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
Hibike! Euphonium cast in Uji
Kyoto Animation released the third and fourth parts of a short video series featuring Hibike! Euphonium voice actors exploring locations used in the series. The third segment covers Kumiko’s bench along Ajirogi no Michi:
The fourth and final segment covers Nakaji Bakery:
Washinomiya and Lucky Star retrospective
Spice published part 3 of an article by “seichijunrei producer” Kakizaki Shundō (柿崎俊道) about the history of anime tourism and continued fan engagement in Washinomiya, Kuki, Saitama Prefecture for Lucky Star. This section discusses Washinomiya’s engagement of fans through its permissiveness and encouragement of cosplay at public events. (part 1, part 2)
Okamoto Takeshi book Seichi Business
J-Cast News published an introduction of Seichi Business: The Era When Pop Culture Becomes a Tourism Asset (巡礼ビジネス ポップカルチャーが観光資産になる時代), the new book by contents tourism researcher Okamoto Takeshi (岡本健). The article specifically discusses the case studies of Washinomiya, Saitama Prefecture (Lucky Star) and Toyosato, Shiga Prefecture (K-On!). Okamoto gave a talk about the book at Liv Labo in Shizuoka City, Shizuoka Prefecture on February 9. He will do the same at a seminar with Kakizaki Shundō at the Ichibanchō Incubation Center in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo on February 28.
Diamond published an interview with Abiko Tsuyoshi (安彦剛志), the manager at Sony Music Communications Interactive Solution Company who created anime pilgrimage smartphone app Butaimeguri. Abiko describes his first encounter with seichijunrei fans at an event promoting the Blu-ray release of True Tears in its setting of Nanto, Toyama Prefecture. He discusses the origin of Butaimeguri as an informal project exploring ways for the manufacturing-centered company to grow service-based competency. Abiko demonstrates nuanced understanding of fans relationships to pilgrimage locations, explaining that many visitors come to appreciate a place on its own merits after first encountering it through anime. He discusses how continuous, affirmative engagement of fans by local businesses and residents, treating anime pilgrims not as customers but stakeholders, is critical to promoting sustained interest in a location.
Wakayama seichijunrei cafes
Sankei Shimbun published an article about local cafes in Wakayama Prefecture that have benefited from or were established specifically to cater to anime and manga pilgrims.
Koizumi-san ramen shops
JMAG News published a series of reviews of ramen shops featured in Ramen Daisuki Koizumi-san Episode 1 through Episode 6.
Yurucamp furusato nozei
The town of Minobu, Yamanashi Prefecture will offer licensed Yurucamp postcards 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.
Aobuta stamp rally
Town News published an article about the addition of a digital stamp rally in Fujisawa, Kanagawa Prefecture for Seishun Buta Yarō wa Bunny Girl-senpai no Yume o Minai to Butaimeguri, active until March 31.
Tanegashima commercial tour
Travel agency JTB will offer a tour package to 5 Centimeters Per Second and Robotics;Notes locations in Tanegashima, Kagoshima Prefecture scheduled March 8-10.
Current Season Pilgrimage
@flyingbird1124 made a pilgrimage to (post 1) Tanashi, Nishi-Tokyo; (post 2) Renkōji, Tama; (post 3) Ogikubo, Kōenji and Asagaya, Suginami Ward (all Tokyo Metropolis) for Domestic na Kanojo Episode 3 through Episode 5.
Past Season Pilgrimage
@flyingbird1124 made a pilgrimage to Kamata, Ōta Ward; Ginza, Chūō Ward; Shimoigusa, Suginami Ward (preceding all Tokyo Metropolis); Yokohama and Fujisawa, Kanagawa Prefecture for Fate/stay night: Heaven’s Feel.
@NeoVenezia2301 made a pilgrimage (post 1, post 2) to Mishima, Izunokuni, Izu and Numazu, Shizuoka Prefecture for Love Live! Sunshine!!, Happy Party Train music video and Love Live! School Idol Festival game.