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
With Covid-19 cases in Japan still a concern, new year visits to shrines (初詣 hatsumōde) have not returned to pre-pandemic levels of attendance and many formal events at shrines and temples continue to be minimized or cancelled. But in general the mood was a little lighter than a year ago. Washinomiya Jinja has been a perennial favorite, but was of special significance this year as its new torii had recently been completed after long absence since it collapsed over three years earlier. Media coverage: Saitama Shimbun
Onden Jinja (Jingūmae, Shibuya Ward, Tokyo Metropolis – Love Live! Superstar!!): tweet 1
Kumano Jinja (Kawagoe, Saitama Prefecture – Tsuki ga Kirei): tweet 1
Ushioda Jinja (Tsurumi Ward, Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture – Senpai ga Uzai Kōhai no Hanashi): post 1
Kamo Jinja (Ōmihachiman, Shiga Prefecture – Uma Musume Pretty Derby): tweet 1
Shimogamo Jinja (Kyoto – Uchōten Kazoku): tweet 1
Agata Jinja (Uji, Kyoto Prefecture – Hibike! Euphonium): tweet 1
Uji Jinja (Uji, Kyoto Prefecture – Hibike! Euphonium): tweet 1
Ujigami Jinja (Uji, Kyoto Prefecture – Hibike! Euphonium): tweet 1
Sayama Jinja (Ōsakasayama, Osaka Prefecture – Bokutachi no Remake): tweet 1
Nishinomiya Jinja (Nishinomiya, Hyōgo Prefecture – Suzumiya Haruhi): tweet 1
Arasuna Jinja (Iwami, Tottori Prefecture – Free!): tweet 1
— 刑部伊月（いづき） (@bluetwintail) December 31, 2021
Catching the first sunrise of the new year (初日の出 hatsuhinode) from a favorite anime location requires a little more precision planning than a shrine visit, but many seichijunrei-sha do this as well.
Asagiri Kōgen (Fujinomiya, Shizuoka Prefecture – Yuru Camp): tweet 1
Fukude coast (Iwata, Shizuoka Prefecture – Yuru Camp): tweet 1
Bentenjima Seaside Park (Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture – Yuru Camp): tweet 1
Kumiko bench, Ajirogi no Michi (Uji, Kyoto Prefecture – Hibike! Euphonium): tweet 1
Naoshima (Kagawa Prefecture — Summer Pockets): tweet 1
— いなずま (@thunder_cycle) December 31, 2021
Comic Market 99 (コミックマーケット99) was held December 30-31 at Tokyo Big Sight in Ariake, Kōtō Ward. Despite the reduced number of days, attendance cap, general admission fees, vaccine proof or PCR test requirement, and various other measures taken to mitigate Covid-19 spread, to be able to hold this key event again was a milestone for many in the effort to claw back some sense of what life was like before the pandemic. As had become the norm in the few years leading up to the last event, Comiket 97 in 2019, seichijunrei and butaitanbou oriented dōjinshi were well represented. In some cases, the disruption gave an opportunity to creators who had originally planned to exhibit at Comiket 98, which was postponed, then cancelled, to add to or refine works before finally publishing at this event. The item of most interest to me is Seichi Migration (聖地移住), a book by Ebisu (夷 @ye_bi_su) that includes interviews with anime fans who have emigrated to seichi, a critical analysis of various regional revitalization efforts based on anime works, and some of the content of his in-process master’s thesis at Kyoto University.
— 夷（ゑびす）@「聖地移住」通販中 (@ye_bi_su) December 30, 2021
Minobu Yuru Camp event
Yamanashi Prefecture PR distribution channel Yamanashi ni Ikou (山梨に行こう @CIHchihousousei) published a video (part 1, part 2) featuring footage of events and interviews with participants at the most recent Illumination Camp (イルミネーション・キャンプ), the overnight camping meetup organized by the Gojōgaoka Activation Promotion Council (五条ヶ丘活性化推進協議会) at former Shimobe elementary and junior high schools in Minobu, Yamanashi Prefecture on 2021 December 18 and 19, covered previously.
Tamako character birthday
A fan-organized Tamako Market character birthday for Kitashirakawa Tamako hosted by Shin Keihan (しんけーはん @shinkeihan6350) was held December 31 at S.O.U./Violet and Claire in Demachi, Kyoto. Photos: tweet 1, tweet 2, tweet 3
— 新京阪まーけっと【たまこ垢】🕊 (@shinkeihan6330) December 31, 2021
Usagiyama Mochitsuki Taikai 2022 Shinshun
The next Usagiyama Mochitsuki Taikai (うさぎ山餅つき大会) will be held February 5 at 12:00 in DeMachi (Deまち) event space at Demachi Masugata Shōtengai (出町桝形商店街) in Kyoto. This is a Tamako Market fan-organized mochi pounding event hosted by Shin Keihan (しんけーはん @shinkeihan6350). It is often scheduled in the fall to coincide with a Mochizō character birthday celebration, but this next meetup is being held around lunar new year (新春), for no reason in particular. Interested participants must register in advance here. Attendance is limited to 15 and attendees must agree to mask wearing, social distancing, and providing contact information to the organizer for the purpose of communication after the meetup in the case of a suspected infection.
Asahina Mikuru tobadashi rebuilding
Tesra (テスラ @tesra1141) completed work on Mikuru-chan “Unit 2″—a rebuild of the tobidashi based on the original template—and delivered her to Cafe Dream (珈琲屋ドリーム) in Nishinomiya, Hyōgo Prefecture on January 5. Welcome back! Photos: tweet 1
— テスラ (@tesra1141) January 5, 2022