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

Eiden Deaimon event
Fans of Deaimon attended the promotional event Eiden x Deaimon Wagashi Festa (えいでん×であいもん 和菓子フェスタ) at Yase-Hieizanguchi Station in Kyoto on June 18, details covered previously. It wasn’t mentioned in communications about the promotion, but June 16 is Wagashi Day (和菓子の日).

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, tweet 13, tweet 14, tweet 15


Yuyuyu character birthday
Fans of Yūki Yūna wa Yūsha de Aru traveled to Kan’onji, Kagawa Prefecture to attend birthday celebrations for character Miyoshi Karin at Michi-no-eki Toyohama (道の駅とよはま). The highway rest area marked the June 12 birthday with a display and special parfaits from June 11 to 19. Photos: tweet 1, tweet 2, tweet 3

Lucky Star character birthday
For the live streamed talk stage on July 3, part of this year’s birthday events for Lucky Star characters Hīragi Tsukasa and Hīragi Kagami, it has been confirmed Tsukasa voice actor and Kuki City goodwill ambassador Fukuhara Kaori (福原香織) will participate.

Nishiki-yu tour
Sento researcher and author Hayashi Hiroki (林宏樹 @kyoto_sentolove) will conduct a special farewell tour of Nishiki-yu (錦湯) in Kyoto on July 9. The tour will include guidance on making tile rubbings in the bath areas, access to the inner workings and boiler room, and discussion with owner Hasegawa Yasuo (長谷川泰雄). The tour costs 3,500 JPY and is limited to 18 people. Interested individuals can apply online for the ticket lottery here.

After 95 years of operation, Nishiki-yu—a local institution next to Nishiki Ichiba in central Kyoto and a Tamako Market seichi—closed for business on June 5, covered previously here, here and here.

Takehara Shōkei no Michi
After what will be a three year absence due to Covid-19, Takehara Shōkei no Michi (たけはら憧憬の路)—the Path of Longing—will be held October 29 and 30 in Takehara, Hiroshima Prefecture. The festival features thousands of bamboo lanterns and is depicted in depth in the Tamayura series.

Ōishi Gen profile
Kita Nippon Shimbun published a profile of Toyama Prefectural University contents tourism researcher, Butaitanbou Archive curator, and Butaitanbou-sha Community (BTC) founding member Ōishi Gen (大石玄 @genoishi), in a column introducing people who have migrated from outside the prefecture. Gen, who is originally from Hokkaidō, talks about the topic of coming to know a region through anime and manga. Media coverage: Kita Nippon Shimbun

Reappearing Buildings Part 6
Kai’s buildings are back. Again. They first appeared in Non Non Biyori in 2013, then reappeared in Sakura Quest, Uzaki-chan wa Asobitai!, Zombie Land Saga Revenge, Super Cub, and now Tate no Yūsha no Nariagari. I call them reappearing, but with now six series having some permutation of this stock art, it’s more like they never really leave us. Previous discussion here, here, here, here and here.

Iwami Free seichijunrei
There was additional reporting on the renewed interest in pilgrimage to Iwami, Tottori Prefecture following the theatrical release of Free! The Final Stroke 2nd Part on April 22, particularly during the Golden Week holiday, covered previously. This new story adds information and direct quotations from Taketa Tomoichi (武田智一), the proprietor of minshuku Beach Inn Take-sō (ビーチインたけそう), who has been involved in outreach efforts and built relationships with many Free! fans since the series began in 2013. Media coverage: San’in Chūō Shimpō

Yama no Susume Tankentai
Episode 2 of Yama no Susume Exploration Party (ヤマノススメ探検隊) was released in two parts on June 17. This is a live-action promotional series leading up to the anime fourth season, Yama no Susume Next Summit. Senjuin Koharu voice actor Iwai Emiri (岩井映美里) introduces real life locations that appear in the series. In this episode, her guests are Mio voice actor Nanase Ayaka (七瀬彩夏), and Harada Kana (原田佳奈), the editor-in-chief of the magazine affiliated with mountain climbing app Yamap. The episode is a direct tie-in with 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. Part 1 is framed as a planning segment for the climb, but is essentially an advertisement for Yamap and outdoor gear retailer Montbell. Part 2 is the mountain hike. With exception of the cable car descent from Takaosan at the end, the three hike the entire route between the two mountains, which is fairly challenging even for experienced climbers.

