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.
(宇宙よりも遠い場所 Sora Yorimo Tōi Basho)
Fan Pilgrimage Update
Narita International Airport (成田国際空港)
The Merlion is said to represent Singapore’s origin as a fishing village and is used extensively in tourism marketing and promotional materials. Along with two other well-known statues/tourist attractions in Europe, the Merlion statue is noted tongue-in-cheeck by Japanese as one of the ‘Three Major Disappointments of the World’, hence the jokes about not being as disappointing as expected.
The perspective in this cut puts the quartet at Tian Tian Fisherman’s Pier Seafood along Boat Quay, however the huge dishes of fried rice served would suggest we aren’t meant to ascribe this specific restaurant to the outing.
Spectra, a free outdoor water and light show at Marina Bay Sands
Orchard Hotel Singapore
Singapore Changi Airport
Maxwell Food Centre is a street food market in Singapore Chinatown, popular with both locals and tourists.
Easy to overlook in the excitement of the final surprise of the episode is the food on the table. The kaya toast is a popular snack and could have come from a number of places. The chicken rice dish, considered emblematic of Singapore cuisine, is the signature offering at Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice (天天海南鸡饭), regarded as the standard bearer among all makers of the dish in the city-state. The shop is included in the Michelin Guide Bib Gourmand section for Singapore in 2016 and 2017. The yellow plates, sauce dishes and blue handled utensils differentiate Tian Tian from the other chicken rice stalls in the market.
I couldn’t pin down the precise location, but suspect this is a fruit stand in Geylang, a popular neighborhood for scouting durian markets not too far from the city center. There are several mentions by Singapore-based writers of Ah Hung D24 Sultan Durian on Sims Avenue, and while I can pick out a few clues that would have led them to think that, the buildings and streets don’t match at all.
The displays surrounding the girls sell D24 and maoshanwang (貓山王), the two main types of durian. Maoshanwang is the most popular.
It’s an a acquired taste that some people really get into, but to me durian smells like rotting garbage. I refuse to go near it. A fitting punishment for Shirase and Hinata!
Fremantle Markets in Fremantle, Australia
(3月のライオン Sangatsu no Raion)
Fan Pilgrimage Update
The Japan Shōgi Association currently features dueling Sangatsu no Lion and Ryūō no Oshigoto! posters at its headquarters in Sendagaya, Shibuya Ward:
『3月のライオン』や『りゅうおうのおしごと！』のポスターが入り口に飾られている。( ﾟдﾟ) pic.twitter.com/G4n1oTleaP
— kobaya (@ts_kobaya) February 8, 2018
Sangatsu is on break until March 3 due to 2018 Winter Olympics programming.
Other Current Season Pilgrimage
@nadukari_h made a pilgrimage to Yamanashi City, Yamanashi Prefecture; and Kirigamine and Takabocchi kōgen in Nagano Prefecture for Episode 5.