Chihayafuru ちはやふる

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

Tamako Matsuri
The fifth and final convening of the Usagiyama Dai Bazaar (うさぎ山大バザール5), a Tamako Market oriented dōjinshi spot sale and cosplay event, will combine with the Usagiyama Mochitsuki Taikai (うさぎ山もちつき大会), a Mochizō character birthday celebration and mochi pounding event usually held in the fall, along with a pending DJ event, to form Tamako Matsuri (たまこまつり), scheduled March 8 in the DeMachi (Deまち) event space at the Demachi Masugata Shōtengai in Kyoto. Those interested to participate in the Usagiyama Dai Bazaar can register here, with additional information submission for dōjinshi circles to be submitted here. Those interested in the Usagiyama Mochitsuki Taikai can register here. This event will be concurrent with Masugata Wonder Street (桝形ワンダーストリート), a festival organized by the Masugata Business Cooperative (桝形事業協同組合).

Irozuku hanami meetup
A fan-organized cherry blossom viewing tour of Nagasaki locations featured in Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara has been scheduled for March 28 and 29, including a social event on the first evening. Those interested to participate can register here.

Cafe Dream Kyoani support
NHK broadcast an interview with Hosomi Akiko (細海章子), owner of Cafe Dream in Nishinomiya, Hyōgo Prefecture. She discusses the long-term presence of Suzumiya Haruhi fans at the cafe, even now at almost 14 years after the original broadcast, and how the cafe has served as a node of support for Kyoto Animation in the aftermath of the 2019 July arson attack, through donation collection, messages written in the fan exchange notebook, and as a place for people to meet and share thoughts on the tragedy.

Ōgaki Kyoani support
Ōgaki, Gifu Prefecture mayor Ogawa Bin met with Kyoto Animation representative Daisuke Okeda on January 22 to present three notebooks of fan encouragement messages collected alongside money donations at the city’s donation corner, two bundles of 1,000 paper cranes, and a message of support from a couple who submitted their marriage registration in Ōgaki using the city’s Koe no Katachi themed certificates. Ōgaki collected a total 3.3 million yen in donations, remitted to Kyoto Animation’s designated account on 2019 November 29. Media coverage: Gifu Shimbun

Inbound tourism seichijunrei
Nippon TV News 24 broadcast a news story on the popularity of anime seichijunrei among inbound tourists to Japan, featuring interviews with foreigners visiting Kanda Myōjin in Tokyo (Love Live!), Takehara (Tamayura) and Chichibu (Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai.).

Love Live! Sunshine!! and Numazu
Sankei Shimbun published an interview with Hirata Moka (平田百彩), web designer and managing director of the Numazu Agetsuchi Shōtengai Promotion Association, about his role in town revitalization. He briefly mentions events and activities related to Love Live! Sunshine!! among his broader efforts to promote the city.

Koisuru Asteroid marketing collaborations
A constellation of marketing collaborations launched to coincide with Episode 4 of Koisuru Asteroid, in which the cast visit Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture to tour the Geological Museum (地質標本館), JAXA Tsukuba Space Center (JAXA 筑波宇宙センター) and Science Museum of Map and Survey (地図と測量の科学館). In addition to onsite marketing visuals and permitting photography on premises, each facility is promoting bonus footage to be included with the upcoming disc releases that features voice actors from the series touring the exhibits. Media coverage: Animate Times, Crunchyroll News

Current Season Pilgrimage

@flyingbird1124 made a pilgrimage to Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture for Koisuru Asteroid Episode 4.

@ad_motsu made a pilgrimage to Shimotsuma, Ibaraki Prefecture for Koisuru Asteroid Episode 3.

@nadukari_h made a pilgrimage (updated post) to Fujikawaguchiko, Yamanashi Prefecture for Heyacamp Episode 3.

@flyingbird1124 made a pilgrimage to Shibuya Ward, Tokyo Metropolis for Darwin’s Game OP, ED, Episode 1 through Episode 3.

@flyingbird1124 made a pilgrimage to Shibuya, Shibuya Ward, Tokyo Metropolis for Runway de Waratte Episode 2.

Past Season Pilgrimage

@Oveldas made a pilgrimage to Uji, Kyoto Prefecture for Hibike! Euphonium.