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
Y Shop Nishi
A recent visitor to the Yamazaki Y Shop Nishi (Yショップニシ) in Ōmachi, Nagano Prefecture shared the hand-written love letter they had purchased for JPY 300 at the store. The letters are normally sold from a vending machine, though in this case the machine was under repair and the letter was handed over the counter. The proprietor of the store began recruiting people to write the letters and selling them at the shop three years ago. Media reporting on the story included discussion about facets of the Y Shop that go beyond what one normally finds in a convenience store. Light meals are offered on the menu and space in the shop can be used for dining in. Recently, it has also been used as a co-working space. The shop, along with Lake Kizaki across the street, is also a seichi for Onegai Teacher and Onegai Twins. Fans still visit the Y Shop regularly and there is a corner featuring paraphernalia from the series. Media coverage: J-Town Net, Sora News 24
Comment: Yukkī (ユッキィ @yukkiyhughug) is the proprietor of Y Shop Nishi and shares updates throughout the day, everyday, about goings on at the shop and the weather at Lake Kizaki. Also, her cats are great. This is one of my favorite Twitter accounts.
Toyosato K-On! tobidashi
Eki-chan Honey (えきちゃんハニー @821kg) spent a day in Toyosato, Shiga Prefecture last week, collecting and repainting many of the tobidashi based on K-On! characters that have been created and donated by fans over the years. Photos: tweet thread
Kasumi Air tobidashi
Recent heavy rain damaged some of the Air tobidashi in Kasumi, Kami, Hyōgo Prefecture. Kirishima Kano is under repair and will be returned to the field soon. Kamio Misuzu was damaged beyond repair. Photos: tweet 1
Keihan Eupho collaboration
Keihan Electric Railway (京阪電気鉄道) and Hibike! Euphonium launched a marketing collaboration that will run from September 1 to November 30. The campaign includes a digital stamp rally using the Butaimeguri smartphone app, character panels in stations on the Keihan Uji Line, and exhibition at Kyoto Tower Oberservatory that includes Keihan headmarks and other materials, character panels, and goods sales. Photos: tweet 1, tweet 2, tweet 3, tweet 4, tweet 5, tweet 6
Yamanashi Yurucamp concert
A live concert featuring themes and background music from Yuru Camp will be held at Yamanashi Prefectural Citizen’s Culture Hall (YCC県民文化ホール) in Kōfu and streamed online October 9. Tickets start at JPY 4,400 and can be reserved here. An official pamphlet includes, among other material, behind-the-scenes discussion by the director about location hunting for the series. The pamphlet costs JPY 3,000 and can be ordered here. Media coverage: Comic Natalie, Crunchyroll News
Toyama Kurumukuro map
Parubooks released an updated version of the “Kuromukuro de Meguru Toyama Tanbō Map” (「クロムクロ」で巡る富山探訪マップ) as part of various activities commemorating the fifth anniversary of Kuromukuro. In addition to locations used in the anime, the map includes information about tourism spots and purchasing commemorative goods. The official Twitter account for the anniversary posted an announcement that includes higher resolution images of the map.
Ōtsuchi Misaki no Mayoiga map
New film Misaki no Mayoiga premiered in theaters on August 27. The film is set in Ōtsuchi and Tōno, Iwate Prefecture, and is one of several anime works under Zutto Ōen. Project 2011+10… (ずっとおうえん。プロジェクト 2011+10…), itself part of broader efforts by Fuji TV to support disaster recovery in the Tōhoku region following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Concurrent with the premiere, the Ōtsuchi-chō Tourism Exchange Association (大槌町観光交流協会) published an online “Butaitanbou Map” featuring locations used in the film with photographs. The official Twitter account for the Association posted an announcement that includes a higher resolution image of the map.
Comment: To be more specific, the map is the output of the Misaki no Mayoiga Support Committee (映画『岬のマヨイガ』を応援する会), which is part of the Contents Business Strategy Industry Subcommittee (コンテンツビジネス戦略事業部会), which is part of the Tourism Exchange Association. Authenticity never had a fighting chance.
(小林さんちのメイドラゴンS Kobayashi-san Chi no Meidoragon S)
Fan Pilgrimage Update
Still in Nihonbashi-Hisamatsuchō, at the first traffic signal south of the office location on Kiyosubashi-dōri (清洲橋通り)
Undetermined. I like that Elma refers to this as the “ekimae (in front of the station) sweets” [shop]. When you commute by public transit, your mental map often registers the places you go by their relationship to that network. In Japan, you can also just use the word “ekimae” by itself, which is understood to mean the hankagai (business district) surrounding a train station.
I’m curious about the location of Elma’s apartment. Koshigaya is flat. There are foothills in almost all directions surrounding the city, except for south (Tokyo), but they are far. If this is a real location, it would seem to be in a different city.
Without a man-made landmark, it’s anyone’s guess as to whether this location is real or not, or where it might be. Mountains in Ibaraki, Gunma, Saitama and even western Tokyo are all within easy train distance.
Working backward, the cafe (unidentified) was previously located adjacent to the Oborozuka Shōtengai (also unidentified, but notionally in Koshigaya). So this vista is notionally Koshigaya, too? Grasping at straws here. I spent some time hovering over Koshigaya Station and Shirakobato Bridge in Google Earth, but didn’t see any field of view that matched.
(白い砂のアクアトープ Shiroi Suna no Akuatōpu)
Azama Sun Sun Beach
Shikiya Campground (志喜屋キャンプ場)
Azama Sun Sun Beach
This is about 40km from Gama Gama, but smaller scooters below 125cc are not permitted on expressways. This would be a not a short trip by secondary roads.
Other Current Season Pilgrimage
Past Season Pilgrimage
@Bf109K1 is making a cycling pilgrimage of the cross country journey in Super Cub Episode 12, traveling the route from Hokuto, Yamanashi Prefecture to Cape Sata in Kagoshima Prefecture, one section at a time. Since the previous update, he has added a companion piece (companion 6) covering Nagato, Yamaguchi Prefecture to Kokura, Kitakyūshū, Fukuoka Prefecture.