Ya Boy Kongming! パリピ孔明

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 event
Yuru Camp fans gathered at former Shimobe elementary and junior high schools in Minobu, Yamanashi Prefecture on April 2 and 3 for an overnight camping meetup organized by the Gojōgaoka Activation Promotion Council (五条ヶ丘活性化推進協議会). This was the annual Ohanami × Schoolyard Camp (お花見×校庭キャンプ), at which participants can view the cherry blossoms at the school yard, Jyōkōin, Kai-Tokiwa Station, and elsewhere in Minobu. Media coverage: NHK, NHK 2

Photos: tweet 1, tweet 2, tweet 3, tweet 4, tweet 5, tweet 6, tweet 7, tweet 8, tweet 9, tweet 10, tweet 11, tweet 12

Odaiba itasha event
Itasha Tengoku 2022 Returns (痛車天国2022 RETURNS) was held March 27 in Aomi, Kōtō Ward, Tokyo Metropolis. This was the first time in three years the event had been held at its primary venue, a temporary parking area that had been unavailable first due to the Tokyo Olympics, then disruptions caused by Covid-19. It was divided among multiple smaller venues in other cities during that time. There was a notable presence of itasha with characters from Love Live! Nijigasaki Gakuen School Idol Dōkōkai. Fans were able to exhibit and see these cars essentially in the Nijigasaki seichi, as well as walk to nearby locations that appear in the series. The shopping center Venus Fort, which appears in Nijigasaki, closed after 22 years of business on the same day as the itasha event. Media coverage Kuruma no News

Kyoto Eupho event
Fans of Hibike! Euphonium attended the Kitauji High School Concert Band 6th Periodic Concert (北宇治高校吹奏楽部 第6回定期演奏会), held April 4 at the Rohm Theatre in Kyoto. The event title is a pseudonym for the actual group performing the concert. In the past this has been the Senzoku Gakuen College of Music Freshman Wind Orchestra, which recorded the original soundtracks and incidental music throughout the series. At this concert, the Progressive Wind Ensemble (プログレッシブ!ウインド・オーケストラ) took over this role and made its debut performance. The group was formed through auditions held in 2021 December, specifically encouraging applications by former members of the Freshman Wind Orchestra who had performed in the soundtrack recordings, concerts, and events held since in 2014. It is directed by Senzoku professor Owada Masahiro (大和田雅洋). Photos: tweet 1, tweet 2, tweet 3, tweet 4, tweet 5, tweet 6, tweet 7, tweet 8, tweet 9, tweet 10

Kasumi Air tobidashi
Last week, replacement tobidashi for Air characters Kamio Misuzu and Tōno Minagi were nearing completion. They are now finished and have been reinstalled at their original locations in Kasumi, Kami, Hyōgo Prefecture. Photos: tweet 1

Nishinomiya Haruhi location
Gardening and flower shop PLANTS・PLANTS +plus flowers in Nishinomiya, Hyōgo Prefecture closed on March 31 after 34 years of business. The shop and gatehouse of former Shukugawa Gakuin Junior and Senior High School (夙川学院中学校・高等学校) across the street appeared in Suzumiya Haruhi no Shōshitsu. What used to be school grounds have been under redevelopment for many years. The gatehouse remained until 2021 September. With the closing of the gardening shop, the last vestige of Haruhi at this location will be gone. Media coverage: J-Cast News. Photos: tweet 1, tweet 2, tweet 3

Takayama Hyōka locations
Chūnichi Shimbun continues its series of articles about locations associated with works by Takayama native author Yonezawa Honobu (米澤穂信), who received the 2022 Naoki Prize for his most recent novel, Kokurōjō. The story published this week covers Fudō-bashi (不動橋) in Takayama, Gifu Prefecture, a key location in 2004 novel Sayonara Yōsei, and which also appears in Kyoto Animation series Hyōka.

Awara Chihayafuru AR course
As a demonstration experiment, Awara, Fukui Prefecture and Chihayafuru will launch a “seichijunrei course” built on smartphone-based augmented reality app Coconey (ココニー). The experiment will include two courses, one for the Awara Yunomachi Station area (あわら湯のまち駅編) and the other for the JR Awara Onsen Station area (JR 芦原温泉駅編), and will be available from April 1 to May 8. News release: BeBridge. Media coverage: Fukui Keizai Shimbun

Yokohama Bunsuto map
To commemorate the 100th chapter of the Bungō Stray Dogs manga, the Kadokawa published guide Yokohama Love Walker 2022 (横浜LOVEWalker 2022) includes a “seichijunrei map” of locations in the city that appear in the series. Media coverage: Ascii

Future Season Pilgrimage

@fragments_sue made a pilgrimage to Shōdoshima and Tonoshō, Kagawa Prefecture for Gekijōban Karakai Jōzu no Takagi-san key visual and PV.

Current Season Pilgrimage

@ad_motsu made a pilgrimage (post 1, post 2), to Daiba, Minato Ward; Aomi, Ariake and Shinonome, Kōtō Ward (all Tokyo Metropolis) for Love Live! Nijigasaki Gakuen School Idol Dōkōkai Season 2 Episode 1.

Past Season Pilgrimage

@fragments_sue made a pilgrimage to (post 1) Tonoshō and Shōdoshima, Kagawa Prefecture; Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture for Karakai Jōzu no Takagi-san 3 Episode 7 through Episode 9; and (post 2) Tonoshō and Shōdoshima for Episode 10 through Episode 12.

@hiro_senritu made a pilgrimage to Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture for Slow Loop.

@teo_imperial made a pilgrimage to Saginomiya, Nakano Ward and Higashimurayama, Tokyo Metropolis for Kaijin Kaihatsubu no Kuroitsu-san Episode 7; and to Tokorozawa, Saitama Prefecture for Episode 10.

@niceboathime made a pilgrimage to Nachikatsuura, Wakayama Prefecture for Heike Monogatari.

@teo_imperial made a cherry blossom pilgrimage to Koshigaya, Saitama Prefecture for Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon S.

@niceboathime made a pilgrimage to Hokuto, Yamanashi Prefecture for Super Cub.

@niceboathime made a pilgrimage (post 2) to Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture for Seishun Buta Yarō wa Bunny Girl-senpai no Yume o Minai.

@niceboathime made a pilgrimage to Bokkoshi in Nishi-Shinsaibashi, Chūō Ward, Osaka for Ramen Daisuki Koizumi-san.

@niceboathime made a pilgrimage (post 14) to Takayama, Gifu Prefecture for Hyōka.