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
Minobu Yuru Camp events
Yuru Camp fans gathered at former Shimobe elementary and junior high schools in Minobu, Yamanashi Prefecture on November 6 and 7 for an overnight camping meetup organized by the Gojōgaoka Activation Promotion Council (五条ヶ丘活性化推進協議会). Media coverage: Yamanashi Nichinichi Shimbun. Photos: tweet 1, tweet 2, tweet 3, tweet 4, tweet 5, tweet 6, tweet 7, tweet 8, tweet 9, tweet 10
The next overnight camping meetup is scheduled for December 18 and 19. This will be the annual Illumination Camp (イルミネーション・キャンプ), at which participants are invited to decorate their tents and gear with Christmas lights. More details will be announced later.
イベントには #もーん父さん が遊びに来てくれました。
— たかよでぃ△ (@takayody1000) November 7, 2021
Kizakiko Pocky Day
On November 11 in Japan there is an annual marketing event established by Ezaki Glico to promote its products Pocky and Pretz. While many share images of the products on social media using the official hashtag #ポッキープリッツの日 (Pokkī Purittsu no hi), fans of Onegai Teacher and Onegai Twins use an alternative #ポッチープリッチの日 (Potchī Puritchi no hi) as a nod to how the products were renamed in the series. As has become a tradition of sorts, to mark the day some fans made pilgrimages (with plenty of Pocky) to Lake Kizaki in Ōmachi, Nagano Prefecture, and Kizakiko Camp staff created a display by gluing together many boxes of the products into a design. Photos: tweet 1, tweet 2, tweet 3, tweet 4
Comment: Who gets to eat the Pocky?
— 木崎湖キャンプ場△ (@kizakiko_camp) November 11, 2021
Sakuragaike Quest tree cleanup
Sakuragaike Quest (桜ヶ池クエスト) is recruiting volunteers to help with its next event, which entails logging of sick trees around Sakuragaike in Nanto, Toyama Prefecture. The work will take place November 20 from 9:30 to 15:30. Participants can apply until November 18 and are directed to indicated interest through the site contact page. This event is limited to 10 participants and offered first come, first served. Sakuragaike Quest was formed as a response to P.A.Works series Sakura Quest, with the primary goal of fundraising for tree planting in the area to create the dense clusters of cherry blossoms depicted in the fictional work, which modeled its setting on multiple areas in Nanto. P.A.Works president Horikawa Kenji serves on the Sakuragaike Quest board as chairman of the executive committee.
K-On! character birthday
A K-On! fan organized character birthday party for Hirasawa Yui and Nakano Azusa is planned for November 28 at former Toyosato Elementary School (豊郷小学校旧校舎群) in Toyosato, Shiga Prefecture. Though the website indicated a November 5 deadline to indicate interest, it seems to have been extended to today, November 12. If the number of applicants exceeds the capacity limit, a lottery will be held.
November 11 is both Azu-nyan’s actual birthday and Pocky Day. Visiting fans left boxes of Pocky as offerings at the school building.
Comment: Again, who ends up eating all the Pocky? Your reporter is asking the burning questions.
Chitanda Eru tobidashi restoration
Eki-chan Honey (えきちゃんハニー @821kg) retrieved the Chitanda Eru tobidashi from Honmachi Sanchōme Shōtengai in Takayama for restoration. Eru will be repainted and returned on December 1, just ahead of the 10th anniversary of the Hyōka anime original broadcast. Metalluca (めたるか @METALLUCA666), who created the original design, shared a photograph from when Eru was painted in 2012. He noted that, despite several attempts to restore the purple eyes, the paint always turns blue over time.
Comment: Nine years is a long life for a tobidashi. Other than faded paint, this one is still in remarkably good physical condition. Takayama took very good care of Eru-taso.
— えきちゃんハニー🍯 (@821kg) November 9, 2021
Washinomiya Jinja torii rebuilding
Scaffolding around the new torii at Washinomiya Jinja (鷲宮神社) was removed November 8 and finishing work continues. Work is scheduled to be complete December 3 and visitors will be able to pass through the torii the following day. Photo: tweet 1, tweet 2
Yuwaku Bonbori Matsuri
Yamashita Shin’ichirō (山下新一郎), chairman of the Yuwaku Bonbori Matsuri executive committee, appeared on NHK program Jiwamon Radio (じわもんラジオ) on November 5. He discusses the Hanasaku Iroha seichi in Yuwaku Onsen and the festival. The program is available online for playback until November 15.
Hannō Yama no Susume stamp rally
To commemorate the decision to broadcast Yama no Susume Next Summit in 2022, the third season of the anime adaptation of Shiro’s manga, Hanno, Saitama Prefecture is holding a digital stamp rally in the city’s shōtengai from October 22 to November 21.
Higashi-Koganei Ochifuru collaboration
Higashi-Koganei Minami-guchi Shōtenkai (東小金井南口商店会) and Ochikobore Fruit Tart are collaborating on marketing campaign that includes a character panel exhibition and postcard distribution in the shopping district from October 29 to December 5. Photos: tweet 1, tweet 2, tweet 3, tweet 4, tweet 5, tweet 6, tweet 7, tweet 8, tweet 9, tweet 10, tweet 11
Comment: I like that the words seichi, seichijunrei and butaitanbou do not appear in the visuals or communicated messages for this or any of the Ochifuru marketing collaborations at Higako. We can have and enjoy both subculture originating practices and promotional activities without pretending they are the same thing.
(白い砂のアクアトープ Shiroi Suna no Akuatōpu)
There is still no definitive model for the restaurant Ohana, but @heero_yuy2 (tweet) made an interesting discovery on this front. There is a restaurant called Ohana in Uruma, which has green exterior walls (though a different shade of green), wood textures on the door and window frames and interior, and a front door angled at 45 degrees. These are loose connections only, but still interesting. With butaitanbou, we generally don’t rule anything out unless and until an undisputed match is found.