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
Sakuragaike Quest tree cleanup
With the help of volunteers, Sakuragaike Quest (桜ヶ池クエスト) organized a routine logging of sick trees around Sakuragaike in Nanto, Toyama Prefecture on May 21. 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. Horikawa was present at the event and participated in the work. Photos: tweet 1, tweet 2, tweet 3, tweet 4
Hirosaki Flying Witch exhibition
To commemorate the tenth anniversary of the serialization of the Flying Witch manga, the Machinaka Information Center (まちなか情報センター) in Hirosaki, Aomori Prefecture will host an exhibition of goods related to the series and reproduction frames of the comic from May 21 to June 19. The exhibition is organized by Taya Naoki (たやなおき @justtaiyaki), who is originally from Osaka Prefecture, emigrated from Tokyo to Hirosaki in 2021 March, and currently manages the Witch Association Hirosaki Branch (魔女協会弘前支部), a Flying Witch fan club. Many of the items in the exhibition come from his personal collection. Media coverage: Tōō Nippō (full text, alternate, print), Mutsu Shinpō
— たやなおき@活動アカウント(仮) (@tayanaoki) May 20, 2022
Lucky Star mikoshi
Prior to the June 4 event at which the Lucky Star mikoshi (らき☆すた神輿) will be carried in procession for the first time in three years, the new cloth artwork on the fully assembled portable shrine will be unveiled to the public on May 29 at the fifteenth Kuki Sōgō Bunka Kaikan Friendship Day (第15回 久喜総合文化会館フレンドシップデー). Both events are in Kuki, Saitama Prefecture.
Yuwaku Bonbori Matsuri
After what will be a three year delay due to Covid-19, the tenth Yuwaku Bonbori Matsuri (第10回湯涌ぼんぼり祭り) will be held in 2022 fall at Yuwaku Onsen in Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture. Due to ongoing concerns regarding the pandemic, strict admission restrictions will be implemented. More detailed information about the schedule and restrictions will be announced at a later date. Media coverage: Crunchyroll News
After 95 years of operation, the public bathhouse Nishiki-yu (錦湯), a local institution next to Nishiki Ichiba in central Kyoto, will close for business on June 5. Nishiki-yu is the model for Usa-yu in Tamako Market, and its boiler exhaust stack appears in the ending credits of the first season of Chūnibyō demo Koi ga Shitai! The sudden announcement caught many fans off guard. There have been calls to visit one final time in a show of thanks, and voices of regret from those unable to make a trip before the closing. Media coverage: Kyoto Shimbun, Shiga Tsūshin (alternate). Photos: tweet 1, tweet 2, tweet 3
Reactions: tweet 1, tweet 2, tweet 3, tweet 4, tweet 5, tweet 6, tweet 7, tweet 8, tweet 9, tweet 10, tweet 11, tweet 12, tweet 13, tweet 14, tweet 15, tweet 16, tweet 17, tweet 18, tweet 19, tweet 20, tweet 21, tweet 22, tweet 23, tweet 24, tweet 25, tweet 26, tweet 27, tweet 28, tweet 29, tweet 30, tweet 31, tweet 32, tweet 33, tweet 34, tweet 35, tweet 36, tweet 37, tweet 38, tweet 39, tweet 40, tweet 41, tweet 42, tweet 43
— 講師N(法学編入)💙💛 (@hennyuugaku) May 24, 2022
WUG character birthday
As an unofficial birthday celebration for Wake Up, Girls! character Nanase Yoshino, Cafe Bijou (喫茶ビジュゥ) in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture will offer cake decorated in her aqua cheer color. Yoppi and her voice actor Aoyama Yoshino’s birthday is May 15. The cake will be available throughout May. Whole cake orders and some of the single slices have a layer of amanatsu (Chinese citron) jam made in Kumamoto, where Aoyama was born. Photos: tweet 1, tweet 2
今月（5/15)は弊店とも縁深いWake Up, Girls!七瀬佳乃さんと声優青山吉能さんの誕生月。おめでとうございます🎉
— 喫茶ビジュゥ (@cafebijou) May 21, 2022
Yokosuka Shenmue video tour
IGN Japan released the entire short documentary featuring staff from Shenmue the Animation visiting Yokosuka locations used in the series, parts of which were included in the live streamed event with voice and production staff on April 29, covered previously. Media coverage: IGN Japan
Saga Zonsaga manhole covers
Installation of the second phase of manhole covers featuring Zombie Land Saga characters in Saga Prefecture took place May 18 and 19. The initial phase in 2021 April to June developed and installed covers in six cities that feature in either the first or second season of the anime. The second phase expanded the project to seven more cities, Taku, Takeo, Ogi, Kanzaki, Yoshinogari, Arita and Shiroishi. Of the cities in the second phase, some appeared in Zombie Land Saga Revenge, the second season, while others have not appeared in the series before. A third phase covering the remaining seven cities, expanding the project to include all 20 cities and towns in the prefecture, is planned to follow. Media coverage: Saga TV
@hamutane_ume published detailed reports about the manhole cover installations. The first report gives a general introduction to the entire project and detailed information with photos about the initial phase. A second report gives detailed information and photos about the second phase.