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
Though the procession has been scaled down as a precautionary measure due to ongoing Covid-19 concerns, it was good to see the Goryō Matsuri (御霊祭) pass through Demachi Masugata Shōtengai (出町桝形商店街) for the first time in three years. This festival is depicted in Tamako Market Episode 4. Photos: tweet 1, tweet 2, tweet 3. Video: tweet 1, tweet 2
— セルフ岸本屋 (@demachiself) May 18, 2022
Minobu Yuru Camp events
Gojōgaoka Activation Promotion Council (五条ヶ丘活性化推進協議会) will host an overnight camping meetup for Yuru Camp fans at former Shimobe elementary and junior high schools in Minobu, Yamanashi Prefecture on two consecutive weekends, May 28 and 29, and June 4 and 5. Participants interested in the overnight camp can register for the first weekend until May 25, and/or second weekend until June 1. Tickets for the overnight camp are 3,000 JPY. Participants only interested in a visit to the school buildings, which will be scheduled in the late mornings and early afternoons on all four days, can register for May 28 and/or May 29 until May 25, and June 4 and/or June 5 until June 1. Tickets for entering the school buildings are free.
Iwami Free! seichijunrei
There has been renewed interest in pilgrimage to Iwami, Tottori Prefecture following the theatrical release of Free! The Final Stroke 2nd Part on April 22. Media coverage: Nihonkai Shimbun (print)
Kasamatsu Uma Musume promotion
There was additional reporting on the Kasamatsu Racecourse (笠松競馬場) and Uma Musume Cinderella Grey tie-in marketing promotions held between April 27 and May 2, covered previously here, here and here. Media coverage: Gifu Shimbun
Promoting seichijunrei to inbound tourists
Chikura Shobō published Japanese Pop Culture Marketing Strategy (ジャパニーズ・ポップカルチャーのマーケティング戦略) on April 5. The book is intended as an introduction to manga, anime and other pop culture contents, particularly focusing on their uses in inbound tourism promotion, for corporate or local government staff who may have little to no experience with the material. With regard to seichijunrei, the book takes the position that foreign tourists are both under-tapped and under-served by local governments, who do not actively implement demand-stimulating measures or guidance for visitors. Media coverage: DaVinci
JR Central Hanayome promotion
JR Central (JR東海) and Go-Tōbun no Hanayome will collaborate on a marketing promotion that will run from May 24 to July 31, though pre-sales for some of the components began May 11. The campaign will include character panels at the Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium, digital stamp rally that includes nozomi stations on the Tōkaidō Shinkansen, and travel and lodging packages available to users of the rail operator’s EX Service that include commemorative aquarium tickets and tie-up goods. News release: JR Central
Hannō Yama no Susume map
A new edition of the Yama no Susume Hannō “butaitanbou map” (ヤマノススメ × 飯能 舞台探訪マップ) has been released. This map has been around for many years. The front panel of the pamphlet on the new edition features the upcoming fourth season title Yama no Susume New Summit and new (to the anime) character Senjuin Koharu. I haven’t seen an image of the inner contents yet, so I don’t know if this map reveals new locations that will appear in the forth season, or if it’s just a refresh of the main locations in Hannō that have appeared in previous seasons.
Hamamatsu location map
Hamamatsu City released Hamamatsu Location Map 2022 (はままつロケ地マップ２０２２), a new revision of its tourism promotion map that includes places used in live-action film and TV series, and anime. The new revision includes locations from Yuru Camp Season 2, Yowamushi Pedal and Shin Evangelion Gekijōban. Media coverage: Shizuoka Shimbun
Agricultural product promotion
Nihon Nōgyō Shimbun published an article about location-based anime tie-in marketing promotions for agricultural products. It discusses campaigns for Nishiura Mikan Jutarō (西浦みかん寿太郎) and Numacha (ぬまっちゃ) using Love Live! Sunshine!! in Numazu, for Ginga no Shizuku (銀河のしずく) rice using Delicious Party Precure in Iwate Prefecture, and for Yotsuba Milk Products (よつ葉乳業) using Gin no Saji in Hokkaidō Prefecture. In each of these cases, the products are incorporated into the works either thematically or literally, so the thinking is this provides a good opportunity for cross-marketing that promotes both the products and places through the works. Media coverage: Nihon Nōgyō Shimbun
Hirosaki Flying Witch apple products
Diamond Apple in Hirosaki, Aomori Prefecture is offering a gift set of branded apple juices called Tsugaru Koi Otome (津軽恋乙女) that features label and box illustrations of Flying Witch characters created by mangaka Ishizuka Chihiro, who lives in the city. The first run of the set, 1000 units that were only available online, sold out within an hour. The set will be offered again in the fall, after the apple harvest, but the bottles can be purchased individually in the meantime. Diamond company president Ishioka Chizuko indicated future products are being considered, including juices that would only be available to visitors who travel to Hirosaki. Media coverage: Hirosaki Keizai Shimbun. Photos: tweet 1
Comment: I like the Chito logo on the box.
Shiroi Gunjō no Fanfare map
Shiroi City, Chiba Prefecture released an official Gunjō no Fanfare “seichijunrei map” (群青のファンファーレ 西白井巡礼マップ) and published an article about the locations on local information site Shiroi Match. The article calls on fans to not be a nuisance to locals when they visit.
Rurubu Evangelion guide
JTB Publishing will publish Rurubu Evangelion (るるぶエヴァンゲリオン), a travel guide to locations in Hakone, Hamamatsu and Ube that have appeared in the series, on July 6. More details will be released at the end of May. News release: JTB Publishing. Media coverage: Anime Anime, Pash Plus, Famitsu.com
Current Season Pilgrimage
@flyingbird1124 made a pilgrimage (updated post, new post) to Hino, Tachikawa and Chōfu, Tokyo Metropolis; Sugekitaura, Tama Ward, Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture for Kawaii dake ja Nai Shikimori-san Episode 1 through Episode 6.
@ad_motsu made a pilgrimage (updated post) to Higashi-Shinagawa, Shinagawa Ward; Etchūjima, Kōtō Ward; Rinkaichō, Edogawa Ward (all Tokyo Metropolis) for Love Live! Nijigasaki Gakuen School Idol Dōkōkai Season 2 Episode 7.