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
Sunrise Festival 11 (サンライズフェスティバル11)—commonly referred to as SunFes! (サンフェス！)—will be held October 25 at Tokyo Big site in Ariake, Kōtō Ward, Tokyo Metropolis. This is a dōjinshi event specifically targeting Hibike! Euphonium derived contents. Publications on offer frequently include Eupho butaitanbou oriented works. Circles interested to participate can register here until September 25.
Zonsaga pilgrimage TV special
TVQ Kyushu Broadcasting aired the second installment of a special program highlighting locations in Saga Prefecture featured in Zombie Land Saga on September 22. The first installment aired earlier this year. As before, the program has been uploaded to the network’s YouTube channel and will be available for one month after the broadcast. The new program covers locations not visited in the previous one, including multiple stops in Ureshino, and returning to Saga City for the recently launched Franchouchou-gō wrapped bus and 656 Plaza. Media coverage: Press release, Comic Natalie
Tokorozawa Station Totoro melodies
To mark the 70th anniversary of the incorporation of Tokorozawa, Saitama Prefecture as a city, and in cooperation with Studio Ghibli, the departure melodies on the platforms at Tokorozawa Station will be changed to arrangements of pieces from the Tonari no Totoro (My Neighbor Totoro) original score beginning November 3. This is the first time music from a Ghibli film has been used as a departure melody in Japan. The city also plans to install a monument to characters from the film near the station east exit by the end of the year. The background art of Tonari no Totoro used locations on the outskirts of Tokorozawa as references. Media coverage: Asahi Shimbun
Gadget Tsūshin published an article introducing locations in Tokorozawa and Tokigawa, Saitama Prefecture and several locations in Tokyo associated with Tonari no Totoro. Only the first of these locations, Shirahatazuka (白旗塚), is confirmed as having been used as a concrete reference for the film. The forested areas around the northern foot of the Sayama Hills (狭山丘陵), also part of Tokorozawa, are said to have been general references and, with the consent of Miyazaki Hayao, were nicknamed Totoro no Mori (トトロの森), and are a protected land trust promoted by the Totoro Hometown Fund (トトロのふるさと基金). The locations in Tokigawa and Tokyo offer contrived Totoro derived attractions or products.
Kashima Rinkai Railway
Kashima Rinkai Railway (鹿島臨海鉄道) in Ōarai, Ibaraki Prefecture reports success with recently issued railway stamp books, which sold out of the initial run of 10,000 units in three days beginning July 10. The railway planning department chief notes that, though passenger volume has been boosted in recent years by visitors traveling to Ōarai for Girls & Panzer anime pilgrimage, volume dropped 54% during April to June compared to the previous year same period, due to Covid-19. Media coverage: Kankō Keizai Shimbun
Kimi no Na wa. location
The LABI Shinjuku East Exit Building will close on October 10. In its article about the closure, Oricon News notes that the location is a pilgrimage spot for Kimi no Na wa.
The PV for upcoming film Majo Minarai o Sagashite, which commemorates the 20th anniversary of the Ojamajo Doremi series, includes locations in Takayama, Gifu Prefecture and Nara City, Nara Prefecture. Media coverage: Spice
Tokoname Nakineko tourism
Tokoname City published a location map for Nakitai Watashi wa Neko wo Kaburu. Tokoname Tourism Association setup a special information section for the film on its website. Meitetsu Tourism Service is offering a Nakineko accommodation plan, which includes goods and coupons for use at merchants in the city. Chita Peninsula Navi is offering a guided Nakineko seichijunrei tour. Media coverage: Chūnichi Shimbun
Future Season Pilgrimage
Current Season Pilgrimage
@flyingbird1124 made a pilgrimage to (new post) Koganei Park in Koganei, Tokyo Metropolis; (updated post) Inageritsu Bridge in Inage Ward, Chiba City, Chiba Prefecture for Yahari Ore no Seishun Rabukome wa Machigatteiru. Kan Episode 11.