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 vs. Real Life anniversary
@Surwill is marking the second anniversary of his feature column Anime vs. Real Life at Crunchyroll, where he has shared his vast knowledge of anime tourism, and introduced the real location settings of new series to a wide audience each week. Congratulations Wilhelm!
Yamamura anime pilgrimage reading
Yamamura Takayoshi—professor in the Center for Advanced Tourism Studies at Hokkaidō University, and considered the leading researcher in anime-induced tourism—published a top 10 list of introductory works for people interested in understanding anime pilgrimage.
Huffington Post Japan published an article about an event organized by Timeout Tokyo in which panelists discussed what they called metatourism (メタ観光)—the idea that travelers can attribute multiple layers of meaning to physical places in a variety of ways. Contents tourism, specifically that involving games, films and animation, is referenced as an example of a very active layer within metatourism, but is considered as part of a wider scope that also includes geographical and historical filters. The act of tagging locations through social media platforms with photos, coordinates and information specific to the filter creates metadata. Potential tourists can use that metadata to create travel itineraries, and visitors can access it in real time and on the spot using smartphones, allowing them to simultaneously experience real and virtual content on their journeys.
Local train lines
Harbor Business Online published an article about the potential for seichijunrei to economically prop up local train lines that would normally rely on subsidies, but tempers this with acknowledgement that many factors, not just the mere fact of a tie-in, contribute to strong anime-induced demand, and that even successful cases may ultimately be time limited.
Caron Cooper and Kin’iro Mosaic
Media outlets in the United Kingdom have piled into the story about Fosse Farmhouse owner Caron Cooper’s efforts to promote British-Japanese cross cultural exchange, and the most recent arc of her story as the caretaker of an anime pilgrimage destination. The bed and breakfast in Castle Combe, England is used as the model for the Cartelet home in anime series Kin’iro Mosaic. Media coverage: ITV News (video), 5 News (video), The Times of London, The Sun, Daily Mirror.
Numazu manhole vandalism
Additional vandalism—this time using spray paint—of the Love Live! Sunshine!! manhole covers recently installed in Numazu, Shizuoka Prefecture prompted the city to collect the special covers and replace them temporarily with regular ones to prevent further damage while the situation is under investigation. Media coverage: NHK, J-Cast News, Netorabo, Anime News Network.
Uji Eupho events
@offtama published a report with extensive photography from recent Hibike! Euphonium related events, including the Yōkoso Festival (fan event), Uji Matsuri Festival (official event), character panels in Keihan Railway stations and train wrappings on the Ishiyama Sakamoto Line, and pilgrimage to Uji for the television series and film Liz to Aoi Tori.
Anime Tourism Association
NewsWalker published an article about the announcement of the opening of surveys for the 2019 edition of the Japanese Anime 88-stop Pilgrimage list put out by the Anime Tourism Association.
Shizuoka Shimbun published an article about a group of Chinese fans’ first anime pilgrimage on a bus tour of Numazu, Shizuoka Prefecture for Love Live! Sunshine!!
Ichikawamisato Yuru Camp goods
The town of Ichikawamisato, Yamanashi Prefecture will offer licensed Yuru Camp goods exchanged for furusato nozei (ふるさと納税 hometown tax), a nationwide program that allows people to divert part of their local tax payments to smaller, less funded municipalities, which usually respond with gifts of items either produced locally or that have some unique tie to the location.
Yamanashi Yuru Camp tour
Cool Japan Travel and the Anime Tourism Association will offer a tour of Yamanashi Prefecture locations from Yuru Camp led by Nadeshiko’s voice actor Hanamori Yumiri on September 9.
J-Cast News published an article about incidents involving Yuru Camp fans at the Pinewood Auto Campground in Yamanashi City, Yamanashi Prefecture. Some visitors have entered the campground, which though open land is private property, to take photographs without permission. Others have inquired with management regarding permission to take photos and were refused.
@nijipoi_media published an article about efforts by Yūki Yūna wa Yūsha de Aru fans to maintain the cleanliness of outdoor vending machines wrapped with characters from the series in Kan’onji, Kagawa Prefecture.
Background art exhibition
Japan Foundation in Sydney will host an exhibition of background art from Patlabor, Ghost in the Shell and Metropolis from June 1 to August 11.
(ウマ娘 プリティーダービー Uma Musume Puritī Dābī)
Fan Pilgrimage Update
@keihi49 made a pilgrimage to Hokkaidō that both captures the locations used as models in the series, as well as explores deeper into interesting related places. In the town of Hidaka (Hidaka Subprefecture), Hidaka Taiyō Ranch appears in the OP while Hidaka-Mombetsu Station provides part of the setting for the station in Special Week’s hometown. The station building itself is Ginzan Station in Niki (Shirabeshi Subprefecture). Big Red Farm in Niikappu (Hidaka Subprefecture) allows visitors to tour the premises, where you can meet the real Grass Wonder and Gold Ship. Yūshun Stallion Station, also in Niikappu, has a monument to Oguri Cap, where the thoroughbred spent his retirement. At Inahara Ranch in Biratori (Hidaka Subprefecture) you can pay your respects at the grave of Silence Suzuka.
Keihi is a relative newcomer to the butaitanbou scene and has been doing a knockout job with this kind of deep reporting that seems to be going out of vogue recently.
Higashi-Fuchū Station (東府中駅)
(あまんちゅ！〜あどばんす〜 Amanchu Adobansu)
Futo Harbor (富戸港) in Itō
(踏切時間 Fumikiri Jikan)
Fan Pilgrimage Update
@ssslocation made a pilgrimage to the Aoyama Kaidō crossing in Sendagaya 4-chōme, Shibuya Ward for Episode 7; and Gakushūinshita tram stop in Takada 2-chōme, Toshima Ward (both Tokyo Metropolis) for Episode 9.
Gakushūinshita tram stop (学習院下停留場) in Takada 2-chōme, Toshima Ward, Tokyo Metropolis
Other Current Season Pilgrimage
Past Season Pilgrimage
@kitaku_mj_4anko made a pilgrimage (post 1, post 2, post 3, post 4, post 5, post 6, post 7, post 8, post 9, post 10, post 11, post 12, post 13) to Fujisawa and Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture for Just Because!