Asteroid in Love 恋する小惑星

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

Tamako Matsuri postponed
Due to concerns related to the spread of Covid-19 in Japan, the planned Tamako Matsuri event (Usagiyama Dai Bazaar, Usagiyama Mochitsuki Taikai) at Demachi Masugata Shōtengai in Kyoto on March 8 has been postponed until further notice.

Independent seichijunrei survey Butai 100
Voting results for the 2020 Anime, Manga, Game Butai 100 (アニメ・マンガ・ゲーム舞台百選 2020) have been released. This is a biennial transparent ranking of seichijunrei works and locations by popular vote, hosted by Toyama University contents tourism researcher Ōishi Gen (大石玄 @genoishi). Voters may cast up to ten location/work name pairs. Votes are consolidated by location, so a city or neighborhood with which multiple works are associated receives the total of all votes for those works. The top ranked locations for 2020 are:

1st: Kamakura/Enoshima, Kanagawa Prefecture
2nd: Uji, Kyoto Prefecture
3rd: Nagasaki City, Nagasaki Prefecture
4th: Toyosato, Shiga Prefecture
5th: (tie) Ōarai, Ibaraki Prefecture
5th: (tie) Yuwaku Onsen/Nishigishi Station, Ishikawa Prefecture
7th: (tie) Chichibu/Yokoze, Saitama Prefecture
7th: (tie) Minobu, Yamanashi Prefecture
7th: (tie) Takehara, Hiroshima Prefecture
10th: (tie) Kan’onji, Kagawa Prefecture
10th: (tie) Venice, Italy

Complete results for 2020 here, including breakdown of works for each location. Results of the 2018 and 2016 surveys here.

Uji contents tourism studies
Kyoto Bunkyō University-Uji “Monogatari Tourism” Research Group (京都文教大・宇治「ものがたり観光」研究会) produced a booklet summarizing the past two years of studies of contents tourism in Uji, including analysis of Genji Monogatari, Hibike! Euphonium, and other local culture contents. At the time of writing, it appears to be only informally distributed among contributors and associates. If this is something you’d be interested to read, feel free to (politely) encourage professor Katayama Akihisa (片山明久 @bsaku0214) to look into wider distribution. (^^)

Current Season Pilgrimage

@ad_motsu made a preliminary pilgrimage to Shinjuku, Ikebukuro, Ogikubo, Mitaka and Musashino (all Tokyo Metropolis) for Gekijōban Shirobako. This is a hunt based on memory, so some locations are educated guesses.

@york21c made a pilgrimage (post 1, post 2) to Uji, Kyoto Prefecture for Gekijōban Hibike! Euphonium: Chikai no Finale.

@flyingbird1124 made a pilgrimage (updated post, new post) to Kawagoe and Kuki, Saitama Prefecture; and Tokyo inner wards: Ikebukuro, Toshima Ward; Yanaka, Taitō Ward; Hongō, Bunkyō Ward for Koisuru Asteroid Episode 5, 7 and 8.

@fureshima2223 made a pilgrimage to Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture for Koisuru Asteroid Episode 4.

@nadukari_h (updated post) and @sky_dj_ (post) made pilgrimages to Shimobe Onsen in Minobu, Yamanashi Prefecture for Heyacamp Episode 8.

@sky_dj_ made a pilgrimage to (post 1) Minobu and Nanbu, Yamanashi Prefecture for Heyacamp Episode 6 and Episode 7; and (post 2) former Shimobe Elementary School in Minobu for Episode 1.

Past Season Pilgrimage

@donko824 made a pilgrimage (post 4) to Kyoto for Hōkago Saikoro Club.

@mikehattsu made a pilgrimage (post 6) to Uji, Kyoto Prefecture for Hibike! Euphonium.

@mikehattsu made a pilgrimage to Katsuragi, Wakayama Prefecture for Kimi no Na wa.

@mikehattsu made a pilgrimage to Shimoamano and Amano no Sato, Katsuragi, Wakayama Prefecture for Non Non Biyori.

@mikehattsu made a pilgrimage to Saitama City, Saitama Prefecture for Girls & Panzer.

@mikehattsu made a pilgrimage to (post 11) Kyoto and (post 12) Uji, Kyoto Prefecture for K-On!