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
Gazette & Herald published an article about the award of the AA B&B Story of the Year 2018–19 to Fosse Farmhouse, for owner Caron Cooper’s efforts to promote British-Japanese cross cultural exchange. The bed and breakfast in Castle Combe, England is used as the model for the Cartelet home in anime series Kin’iro Mosaic.
(ウマ娘 プリティーダービー Uma Musume Puritī Dābī)
Fan Pilgrimage Update
I got a bit of a chuckle out of the railway social media team seeming to be unaware of the use of real locations and infrastructure in anime. Hankyū rail assets in Nishinomiya, Hyōgo Prefecture were a fixture of the Suzumiya Haruhi series and figured prominently in the dawn of the contemporary butaitanbou and seichijunrei scene.
Inageya Kodaira Megurita shop (いなげや小平回田店) in Kodaira, Tokyo Metropolis
Though far from and seemingly unrelated to the main setting in Fuchū, a little digging reveals the significance of the choice to use this shrine as the location for Spica’s new year visit. The area around Kamo Jinja was the site of Japan’s first national ranch, created in the seventh century by order of Emperor Tenji, who sought to foster development of horse breeding and riding technique. The shrine itself was established in 736 by Emperor Shōmu and is considered a sacred place for horses. Ceremonies and festivals honoring this connection continue to this day, including Ashifuse Sōme (足伏走馬)—horseback mounted archery.
Hanshin Racecourse (阪神競馬場)
(あまんちゅ！〜あどばんす〜 Amanchu Adobansu)
(踏切時間 Fumikiri Jikan)
Fan Pilgrimage Update
Now called Tōbu Skytree Line (東武スカイツリーライン), this section of track was originally the Tōbu Isesaki Line (東武伊勢崎線), hence the I (伊) in the crossing name. It was rebranded as the Skytree Line in 2012 March when the Tokyo Skytree tower opened.
The Isesaki/Skytree line carries an assortment of train types and service patterns. The ‘champagne beige’ livery with ‘forest green’ and ‘future blue’ stripes that passes through in the episode is a Tōbu 500 series (東武500系), branded as the Revaty (リバティ), which was introduced in 2017 April for use on limited express services.