Love Live! Superstar!! ラブライブ!スーパースター!!

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

Hannō Yama no Susume event
Yama no Susume Next Summit Autumn Fes 2022 (「ヤマノススメ Next Summit」オータムフェス2022) is a promotional event for the upcoming fourth season of Yama no Susume that will be held at Hannō Civic Hall (飯能市市民会館) in Hannō, Saitama Prefecture on October 2, with an afternoon session at 13:00 and evening session at 17:00. The event will include appearances by members of the voice cast, a screening of Episode 5 from the new season, stage reading of an original script by mangaka Shiro (しろ), and talk show. An advance ticket lottery was September 1 to 14. General ticket sales will begin September 24. Online distribution will also be available, though Episode 5 may only be viewed during the live broadcast, not from archive playback.

Anitamasai (アニ玉祭)—an event featuring anime, manga, other pop culture media, and contents tourism presentations held annually in Saitama City, Saitama Prefecture—will this year consist of limited capacity on-site events at Sonic City (ソニックシティ) and M’s Square, together with online distribution via YouTube, all on October 22. This will be the 10th convening of the event, and will include commemorative goods with illustrations by Lucky Star mangaka Yoshimizu Kagami (美水かがみ). The Anime and Manga Seichi Summit portion of the program will include special guests Suguta Hina (直田姫奈), voice actor for Kitagawa Marin in Sono Bisque Doll wa Koi o Suru, and Fukuhara Kaori (福原香織), voice actor for Hīragi Tsukasa in Lucky Star. News release: Anitamasai Executive Committee Secretariat (alternate). Media coverage: Mantanweb, Spice, Moca News

Tokyo International Film Festival
The 35th Tokyo International Film Festival (第35回東京国際映画祭) will be held from October 24 to November 2. The festival will include seven anime films, all of which are selected for their use of settings and locations, with the theme “Creating the World from Scratch.” Three are 2022 releases under the section “Creating Worlds with Animation,” and four more older films will be screened in the retrospective section “Animation and Tokyo.” Animation critic and the festival’s Japanese animation programming advisor Fujita Ryōta (藤津亮太) will moderate symposium discussions corresponding to each section. News release: Tokyo International Film Festival. Media coverage: Mantanweb, Comic Natalie, Animation Business Journal, Crunchyroll News

Kitauji High School OB Wind Ensemble
Kitauji High School OB Wind Ensemble (北宇治高校OB吹奏楽団)—a group of volunteer musicians made up of Hibike! Euphonium fans that meet periodically to play for enjoyment—announced a date and venue for its next concert, 2023 February 11 at the Uji City Cultural Center (宇治市文化センター). Doors open at 13:00, the concert begins at 14:00, admission is free, and seats are unreserved. The the last time the group performed publicly was 2019 December 15, as part of a Hibike! Euphonium themed Christmas concert hosted by Uji City and Keihan Railway. The wind ensemble has not held its own concert since 2018 December 23.

Uji Jinja petition
There is a small structure and embankment cutout along the Uji River, near the Uji Jinja torii, that in the past was used to wash the shrine’s mikoshi. There is a petition to restore and conserve this structure, with signatures collected at the site every morning except for Thursdays. Restoration work is estimated to cost 2.5 to 3 million JPY. The location appears in Hibike! Euphonium. Media coverage: Rakutai Shimpō

Oyama no Kisoba
There was additional reporting on Oyama no Kisoba Ashikaga-ekimae shop (おやまのきそば足利市駅前店) in Ashikaga, and Ekimae Yokochō Utsunomiya Kisoba (駅前横丁 宇都宮きそば) in Utsunomiya, two new soba shops in Tochigi Prefecture inheriting elements of Oyama Station Kisoba (小山駅きそば), a well-known stand-up soba shop and Byōsoku Go Senchimētoru (5 Centimeters per Second) seichi, covered previously here and here. Media coverage: Sankei Shimbun

Iwami Free! tour
Iwami-chō Tourism Association (岩美町観光協会) in Tottori Prefecture is recruiting for a tour guide to lead a session of its “Welcome to the World of Anime Red Course” (アニメの世界へようこそ赤コース). The tour is not an official tie-in, so the work is not named, but this is for the Free! series. A vintage bonnet bus takes participants on a day long tour beginning at Iwami Station and finishing at Tottori Station. Applications are being accepted until September 26, and the tour will be held November 13. A Blue Course, which is limited to locations in Iwami, as well as the Red Course, are both offered periodically.

Minobu Yuru Camp no Sato
NHK published an article, based on a short segment produced by its Kōfu affiliate, about the popularity of 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〜), a real campsite created by the Yuru Camp marketing and public relations team at the roadside station in Minobu, Yamanashi Prefecture. The site formally opened on July 16, both as means to promote Eiga Yuru Camp, but also as part of a comprehensive renovation intended to create new business opportunities for the station, which had been struggling due to its location.

