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
Toyosato K-On! event
Sakura High New Student Welcome Party 9.5 (桜高新入生歓迎会!!9.5じかんめ)—a K-On! fan-organized meetup, dōjinshi spot sale, and cosplay event—was held May 1 at the former Toyosato Elementary School (豊郷小学校旧校舎群) in Toyosato, Shiga Prefecture.
Yuyuyu character birthday
Fans of Yūki Yūna wa Yūsha de Aru traveled to Kan’onji, Kagawa Prefecture on May 1 to attend birthday celebrations for character Inubōzaki Fū at Michi-no-eki Toyohama (道の駅とよはま). The highway rest area is marking the May 1 birthday with a display, special parfaits and prize lottery from April 29 to May 8. Photos: tweet 1, tweet 2, tweet 3
Lucky Star mikoshi
For the third consecutive year, Yasakasai (八坂祭) in Washinomiya, Kuki, Saitama Prefecture was cancelled as part of Covid-19 mitigation measures. As a consequence of the cancellations in 2020 and 2021, the Lucky Star mikoshi (らき☆すた神輿) also did not appear. However, for 2022 organizers have selected an alternative event at which to display and carry the portable shrine, a youth conference in Kuki on June 4, as a temporary measure to give fans and supporters of the mikoshi an opportunity to stay involved. Full details and an application form to register as a bearer are here. The registration deadline is June 1, but the window will close earlier if capacity is reached.
Kasamatsu Uma Musume promotion
Gifu Shibun published a series of articles about Kasamatsu Racecourse (笠松競馬場) in Kasamatsu, Gifu Prefecture between 2021 October and 2022 April. The main focus of the stories is the institution’s efforts to recover from an extended period of suspended operation resulting from Covid-19 and a scandal involving jockeys and trainers betting on races. Most of these efforts target fundamental improvements to the racecourse environment that emphasize its history and intrinsic characteristics.
However, recent interest in the racecourse and its most famous horse, Oguri Cap, among fans of Uma Musume Pretty Derby, particularly readers of the spinoff manga Uma Musume Cinderella Grey, is a thread woven throughout these stories that becomes increasingly prominent. Suggestions and wishes from individuals affiliated with the racecourse for a formal marketing promotion that uses Uma Musume grow more focused and emphatic over time, and eventually come to fruition. The article series culminates in a comprehensive event report from official tie-in marketing promotions held between April 27 and May 2, covered previously. The report includes many comments from Uma Musume fans in attendance. Media coverage: Gifu Shimbun 1, Gifu Shimbun 2, Gifu Shimbun 3, Gifu Shimbun 4, Gifu Shimbun 5.
— みか探〜みかん探訪記〜 (@mikantanbouki) April 29, 2022
Wakayama Summer Time promotion
There was additional reporting on the ceremony appointing Kofune Ushio, the main character of upcoming series Summer Time Rendering, as the first “Wakayama City Anime Tourism Ambassador” (和歌山市アニメ観光大使) on March 24, covered previously here and here. Media coverage: Animage Plus
Awara Chihayafuru promotion
There was additional reporting on the Chihayafuru “seichijunrei course” demonstration experiment in Awara, Fukui Prefecture running from from April 1 to May 8, covered previously here and here. Media coverage: Hokuriku Shin’etsu Kankō Navi
Bachū Kimono Store (馬忠呉服店) is offering a hakama fitting and rental service for women, men and children. If available, the owner will play karuta with you in the shop. Media coverage: Hokuriku Shin’etsu Kankō Navi
Hokkaidō Jashin-chan promotion
Hatsune Miku will appear in the Jashin-chan series, in both the upcoming third season, called Jashin-chan Dropkick X, as well as a series of promotional episodes that began airing April 6, before the main series premieres in July. The promotional series, titled Jashin-chan Dropkick X Mame Anime (Hokkaidō-hen), features the cast visiting various locations in Hokkaidō. Media coverage: Hokkaidō Bunka Hōsō, Comic Natalie, Anime News Network, Crunchyroll News
Hokuto Super Cub promotion
To commemorate the first anniversary of the Super Cub anime premiere, the Hokuto Anime Tourism Council (北杜アニメツーリズム協議会) is holding a stamp rally in Hokuto and Nirasaki, Yamanashi Prefecture from April 9 to May 8, covered previously here and here. Attendance at the opening ceremony on April 9 at Nirasaki Station was far greater than had been expected. 600 stamp mount sheets had been prepared for the stand at the station, meant to cover the entire period of the rally, but by the end of the ceremony only a few dozen remained. More mount sheets will be printed. Media coverage: Sankei Shimbun
