Mieruko-chan 見える子ちゃん

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

Contents tourism paper conference
The Academy of Contents Tourism (コンテンツツーリズム学会) will hold an online paper presentation conference on November 7 from 13:00 to 17:10 JST. Though paper submission eligibility requires the author be a member of the Academy or plan to join, attendance is open to the public and free. Interested participants can register to receive an invitation to the Zoom meeting here. Topics that will be covered include anime production and seichijunrei, sustainable contents tourism through Onsen Musume, and Yuru Camp initiatives in Minobu.

Washinomiya Jinja torii rebuilding
Though the main construction work for the new torii at Washinomiya Jinja (鷲宮神社) just began, it seems much of the work was completed in a matter of days. The pillars (hashira) and top piece (kasagi and shimaki) arrived at the site mostly complete and only required assembly. Additional ornamentation will be added subsequently. Eruru (えるる @erukuma) published a report of observations from the active construction including some great photographs. Work is scheduled to be complete December 3 and visitors will be able to pass through the torii the following day. The historic gate, which collapsed in 2018 August, is an iconic location used in Lucky Star. Photo: tweet 1, tweet 2, tweet 3, tweet 4, tweet 5. Video: tweet 1, tweet 2

Minobu Yuru Camp engagement
Yamanashi Nichinichi Shimbun published an article introducing the activities organized by the Gojōgaoka Activation Promotion Council (五条ヶ丘活性化推進協議会), a volunteer group that aims to provide welcoming experiences to Yuru Camp fans visiting Minobu, Yamanashi Prefecture. The council hosts camping meetups at former Shimobe elementary and junior high schools, creates and distributes location maps, and performs weeding and cleaning in the town. Media coverage: Yamanashi Nichinichi Shimbun

Nagasaki Irozuku website
Nagasaki Shimbun published an interview with Hatanaka Yūta (畑中佑太), a student at Nagasaki Prefecture University in Sasebo who designed a website called Irozuku Nagasaki no Butai kara (色づく長崎の舞台から), which introduces and provides directions to Nagasaki locations that are used in the setting of Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara. The tourism portal site Nagasaki Tabinet also has an Irozuku guide, but is limited to locations in the city center. Hatanaka’s site includes the full breadth of the setting. Though not mentioned in the article, the site indicates production and operation assistance from Astral (アストラル @fragments_sue), who was the lead butaitanbou-sha for this series. Media coverage: Nagasaki Shimbun

Hamamatsu Yuru Camp cycling tour
Hamamatsu Pedal Promotion Council (はままつペダル推進協議会) organized a guided cycling tour of Yuru Camp locations in and around the Bentenjima area of Nishi Ward, Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture on October 24. Ten riders traveled about 33 kilometers over the course of the day. The council will host a similar tour on November 7 in the Oku-Hamana area, focusing on the Kanzanji onsen town. Media coverage: Chūnichi Shimbun

Yokohama Hakkeijima Aquatope collaboration
There was additional reporting on the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise (横浜・八景島シーパラダイス) and Shiroi Suna no Aquatope marketing collaboration which will run from November 5 to December 19, covered previously. Media coverage: Comic Natalie, Crunchyroll News

The Aquatope on White Sand

(白い砂のアクアトープ Shiroi Suna no Akuatōpu)

Episode 16

The Aquatope on White Sand 白い砂のアクアトープ

Fūka and Kukuru plot the next misadventure at Ohana, the second cour third place, and rope Udon-chan into volunteering while they are at it. I’ve seen no chatter with regard to buildings that resembles this, nor a ground location, and haven’t come across any clues in my own Street View browsing. At this point I’m inclined to think the restaurant, like quite a few of the locations in Aquatope, is a fictional location.

The Aquatope on White Sand 白い砂のアクアトープ

The Aquatope on White Sand 白い砂のアクアトープ

After we all spent so much time digging unsuccessfully around Yomitan, which multiple episodes seemed to hint at, it turns out the apartment, street that it fronts, and neighboring park do actually exist and are in Chatan. @heero_yuy2 (tweet) made this discovery in the past day.

The Aquatope on White Sand 白い砂のアクアトープ

The Aquatope on White Sand 白い砂のアクアトープ

The Aquatope on White Sand 白い砂のアクアトープ

The Aquatope on White Sand 白い砂のアクアトープ

The Aquatope on White Sand 白い砂のアクアトープ

The Aquatope on White Sand 白い砂のアクアトープ

The Aquatope on White Sand 白い砂のアクアトープ

The Aquatope on White Sand 白い砂のアクアトープ

The Aquatope on White Sand 白い砂のアクアトープ

The Aquatope on White Sand 白い砂のアクアトープ

There are two theories for this beach location.

@heero_yuy2 (tweet) proposes Nagahama Beach in Nakijin as a potential reference. The scale and foreground elements seem different, but there are utility lines in the far background.

@fragments_sue (post) proposes a location the map calls Sekurididō Beach (セクルディドゥビーチ)—Secluded Beach?—in Yomitan, very close to Toguchi Beach. The scale and type of the foreground elements seem a better fit, and the location is closer to others with which it is connected in the narrative, but the contour of the shoreline is different and there are no utility poles.

It is possible the background art is a composite of multiple locations.

The Aquatope on White Sand 白い砂のアクアトープ

The Aquatope on White Sand 白い砂のアクアトープ

The Aquatope on White Sand 白い砂のアクアトープ

The Aquatope on White Sand 白い砂のアクアトープ

The Aquatope on White Sand 白い砂のアクアトープ

The Aquatope on White Sand 白い砂のアクアトープ

The Aquatope on White Sand 白い砂のアクアトープ

The Aquatope on White Sand 白い砂のアクアトープ

The Aquatope on White Sand 白い砂のアクアトープ

The Aquatope on White Sand 白い砂のアクアトープ

The Aquatope on White Sand 白い砂のアクアトープ

The Aquatope on White Sand 白い砂のアクアトープ

The Aquatope on White Sand 白い砂のアクアトープ

Other Current Season Pilgrimage

@lidges made a pilgrimage to Kan’onji, Marugame and Kotohira, Kagawa Prefecture; Ashiya, Hyōgo Prefecture; Okayama City, Okayama Prefecture for Yūki Yūna wa Yūsha de Aru: Dai Mankai no Shō Episode 5.

@flyingbird1124 made a pilgrimage to Nishi-Shinjuku, Kabukichō, Shinjuku and Ichigaya-Tamachi, Shinjuku Ward; Gobanchō, Kudankita and Sanbanchō, Chiyoda Ward; Satake Shōtengai in Taitō, Taitō Ward (all Tokyo Metropolis) for Mieruko-chan ED, Episode 1 through Episode 4.

@flyingbird1124 made a pilgrimage to Ōmiya Ward, Saitama City, Saitama Prefecture for Selection Project OP, Episode 1 and Episode 2.

Past Season Pilgrimage

@ad_motsu made a pilgrimage aboard the Salvia Maru (third generation) for Love Live! Superstar!!

@Surwill published a Street View tour of locations in Tosu, Imari, Karatsu, Saga City and Kashima, Saga Prefecture for Zombie Land Saga Revenge.