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.
Media and General Interest
Yahoo! News Japan published an article about sustained pop culture tourism interest to Washinomiya and other locations in Saitama Prefecture for Lucky Star, on the tenth anniversary of the original broadcast of the anime adaptation. It points out local municipality fan engagement strategies that are becoming commonplace now were path-breaking when Washinomiya began experimenting with them years ago.
(サクラクエスト Sakura Kuesuto)
Tokyo Metropolitan Television (東京メトロポリタンテレビジョン) headquarters in Kōjimachi, Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo Metropolis
Hokuriku Shinkansen (北陸新幹線)
Yoshino’s proposal to hold a formal closing ceremony for the disused school is actually a pretense for what turns out to be a very effective strategy to build stakeholder support for reviving the building as a public commons.
Cafe used as third place
Sandal becomes the team’s first test subject, converting one of the classrooms for use as an art studio.
Going through Maki’s father to present the closing ceremony proposal to the board of education for approval at first seems just a formal courtesy, but it’s also the first step in building a relationship with a group of community leaders that the tourism board will likely interface or work together with going forward.
The closing ceremony achieves two straightforward but important objectives. First, by inviting alumni and former teachers to reunite at the school, the tourism board brings together people who have both emotional connections to the space, and who are now grown members of the community with the means to impact what becomes of it, either through votes or resources.
Then, the send-off program features groups who would directly benefit from use of the space.
By the time the taiko drummers and community theater group have taken their bows and Yoshino reveals her true intention, it’s almost a foregone conclusion that the stakeholders she has gathered in the audience would be supportive of the plan. It’s a feel good story, but also shrewd marketing and communications.
A mysterious benefactor pays for the costly repair of the drum needed for the festival revival. Yes, Yoshino, there is a Santa Kurō.
(ニューゲーム!! Nyū Gēmu!!)
Juichi-ya (十一屋) in Sumida, Sumida Ward, Tokyo Metropolis
Izakaya used as third place
Denny’s Minami-Asagaya shop (デニーズ南阿佐谷店) on Nakasugi-dōri (中杉通り), Suginami Ward
Nakasugi-dōri and Ōme-kaidō (青梅街道) intersection in Asagaya Minami (阿佐谷南)
Minami Asagaya Suzuran-dōri Shōtengai (南阿佐谷すずらん通り商店街)