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
Toyosato partial reopen
The former Toyosato Elementary School (豊郷小学校旧校舎群)—pilgrimage location for K-On!—which had been closed due to the Covid-19 epidemic, will partially reopen beginning June 1. Visitors will be able to enter the main building second and third floors (which includes the music rooms), but not the first floor or auditorium.
Toyosato and K-On!
Crunchyroll News contributor Daryl Harding published a report of his 2019 March visit to the former Toyosato Elementary School, including an introduction to the history of the building, recurring K-On! fan meetups, and inventory of all the K-On! fan art and other paraphernalia installed at the school and around the town of Toyosato-chō, Shiga Prefecture.
Seichijunrei fans support Karatsu restaurant
An update to the story on support for Caravan (キャラバン) in Karatsu, Saga Prefecture: As of May 27, 251 tickets equivalent to 2.45 million yen have been purchased. Owner-chef Kawakami Akinori (河上彰範) is an anime fan and supports local engagement with visitors on pilgrimages for Yūri!!! on Ice and Zombie Land Saga through a dedicated rest space in the restaurant and free bicycle rentals. From April 28 he began offering a “Caravan Supporters Ticket” (キャラバンサポーターズチケット), which prepays for future meals at the restaurant, in response to fans expressing on social media an interest in supporting the shop as it manages a substantial loss in revenue due to the Covid-19 epidemic. Fans from Japan, China, Taiwan, Canada and the US have purchased the tickets. Media coverage: Saga Shimbun
Kyoto Shimbun published an article about the crowdfunding campaign by Kameishirō (亀石楼), a traditional ryokan in Uji, Kyoto Prefecture, meant to help it bridge over the sudden loss of revenue resulting from the Covid-19 epidemic. The campaign specifically employs the ryokan’s connection to seichijunrei, highlighting its role as a setting in Clannad After Story and proximity to locations from Hibike! Euphonium. The article mentions how anime fans frequently stay at Kameishirō and request the Amagase room, which appears in Clannad.
Kakushigoto real life locations
In a promotional video for Kakushigoto, voice actors Takahashi Rie (Gotō Hime) and Ozawa Ari (Kobu Silvia) look for real locations from the key visual artwork in Meguro, Meguro Ward and Hachiyamachō, Shibuya Ward (both Tokyo Metropolis). [HT @gen]
Ōgaki townscape renovation
Renovations of the Shin-ōhashi (新大橋), a small bridge over the Suimon River in Ōgaki, Gifu Prefecture, which began in 2017, are now complete. The bridge is a local landmark and appears in Koe no Katachi. Media coverage: Gifu Shimbun
Street View seichijunrei
Anime Anime published an article proposing anime pilgrimage fans whose plans have been affected by Covid-19 travel restrictions instead explore locations virtually through Google Street View. Butaitanbou-sha have long been accustomed to this practice, which is generally the primary means of finding and scouting locations before traveling.
Past Season Pilgrimage
@nagisaya_blog made a pilgrimage to Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture; Etajima and Kure, Hiroshima Prefecture for High School Fleet.