Shiroi Gunfufu promotion
There was additional reporting on the official Gunjō no Fanfare “seichijunrei map” and other promotional efforts by Shiroi City, Chiba Prefecture, covered previously. Media coverage: Yomiuri Shimbun

Wakayama Summer Time promotion
Wakayama-based food manufacturer Gyokurin-en (玉林園) makes an ice cream product containing domestic matcha called Green Soft (グリーンソフト), which is either soft serve from machines at company managed stores, or a hard version sold from freezer cases at convenience stores and supermarkets. Summer Time Render main character Ajiro Shinpei likes Green Soft and the product appears in the work. Gyokurin-en and Summer Time Render launched a promotional wrapper for Green Soft that features characters from the series. Media coverage: Wakayama Keizai Shimbun

Minobu Yuru Camp promotion
The official name of the new campsite in Minobu, Yamananashi Prefecture promoting Yuru Camp will be Michi-no-eki Shimobe Auto Camp: Yuru Camp no Sato (道の駅しもべオートキャンプ場〜ゆるキャン△の里〜). The site has been operating with test users providing feedback, and will open for business on July 16, with reservations being accepted from July 1. Detailed information will be released on the film official site and series official Twitter account.

Staff from the team that handles marketing and public relations for the Yuru Camp series have been “creating a campsite” as part of broader renewal work at the roadside station, covered previously. Pre-opening test user stays at a reduced price are still available and may be reserved by contacting Michi-no-eki Shimobe.

Odaiba Love Live tours
The Ariake Garden x Love Live! Nijigasaki Gakuen School Idol Dōkōkai Tokimeki Ariake Tour! (有明ガーデン×ラブライブ!虹ヶ咲学園スクールアイドル同好会 トキメキ有明ツアー!) is currently underway at the sprawling commercial facility in Ariake, Kōtō Ward, Tokyo Metropolis. The promotional campaign is comprised of multiple components with varying schedules spanning May to September, including jumbotron broadcasts of music videos from the series, character panels, stamp rally, collaboration menus, official goods sales, hotel rooms decorated with character visuals, and live music performances by the cast at the Tokyo Garden Theater on September 10 and 11. Media coverage: JMAG News

JALPAK, a tour agency affiliated with Japan Airlines, one of the corporate members of the Anime Tourism Association, is offering a Love Live! Nijigasaki Gakuen School Idol Dōkōkai tour package (series site announcement)—Nijigaku Member ni Ai ni Odaiba-Ariake Sora no Tabi! (ニジガクメンバーに会いにお台場・有明 空の旅!)—to Ariake, Kōtō Ward, Tokyo Metropolis from 2022 July to 2023 September. The package will include airfare, lodging, original goods, and digital stamp rally. News release: JALPAK

Current Season Pilgrimage

@fragments_sue made a pilgrimage to (new post) Ogijima, administratively part of Takamatsu, Kagawa Prefecture; (updated: post 1, post 2) Tano, Saikazaki and Kada, Wakayama City, Wakayama Prefecture for Summer Time Render.

@ad_motsu made a pilgrimage (updated post) to Daiba, Minato Ward; Ariake, Kōtō Ward for Love Live! Nijigasaki Gakuen School Idol Dōkōkai Season 2 Episode 12.

@Deep_adultweet made a pilgrimage to Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture for Love Live! Nijigasaki Gakuen School Idol Dōkōkai Season 2 Episode 10.

Past Season Pilgrimage

@niceboathime made a pilgrimage to Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture for Yatogame-chan Kansatsu Nikki.

@niceboathime made a pilgrimage (post 1, post 2, post 3, post 4, post 5, post 6) to Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture for Ramen Daisuki Koizumi-san.