Yokosuka Shenmue talk event
As had been announced previously, a live streamed event featuring voice and production staff from Shenmue the Animation was held April 29. The full program is available for playback on YouTube, and includes pre-recorded segments featuring staff visiting Yokosuka locations used in the series. News release: Slow Curve. Media coverage: IGN Japan, Gamer, Famitsu.com
Saga Zonsaga manhole covers
There was an exhibition of the next batch of manhole covers featuring Zombie Land Saga characters to be installed in Saga Prefecture, at the Saga TV Harufes (サガテレビ春フェス) on April 30 and May 1. The details of the phased manhole cover rollout were covered previously. Photos: tweet 1, tweet 2
Aomori Clannad promotion
Aomori-based regional promotion organization Shimokita Create (シモキタクリエイト), with the assistance of character goods and event planning company Groove Garage (グルーヴガレージ), is organizing a Clannad After Story promotion featuring the rapeseed farms in Yokohama, Aomori Prefecture from April 29 to May 29. The campaign includes a “seichi map,” postcards and rapeseed oil bottles with character labels. Photos: tweet 1, tweet 2, tweet 3, tweet 4
Takaosan Yama no Susume stamp rally
Keiō Railway and Yama no Susume launched a marketing promotion (announcement, official site) that will run from April 29 to June 30. The campaign ties into Keiō’s Takao-Jinba Stamp Hike (高尾・陣馬スタンプハイク), a mountain climbing stamp rally with stations at various locations on Takaosan and Jinbasan, which has been held since 1971. The new promotion adds Yama no Susume to the mix, as both mountains appear in the work, including original stamp designs, characters on the stamp mount sheets, character panels at Takaosanguchi Station in Hachiōji, and original tie-in goods as rally prizes. Stamp mount sheets are available at all stations on the Keiō Line and Keiō Inokashira Line. News release: Keiō Railway. Media coverage: Mantanweb, Anime Recorder, MyNavi News, Travel Watch, Hachiōji Keizai Shimbun, Anime Hack. Photos: tweet 1, tweet 2, tweet 3, tweet 4
— くりす🌸 (@k_ssyc) May 4, 2022
Chichibu Railway Blue Thermal promotion
Chichibu Railway and Blue Thermal launched a marketing promotion that will run from April 29 to August 31. The campaign includes commemorative tickets, and posters displayed on trains and in stations. At Kumagaya Station, 300 copies of the same poster will be distributed first-come, first-served to purchasers of the tickets. News release: Chichibu Railway, Kumagaya Keizai Shimbun
Golden Week promotion
Anime Anime published a summary of various contents tourism promotions available during the Japan Golden Week holiday, roughly April 29 to May 8. These include the Keiō Railway and Yama no Susume stamp rally at Takaosan, and a Studio Chizu pop-up store in Shibuya. Media coverage: Anime Anime
Yama no Susume YouTube program
Before the October premiere of Yama no Susume Next Summit, the fourth season in the series, live-action promotional series Yama no Susume Exploration Party (ヤマノススメ探検隊) will be delivered via the Kadokawa Anime Channel on YouTube. The series is scheduled to start in mid-May, with more details to be announced at a later date. Senjuin Koharu voice actor Iwai Emiri (岩井映美里) will introduce real life locations that appear in the series. The guest for the first episode will be Onozuka Hikari voice actor Gibu Yūko (儀武ゆう子) introducing locations in Hannō, Saitama Prefecture. Media coverage: Mantanweb, Comic Natalie, Oricon News, Akiba Sōken, Pash Plus, Dengeki Online, Crunchyroll News
Future Season Pilgrimage
Current Season Pilgrimage
@ad_motsu made a pilgrimage (updated post) to Aomi and Ariake, Kōtō Ward; Misakichō, Chiyoda Ward; Kōraku, Bunkyō Ward (all Tokyo Metropolis) for Love Live! Nijigasaki Gakuen School Idol Dōkōkai Season 2 Episode 5.
@Deep_adultweet made a pilgrimage to (post 1) Haneda Airport in Ōta Ward; Yaesu, Chūō Ward; Marunouchi, Chiyoda Ward; and (post 2) Monzennakachō, Kōtō Ward (all Tokyo Metropolis) for Love Live! Nijigasaki Gakuen School Idol Dōkōkai Season 2 Episode 1 and Episode 4.
Past Season Pilgrimage
@626shin made a pilgrimage to Atagochō and Honchō, Iwatsuki Ward; Sakuragichō, Ōmiya Ward (preceding Saitama City); Yashio City Abandoned Hospital Studio in Yashio (all preceding Saitama Prefecture); Kashiwa, Chiba Prefecture for Sono Bisque Doll wa Koi o Suru (new post) Episode 1 and Episode 2; (updated posts) OP, Episode 3 and Episode 4, Episode 8 through Episode 10.