The Day I Became a God 神様になった日

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

Usagiyama Mochitsuki Taikai 2020 Fall
Though attendance was limited due to Covid-19 concerns, the Usagiyama Mochitsuki Taikai (うさぎ山餅つき大会) was held October 11 at Demachi Masugata Shōtengai in Kyoto. This is a Tamako Market fan organized Mochizō character birthday celebration and mochi pounding event usually held in the fall. This year, it had originally been moved to May in order to coincide with the fifth and final convening of the Usagiyama Dai Bazaar, a dōjinshi spot sale and cosplay event, but both were postponed due to Covid-19. There is still no update on the Usagiyama Dai Bazaar.

Bonbori Matsuri 10th anniversary
The 10th Yuwaki Bonbori Matsuri (第10回湯涌ぼんぼり祭り) would have been held this past weekend, but was cancelled this year due to Covid-19. Producer Infinite donated a batch of the posters that would have been used this year, which Yuwaku shops plan to display in their windows. Yuwaku Onsen Tourism Association (湯涌温泉観光協会) released a video compilation of moments from past festivals.

Contents tourism after Covid-19
Manoyama Research Society (間野山研究学会) held a meeting with both limited attendance on-location in Yuwaku as well as online participation on October 10, on the topic of how to approach contents tourism in the post Covid-19 environment. As with the past several meetings held after the emergence of the pandemic, online participation was available and open to the general public, but I missed the announcement in early October. Sorry about that! I hope the Society will continue to offer this online attendance option going forward, regardless of the situation.

Karatsu Zonsaga building
The Karatsu City Museum of History and Folklore, formerly the Mitsubishi Joint Stock Company Karatsu Branch main building (旧三菱合資会社唐津支店本館), which was used as the model for the residence of Franchouchou in Zombie Land Saga, has been closed since 2003, but is typically opened to the public on select days in October and November each year. Karatsu City announced it will not open the building during that period this year, due to Covid-19 concerns and remaining damage from Typhoon 9 and Typhoon 10. Media coverage: Saga Shimbun

Yokosuka cosplay shop
Yokosuka Subculture Kaikan (横須賀サブカル会館) opened in Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture on October 10. The business is a cosplay photo studio, however unlike other similar local shops, which are limited to indoor shoots, the Subculture Kaikan intends to serve as a base for cosplay shoots at locations that have appeared in games and anime, such as Sarushima and the battleship Mikasa. Media coverage: Town News

Shibukawa Initial D collaboration
As part of an Intial D marketing campaign by the Shibukawa City Tourism Division (渋川市観光課), one vehicle each in the fleets of Kan’etsu Kōtsū and Gunma Bus have been wrapped with black markings and text “Fujiwara Tofu Store” (藤原とうふ店). Curious observers on social media have asked if the buses will drift or challenge other buses to races through the mountain passes. Nervous potential passengers can rest assured, according to the campaign manager, that the buses operate in compliance with the Road Traffic Law of Japan. Media coverage: J-Town Net

Ashikita Teibō promotion
Ashikita Tourism Association (芦北町観光協会) published an information page for Hōkago Teibō Nisshi on its website that includes side-by-side animation and photo comparisons.

Current Season Pilgrimage

@habusan (wiki), @nadukari_h (post) and @sky_dj_ (post) made pilgrimages to Yamanashi City, Yamanashi Prefecture for Kamisama ni Natta Hi Episode 1.

@lidges made a pilgrimage to Shirakawa-gō, Gifu Prefecture for Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Gō Episode 1.

@miyaken46 made a pilgrimage to Koganei, Tokyo Metropolis for Ochikobore Fruit Tart OP.

@flyingbird1124 made a pilgrimage to Tanashichō, Nishitōkyō, Tokyo Metropolis for Adachi to Shimamura Episode 1.

@flyingbird1124 made a pilgrimage to Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo Metropolis for 100-Man no Inochi no Ue ni Ore wa Tatteiru Episode 1 and Episode 2.

Past Season Pilgrimage

@Bf109K1 made a pilgrimage to Fujinomiya, Shizuoka Prefecture; Fujikawaguchiko, Minobu and Nanbu, Yamanashi Prefecture for Heya Camp.

@kimamanidance made a pilgrimage (post 1, post 2, post 3, post 4, post 5) to Fujisawa and Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture for Seishun Buta Yarō wa Bunny Girl-senpai no Yume o Minai.

@hiro_senritu made a pilgrimage to Nanto, Toyama Prefecture and Yuwaku, Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture for Sakura Quest.

@flyingbird1124 made a pilgrimage (post 1, post 2) to Hirosaki, Aomori Prefecture for Flying Witch.

@ad_motsu made a pilgrimage to Annaka, Gunma Prefecture for Rail Wars!