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
Minobu Yuru Camp event
Yuru Camp fans gathered at former Shimobe elementary and junior high schools in Minobu, Yamanashi Prefecture on November 8 and 9 for an overnight camping meetup organized by the Gojōgaoka Activation Promotion Council (五条ヶ丘活性化推進協議会).
Time-lapse video: tweet 1
Kizakiko Pocky Day
On November 11 in Japan there is an annual marketing event established by Ezaki Glico to promote its products Pocky and Pretz. While many share images of the products on social media using the official hashtag #ポッキープリッツの日 (Pokkī Purittsu no hi), fans of Onegai Teacher and Onegai Twins use an alternative #ポッチープリッチの日 (Potchī Puritchi no hi) as a nod to how the products were renamed in the series. As has become a tradition of sorts, to mark the day some fans made pilgrimages (with plenty of Pocky) to Lake Kizaki in Ōmachi, Nagano Prefecture, and Kizakiko Camp staff created a display by arranging many boxes of the products into a design. Photos: tweet 1, tweet 2, tweet 3
— 木崎湖キャンプ場△ (@kizakiko_camp) November 11, 2022
The former Toyosato Elementary School (豊郷小学校旧校舎群) in Toyosato, Shiga Prefecture, a K-On! seichi, launched its annual wintertime light display (豊郷小学校旧校舎群ライトアップ&イルミネーション2022) on November 12. Merchants from the town set up stalls on school grounds beginning at 16:00, and a lighting ceremony was held at 17:30. The school and grounds will be lit every night from 17:00 to 22:00 until December 25.
— みるひ～ (@santa_dx) November 12, 2022
Toyosato Keion Kōshien
The 1oth Toyosato Keiongaku Kōshien (第１０回とよさと軽音楽甲子園) was held November 13 at the former Toyosato Elementary School (豊郷小学校旧校舎群) in Toyosato, Shiga Prefecture. The school is a location model for Kyoto Animation series K-On! Though control by rights holder TBS precludes most official acknowledgements of Toyosato as the K-On! seichi, this light music tournament is widely understood to have been inspired by the series. Due to Covid-19, this is the first time the event has been held in three years. Media coverage: Biwako Broadcasting (alternate), Osaka Business Frontier High School
Yorimoi character birthday
A fan-organized birthday celebration for Sora yori mo Tōi Basho character Shiraishi Yuzuki, hosted by Mugichoco Ume (麦チョコ中毒 @MugichocoUmeeee), will be held at Ramen Chūbō Pore Pore (ラーメン厨房 ぽれぽれ) in Tatebayashi, Gunma Prefecture on December 10. Interested individuals can register online until November 30.
WUG character birthday
As an unofficial birthday celebration for Wake Up, Girls! character Shimada Mayu, Cafe Bijou (喫茶ビジュゥ) in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture will offer a hot milkshake topped with strawberry and raspberry as a nod to her red cheer color. Mayushii and her voice actor Yoshioka Mayu’s birthday is November 7. A duration for the special menu item has not been specified, but it will likely be available at least through the end of November. Photos: tweet 1
今月はWake Up, Girls! 島田真夢さん & アニメ版C.V.吉岡茉祐さんの誕生月ということで、イメージカラーの赤いベリー、キュンと甘酸っぱいホットミルクセーキ。
— 喫茶ビジュゥ (@cafebijou) November 12, 2022
Hannō Yama no Susume furusato nōzei
As it has done in the past, Hannō, Saitama Prefecture is offering Yama no Susume goods as gifts in exchange for furusato nōzei (hometown tax) payments. This year’s gift is a framed print of an original illustration featuring Aoi and Hinata at Lake Naguri, the location featured in Yama no Susume Next Summit Episode 6. The item is available for payments of 70,000 JPY or more, and can be reserved online at multiple platforms.
Comment: This is much more expensive than past gifts. Previous offerings ranged from 5,000 to 43,000 JPY, and were generally practical items like bags and jackets, or character figures. I wonder what was the thinking that went into this change.
(ヤマノススメ Next Summit Yama no Susume Next Summit)
Fan Pilgrimage Update
@dorakueyy1212 (tweet 1, tweet 2, tweet 3), @habusan (tweet 1, tweet 2, tweet 3), and @himura0811 (tweet 1, tweet 2, tweet 3) made pilgrimages to Naguri-mura, Hannō, Saitama Prefecture for Yama no Susume Next Summit Episode 6.
All of the Yama no Susume locations in Episode 6 are in Hannō (飯能市), Saitama Prefecture.
Yumesaika Suzuki (夢彩菓すずき)
Sawarabi no Yu (さわらびの湯)
Naguri Canoe Factory (名栗カヌー工房)
Arai-sensei delivered requested posters to Naguri Canoe and took a few photos on the way.
Nishikawazai (西川材) refers to Japanese cedar and cypress lumber produced in Hannō, Hidaka, Moroyama and Ogose, Saitama Prefecture since the Edo period. It was mostly used locally up until 1629, when the Arakawa River course was changed, allowing the timber to be transported by several “rivers from the west” of Edo to the de facto capital, hence the name. More information: Forest Nishikawa, Sakamoto
Back in January, Shiro was interviewed for a short article on the Hanno-Naguri Arcation & New Mobility Collaboration (HANMoc) website. This is a local promotion organization that is trying to extend the concept of “worcation” to include creative activities. Art and vacation become “arcation.” The piece is by design advertorial, but it’s interesting because he was there specifically for Yama no Susume location hunting, including not just scenery photography but activities like canoe building with locally forested materials, glamping, and firewood chopping (you get to take the wood home with you).
He mostly had positive things to say about the area in general, but when pressed to indicate if he would stay in Naguri outside of that visit, he noted that the tools and environment he needs for work would be difficult to relocate and, more critically, there are no child care resources. He offered the suggestion that more people would be able to participate in these kinds of activities, some of which can include the entire family, if the needs of caregivers are considered as part of the service offering. Shiro is my hero.
Shiro photo: tweet 1
In the real world, Aoi and Hikari would be breaking the posted policy not to cross the chain or wall to enter the sloped area. The series’ Twitter account posted a notice to call attention to this point. This is indicated by signs at the location, as well.
Saitama Prefectural Route 28 (埼玉県道28号), near Hannō Municipal Museum (飯能市立博物館)
Next to Hannō Central Park (飯能中央公園)
Hannō Station (飯能駅)
Hannō Ōdōri Shōtengai (飯能大通り商店街)
Arahata no Fuji (荒幡の富士) in Tokorozawa, Saitama Prefecture
Shiro photo: tweet 1