Michi-no-eki Shimobe is located on a national highway that leads to the Fuji Five Lakes, but travelers prefer to use the expressway. The idea behind the renovation and campsite was to reposition the station as a destination, rather than a stopover point. In addition to the campground and a Yuru Camp display, the station now also includes a sales area with fresh vegetables and other local foodstuffs, dining service with set meals, and a co-working space. Since the renewal, parking lot capacity has reached about 90% on weekends and holidays. Media coverage: NHK

Minobu Yuru Camp promotion
Minobu Shizen no Sato (みのぶ自然の里), the campsite that was the location model for Eiga Yuru Camp, will offer tie-in promotion camping packages organized by Lawson Travel, with overnight and day plans, available October 15 and 16.

Aichi Shikizakura promotion
Aichi Loop Railway (愛知環状鉄道) launched a Shikizakura tie-in promotion on September 20. The campaign includes a “tetsuin” (鉄印)—the railroad equivalent of the goshuin (御朱印) issued by shrines and temples—which will be sold at Shin-Toyota Station until 2023 September 29. Media coverage: Chūnichi Shimbun

Tenhama Yuru Camp promotion
Tenryū Hamanako Railroad (天竜浜名湖鉄道) launched a marketing collaboration with Yuru Camp on 2021 February 12 that included a wrapping train and commemorative tickets, covered previously here and here. The initial campaign ran until 2021 August, and a refresh campaign with a new one-day pass, character panels and augmented reality application was held 2022 February 1 to 20, but the wrapping train has operated continuously. On September 13, the railway announced the train will have its run extended to 2023 March 31.

Toyosato Nanoblock
Toyosato-chō Tourism Association (豊郷町観光協会) in Shiga Prefecture partnered with toy maker Kawada to develop a Nanoblock set depicting the former Toyosato Elementary School (豊郷小学校旧校舎群). The Association will begin selling the set locally September 23, and as a gift offered for furusato nōzei (hometown tax) payments in October. The school is an historic building and location model for K-On! Media coverage: Mainichi Shimbun, Kyoto Shimbun, Chūnichi Shimbun. Photos: tweet 1, tweet 2

Tachikawa Toaru promotion
Tachikawa Rakuichi 2022 (たちかわ楽市2022), a large community event that will be held November 12 and 13, will include a Toaru Kagaku no Railgun exhibit and event organized by the Tachikawa Tourism Convention Association (立川観光コンベンション協会), including sales of goods featuring original illustrations. More details will be announced at a later date.

Animonozukuri Award
The executive committee of the Animonozukuri Award (アニものづくりアワード) announced the winners of the 2022 awards on September 17 in Kyoto. In the regional revitalization (地方創生部門) category, winning projects did not include any broadcast anime series. News release: Animonozukuri Award Executive Committee. Media coverage: Anime Anime

Current Season Pilgrimage

@flyingbird1124 made a pilgrimage (updated post) to Asakusa, Taitō Ward; Shibakōen, Minato Ward (both Tokyo Metropolis) for Lycoris Recoil Episode 12.

@Deep_adultweet made a pilgrimage (updated post) to Dōgenzaka, Shibuya Ward; Shinjuku, Shinjuku Ward (both Tokyo Metropolis) for Lycoris Recoil Episode 10.

@Deep_adultweet made a pilgrimage (updated post, new post) to Ōgibashi and Kitasuna, Kōtō Ward; Oshiage and Mukōjima, Sumida Ward; Yūhi no Oka in Renkōji, Tama (all Tokyo Metropolis) for Lycoris Recoil Episode 8 and Episode 9.

@Deep_adultweet made a pilgrimage (updated post) aboard the Tōkyū Den’entoshi Line for Lycoris Recoil Episode 4.

@ad_motsu made a pilgrimage (updated post) to Jingūmae, Shibuya Ward, Tokyo Metropolis for Love Live! Superstar!! Season 2 Episode 9.

@Deep_adultweet made a pilgrimage to Takanawa and Kōnan, Minato Ward, Tokyo Metropolis for Kanojo, Okarishimasu Episode 23.

@Deep_adultweet made a pilgrimage (updated post) to Sakuradai, Nerima Ward, Tokyo Metropolis for Kanojo, Okarishimasu Episode 21.

@Deep_adultweet made pilgrimage (new post, updated post) aboard the Seibu Ikebukuro Line and to Ikebukuro Station in Toshima Ward, Tokyo Metropolis for Kanojo, Okarishimasu Episode 19.

Past Season Pilgrimage

@niceboathime made a pilgrimage (post 6) to Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture for Hōkago Saikoro Club.

@kazupi made a pilgrimage to Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania for Banana Fish.

@hiro_senritu made a pilgrimage to Ōtaki, Chiba Prefecture for Action Heroine Cheer Fruits.

@niceboathime made a pilgrimage (post 21) to Takaoka, Toyama Prefecture for YuruYuri San Hai!