsidiary Eizan Electric Railway to use marketing collaborations with anime productions to engage fans, increase awareness of railway assets associated with shows, and drive passenger use.
Eiden Uchōten collaboration
Eizan Electric Railway (press release) announced the details of its official marketing collaboration for Uchōten Kazoku 2, which include train wrappings, changing headmarks, promotional material in stations, commemorative tickets and post cards.
Kawagoe Tsuki ga Kirei location
Kawagoe Keizai Shimbun published an article introducing the explicit use of Kawagoe, Saitama Prefecture as the setting of Tsuki ga Kirei.
@DIME published an article about seichijunrei to Hida and Ōgaki, Gifu Prefecture for Kimi no Na wa. and Koe no Katachi, respectively.
(サクラクエスト Sakura Kuesuto)
Fan Pilgrimage Update
We get some useful data points from Shiori near the beginning of the episode, as Yoshino grapples with the idea of trying to sell 1,000 boxes of manjū, a traditional Japanese confection. Manoyama receives 30,000 tourism visitors each year and has a population of 50,000. They didn’t have to search far to find that number, the population of Nanto (南砺), Toyama Prefecture is 50,660 (2016 October). I looked, but wasn’t able to dig up tourism numbers for Nanto.
As mentioned last week, the shopping street in the anime is not a copy of, but is believed to be a reference to the Higashimachi Shōtenkai (東町商店会) in Fukumitsu, Nanto.
When Yoshino proposes to make a new website to promote the product, the staff at the tourism board acknowledge that their web marketing skills are limited and they would need to hire a designer.
Yoshino and Shiori meet with Sanae, a web designer who moved to Manoyama from Tokyo. They settle on a simple website, though there is no discussion of concurrent marketing through social media or other channels.
Images and copy are harvested from existing web and print material.
When Maki pushes Yoshino for a reason why she is so desperate to get out of her contract and return to Tokyo, Yoshino fires back that, “Tokyo has everything. And you can do anything!”
In later conversation, Yoshino finds it difficult to accept Sanae’s opinion that being located in Tokyo is not the only path to finding or creating work opportunities. Yoshino reasserts that Tokyo is the economic center and must be full of opportunities, though she has only a vague idea of what they might be. Sanae offers the guidance that, with the right attitude, opportunities can be created wherever you are. I anticipate this will be one of the key themes Sakura Quest will reiterate over its run.
The website goes live, but doesn’t generate much traffic.
Though they are ultimately unsuccessful in selling the manjū, as they tear into boxes to eat them in consolation they realize it’s actually well made. Shiori tells them that all of the ingredients are locally sourced in Manoyama. Though pure conjecture, I think this may be a hint of a future tourism promotion strategy for the city. Farm-to-fork and local specialty foodstuffs are very active areas of regional tourism promotion in Japan.
(有頂天家族2 Uchōten Kazoku 2)
Fan Pilgrimage Update
Anitama, a Chinese language anime news site, published a pilgrimage to Kyoto for Episode 1.
Location identification for the OP is a work-in-progress. I’ve been able to figure out many, but not all of the long list of places that appear.
Kamo River delta (鴨川デルタ)
Shimogamo Jinja (下鴨神社)
Chōhō-ji (頂法寺), commonly referred to as Rokkaku-dō (六角堂)
Backside of restaurants on short, narrow street between the Takase River and Kamo River, just south of Shijō-ōhashi (四条大橋)
Kansai Denryoku Ebisu River hydropower plant (関西電力 夷川発電所)
Coffee Tsutaya (珈琲 蔦家), at the corner of Rokkaku-dōri (六角通) and Higashinotōin-dōri (東洞院通)
North end of the Teramachi Kyōgoku Shōtengai (寺町京極商店街), at the intersection of Sanjō-dōri (三条通) and Teramachi-dōri (寺町通). The restaurant in the background is Mishima-tei (三嶋亭), which was the model for one of the Friday Fellows meetings in the first season.
Outer wall on northern edge of the grounds of Kennin-ji (建仁寺)
Shijō Kawaramachi (四条河原町)
Kamo River delta
Alley parallel to Hanami-kōji (花見小路), just north of Kennin-ji
The director’s name in bonfires on the mountain is a nod to Gozan no Okuribi (五山送り火).
Kyoto Tower (京都タワー)
Teramachi Kyōgoku Shōtengai (寺町京極商店街)
Under the Marutamachi-bashi (丸太町橋)
This intersection and bridge are above a portion of the Lake Biwa Canal (琵琶湖疎水) just to the southeast of Miidera Station (三井寺駅) in Ōtsu, Shiga Prefecture. The bridge appears to have a name, but I can’t make out the kanji from street view. This is the first location in Shiga to have appeared in the anime adaptation of Uchōten Kazoku.
Lake Biwa Canal
Ebisu notes that he found tobidashibōya (飛び出し坊や) that looked like this in the neighborhood.
Kyoto Municipal Subway Tōzai Line (京都市営地下鉄東西線)
Teramachi Kyōgoku Shōtengai
(冴えない彼女の育てかた♭[フラット] Saenai Hiroin no Sodatekata Furatto)
Fan Pilgrimage Update
The OP sends mixed signals. There are trains and a station that are clearly in or inspired by those in Japan, but there are also many images that include Western-style architecture. None have been identified as of the time of writing.
Western-style mansion at the Kyu-Furukawa Gardens (旧古河庭園) in Nishigahara, Kita Ward, Tokyo Metropolis
Wakōshi Station (和光市駅) in Wakō, Saitama Prefecture
Gusto Wakōshi Ekimae shop (ガスト 和光市駅前店)
The view from the window tables at this branch of Gusto doesn’t quite look like this, but it’s not entirely fiction. Platform 1-2 at Wakōshi Station is a bit further away, oriented at 45 degrees to the restaurant, and seen through a gas station parking lot.
Students walk to school on the morning commute.
Fan Pilgrimage Update
The animate Kawagoe shop blog published a pilgrimage to Kawagoe, Saitama Prefecture for Episode 1 and invites fans to visit the city.
Manboo Shinjuku Yasukuni-dōri shop (マンボー 新宿靖国通り店) in Shinjuku 3-chōme, Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo Metropolis
Other Current Season Pilgrimage
Past Season Pilgrimage
@darkflame_esper made a pilgrimage to Kamiichi, Toyama Prefecture for Ōkami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki.