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
Takayama Hyōka seichijunrei
Hida Ikibina Matsuri (飛騨生きびな祭) would have been held April 3 in Takayama, Gifu Prefecture, but was cancelled this year due to Covid-19. Noting the passing date, Gifu Shimbun took the opportunity to remind everyone that the festival is depicted in detail in the final episode of Hyōka, and that fans continue to visit the city for seichijunrei, complete with video tour and interview with staff at a local shop that hosts a pilgrimage exchange notebook. Media coverage: Gifu Shimbun
This piece is part of a recent series by the paper called Seichi@Genzaichi (聖地@現在地), which feels a little like advertorial for Gifu Prefecture anime locations. I think the features are nicely produced, with good camera work and interesting interviews, however they do not differentiate between the spontaneous seichijunrei that occurs with a series like Hyōka versus something like Yakunara Mug Cup mo, which is essentially a tourism advertisement.
Saga Zonsaga seichijunrei
Saga Shimbun published an article noting the upcoming premiere of Zombie Land Saga Revenge, the second season of the original series set in Saga Prefecture. It gives a general introduction to Zombie Land Saga, including mention of seichijunrei and various marketing promotions during and following the first season in 2018 Fall. Media coverage: Saga Shimbun
Shizuoka Yuru Camp exhibition
The second part of the exhibition of Yuru Camp character panels and art, which was scheduled for display at Michi-no-Eki Fujikawa Rakuza (道の駅 富士川楽座) from March 3 to 28, has been extended to May 9, in light of earlier restricted movement resulting from recent Covid-19 related state of emergency declarations. Media coverage: Fumumu
Hamamatsu Yuru Camp map
Hamamatsu released an official map of Yuru Camp Season 2 locations (ゆるキャン△ SEASON2 浜松浜名湖モデル地マップ), available at the city tourist information center, city hall and Hamamatsu Station. The map includes scenes from the anime and comments from mangaka Afro. Media coverage: Shizuoka Shimbun
I like that the map title uses the neutral term “model places” (モデル地), rather than seichijunrei or butaitanbou.
Chichibu Railway Anohana collaboration
Chichibu Railway began running the “Super Peace Busters Train” (超平和バスターズトレイン), a completely wrapped trainset featuring characters from the Chichibu trilogy—Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai. (Anohana), Kokoro ga Sakebitagatterunda. (Kokosake), and Sora no Aosa o Shiru Hito yo (Soraao)—on April 3. A departure ceremony was held at Chichibu Station on April 3 from 12:30 to 13:25, the time of the first departure. Photos: tweet 1, tweet 2, tweet 3, tweet 4, tweet 5, tweet 6
Hida-Takayama Majo Minarai o Sagashite collaboration
Hida-Takayama is holding a photo rally event for Majo Minarai o Sagashite from April 23 to August 31. This is a promotional campaign in which participants must post photos from locations designated in an official butaitanbou map (魔女見習いをさがして飛騨高山舞台探訪マップ) on social media with designated hashtags. You can get a souvenir by showing the map and your posted photos at designated tourist information centers.
Takaoka Film Commission stamp rally
Takaoka Film Commission (高岡フィルムコミッション) is marking its 20th anniversary in March this year with a smartphone based digital stamp rally that runs until May 31. The rally features 11 locations from among the over 200 various works the film commission has facilitated in Takaoka, Toyama Prefecture, including the anime theatrical film version of Kimi no Suizō o Tabetai. The language used in the campaign refers to the locations, most of which are from live action narrative works, as “seichi” (聖地) or “location seichi” (ロケ聖地). Media coverage: Toyama Shimbun
Warabi Sayonara Watashi no Cramer collaboration
Warabi, Saitama Prefecture and Sayonara Watashi no Cramer are planning various marketing collaboration activities intended to raise the profile of the city, beginning with an exhibition of art from the series. Media coverage: Mainichi Shimbun
Yuru Camp VR game
VR game Yuru Camp Virtual Camp (ゆるキャン△ VIRTUAL CAMP) by developer Gemdrops (ジェムドロップ) now has a release date for the Fumotoppara version, April 8. The Lake Motosu version was released in March. The game will be available for VR equipment on multiple devices and platforms, feature audio content recorded by voice actors from the series, and support text in multiple languages. Media coverage: Otakomu, Anime News Network
(ゆるキャン△ SEASON2 Yurukyan Season 2)
Fan Pilgrimage Update
Yamayaki (山焼き) is the local name given to the annual controlled burn conducted at Ōmuroyama. Yamayaki Matsuri (山焼祭)—mountain burning festival—is held annually in late winter, generally the second Sunday in February, though the date may be moved due to weather. This was depicted in Amanchu! Advance Episode 11.
Hiroi Sake-ten (広井酒店) in Itō
Izu Shaboten Zoo (伊豆シャボテン動物公園) in Itō
Darumayama Kōgen Rest House (だるま山高原レストハウス) in Izu
My hunch is this is somewhere along E70 in Mishima, but I had limited time to scout around on Street View.
Nanbu (南部町), Yamanashi Prefecture
Minobu (身延町), Yamanashi Prefecture
Lake Motosu (本栖湖)
Former Minobu Shimobe Junior High School (旧身延町立下部中学校)