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
Chichibu Anohana events
As part of multiple activities in Chichibu, Saitama Prefecture celebrating the 10th anniversary of Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai. (Anohana), for one day only on August 1 the steam locomotive SL Paleo Express (SLパレオエクスプレス) ran with a head mark featuring the anniversary illustration. Fans visited Chichibu to ride and take photographs of the train. Media coverage: Saitama Shimbun. Photos: tweet 1, tweet 2, tweet 3, tweet 4, tweet 5, tweet 6
Anime Regional Development School
There is a new free seminar in a series of online panel discussions from the Anime Regional Development School (アニメ地域おこし学校). A live stream featuring Kanda Myōjin (神田明神) head priest Kishikawa Masanori (岸川雅範) is scheduled August 28 at 13:00 JST. Kanda Myōjin is a shrine in Soto-Kanda, Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo Metropolis that has a long history of collaboration with pop culture media, particularly anime and live action TV drama. As with the rest of this series, the talks will be hosted by “seichijunrei producer” Kakizaki Shundō (柿崎俊道) and Oda Yasuo (小田恭央). Oda is the CEO of SSS, the company that manages local character and vocaloid Tōhoku Zunko.
Hamamatsu Evangelion collaboration
With the consent of Shin Evangelion Gekijōban rights holders, Tenryū-Futamata Station in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture replaced all 21 of its enamel-coated wood or iron station name signs with new ones reading “Daisanmura,” the name given to the station modeled on this location in the film. The idea is said to have come from an employee of the Tenryū Hamanako Railroad (天竜浜名湖鉄道) who is an Eva fan. The signs will remain installed until September 26. Media coverage: Chūnichi Shimbun, Crunchyroll News
(小林さんちのメイドラゴンS Kobayashi-san Chi no Meidoragon S)
Fan Pilgrimage Update
Undetermined. Though I found many streets that look somewhat like this in Higashi-Nihonbashi and Nihonbashi-Yokoyamachō, I haven’t yet been able to make a definitive match. I’m certain it is not Amazake Yokochō, which we saw briefly in Season 1.
Residential neighborhood in Nishikata (西方), Koshigaya (越谷), Saitama Prefecture
We know that this position exists in Koshigaya, outside the west exit of Koshigaya Station, right here. The facade of the cafe on the right comes directly from the location. However, the buildings are different and there is no shōtengai. Some of us are still following leads, but I figure that if a real world model for the shopping arcade existed somewhere, it probably would have been found by now. I still like my Karahori Shōtengai theory.
Residential neighborhood in Nishikata
Toshimaen (としまえん) was an amusement park in Nerima Ward, Tokyo Metropolis that has appeared frequently in anime. The park operated from 1926 to 2020 August 31. Part of the site will be converted into a Harry Potter theme park, planned to open in 2023. The remainder of the land has been purchased by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, which plans to turn it into a park, the Nerima Joshi-kōen.
The El Dorado carousel was built in Germany in 1907. It moved to Coney Island and later Steeplechase Park in the US, eventually ending up at Toshimaen. It was dismantled and put into storage when Toshimaen closed. Though still fully functional, at the time of writing there are no known plans for reassembling it at a new location.
(白い砂のアクアトープ Shiroi Suna no Akuatōpu)
The small shrine is modeled on Iri nu kami nu yā (西ノ神之屋 イリヌカミヌヤー), found at Cape Zanpa (残波岬) in Yomitan (読谷村), Okinawa Prefecture. @Harahara1238 kindly confirmed this reading is indeed Okinawan language. Iri is west. Worshipers are said to come here to pray for safe sea voyages (航海安全) and “continued luck in the fortunes of war” (武運長久). More information: Nippon Tabi Magazine
Iri nu kami nu yā grafted into Chinen
JA Okinawa Chinen branch (ＪＡおきなわ知念支店)
I think the distant land we often see from Azama Sun Sun Beach is the peninsula that comprises the southern part of Uruma.
Like everybody else, I misread the name of the restaurant as “Kameichi” until someone spoke it. Kamee is the Okinawan word for eat.The precise location is “parking lot next to the paragliding school on the opposite side of National Route 331 from the Chinen Post Office.” (I might need a shorthand for this.)
Azama Sun Sun Beach
Azama Sun Sun Beach
Iri nu kami nu yā
Azama Sun Sun Beach
Other Current Season Pilgrimage
@flyingbird1124 made a pilgrimage to Ōji and Ikaruga, Nara Prefecture; Kudoyama, Wakayama Prefecture; Tondabayashi, Kanan and Minō, Osaka Prefecture for Bokutachi no Remake OP, ED and Episode 1 through Episode 3.