What is anime pilgrimage?
Anime pilgrimage is any practice that involves travel motivated by the use of real locations as the basis for settings and background art of anime works. Seichijunrei (聖地巡礼 sacred site pilgrimage) is a broad category of activities, the only fixed requirement being to physically move to the locations in question. Someone who engages in seichijunrei is called a seichijunrei-sha (聖地巡礼者). Butaitanbou (舞台探訪 scene hunting) is more specific, a disciplined practice that generally involves searching for locations without preexisting guides or references, taking photographs precisely composed to match the cuts from the work as closely as possible, and usually describes investigative work that happens concurrently with or soon after the initial broadcast or screening of new works. Someone who engages in butaitanbou is called a butaitanbou-sha (舞台探訪者). On this website, seichijunrei and butaitanbou are collectively referred to in English as anime pilgrimage, or just pilgrimage.
This article is a comprehensive introduction to anime pilgrimage for anyone learning about it for the first time, but should also be a helpful quick reference guide for those familiar with the subculture, either when planning to go on pilgrimages or as a jumping off point for deeper study. The introduction is a perpetual beta version, incorporating new information and revising existing material as needed.
Please pardon our dust while we work!
This article is still a work-in-process. The target is to get to a stable state sometime in 2022, as I work on it one piece at a time. I’ve put it up as a live page despite it being just the bones at this point, so you can see changes as they happen, rough notes, half baked ideas and all. If there’s anything you’d like to see here, by all means get in touch.
Table of Contents
- Anime Tourism
- Contents Tourism
- Anime Pilgrimage Prehistory 1907 to 1973: Laying the Groundwork
- Anime Pilgrimage 1974: The Beginning
- Anime Pilgrimage 1975 to 1984: Gap Years
- Anime Pilgrimage 1985 to 1993: Earliest Works with Japan Locations
- Anime Pilgrimage 1994 to 2003: Internet Publishing
- Anime Pilgrimage 2004 to 2006: Social Media, The 1000th Summer and Haruhiism, Uguu!
- Anime Pilgrimage 2007: First Rights Holder Collaboration
- Anime Pilgrimage 2008: Nanto, Nantonaku
- Anime Pilgrimage 2009: Endless Fuwa Fuwa Time
- Anime Pilgrimage 2010 to 2015: The Halcyon Years
- Anime Pilgrimage 2016: What’s in a Name?
- Anime Pilgrimage 2017: Cat’s Out of the Bag
- Anime Pilgrimage 2018 to Present: Commodification
- Anime Pilgrimage Subculture Originating Practices
- Anime Tourism Activities
- Planning an Anime Pilgrimage
- Academics and Journalists
Section should establish a working definition of seichijunrei, from the perspective of the subculture that gave rise to it.
What are the origins of the term seichijunrei?
Who, besides anime pilgrims, uses or has used the term seichijunrei?
How does anime pilgrimage subculture subculture define its use of the term seichijunrei? When, where, how did the term come into use?
When used as a loan word in Japanese, location hunting almost always refers to scouting work done by anime production teams during pre-production. Sometimes this is part of scenario development. Occasionally, English speakers use the term location hunting to describe activity consistent with seichijunrei.
Orthodromic superimposition is the process of taking an object or scene image from the work, either in the mind or with physical media, then searching for and placing it over its origin to observe the overlap between them. In other words, this is matching cuts from the work with their corresponding real life locations. This is the behavior most commonly associated with anime pilgrimage.
Antidromic superimposition is the process of observing real world locations adjacent to those incorporated into the work, but which themselves do not appear in the work, and imagining how these adjacent locations could potentially be part of the fictional world.
Separated relation occurs when the work does not include any character in the role of pilgrim. Most works fall into this category.
Embedded relation occurs when the work does include a character in the role of pilgrim. The fictional character and the real world observer are in the same ontological position. Examples would be fictional characters visiting historic sites, or depicted going on an anime pilgrimage within the anime (e.g., Lucky Star, Anime-Gataris).
Both kinds of superimposition are imaginitive acts of the observer while engaged in anime pilgrimage, and are not exclusive. The type of relation denotes the relationship between the narrative and the pilgrim, and are mutually exclusive. Combining each of the superimposition directions with each of the relation types, you get four permutations that describe different anime pilgrimage scenarios.
(1) Orthodromic and separated – Finding the real life location used in the work and imagining the presence of the fictional character (who is not a pilgrim) in that space.
(2) Orthodromic and embedded – Finding the real life location used in the work and imagining the presence of the fictional character (who is a pilgrim) in that space.
(3) Antidromic and separated – Noting locations adjacent to those used in the work, then imagining how the fictional character (who is not a pilgrim) might interact with those places through the course of their movements. This often happens at the same time as (1) during an anime pilgrimage.
(4) Antidromic and embedded – Noting locations adjacent to those used in the work, then imagining how the fictional character (who is pilgrim) might interact with those places through the course of their movements.
Seichijunrei is often combined with one or more complimentary or overlapping interests. One of the most common is cosplay.
Shirakawa-gō Higurashi (Abema Times)
Seichijunrei adjacent gourmet adventures
Foodstuffs featured on-screen or implied in a work, with or not physical premises of producer depicted, unique identifiable producer, usually a small business, but not always. (e.g., Kōeidō chestnut manjū, Banderole Noppo, Romio bakery in Kōriyama, Kumagaya? in Sendai)
Cyclists who pilgrimage (e.g., Matsuyama, Tama, Tsumuri)
Fans of Kantai Collection visit Yura Jinja in Miyazu, Kyoto Prefecture, which includes a monument to the light cruiser Yura. They are increasingly participating in volunteer cleanup efforts of shrine grounds, leading to more opportunities for interaction with local residents. (Kyoto Shimbun)
Kimetsu no Yaiba
Not a shrine, but still a shared name: annual fan pilgrimages to the Yayoi-ken restaurant in Takatsuki, Osaka Prefecture every March 25 in observance of the fictional birthday of character Takatsuki Yayoi from The Idolmaster. (Asahi Shimbun)
Also not a shrine, Idolmaster Seki Hiromi and named highway interchange, also mentions Yayoi. (Gifu Shimbun)
This category should be renamed to “shared names” or get a new heading separated from shrines.
Section should establish a working definition of butaitanbou, from the perspective of the subculture that gave rise to it.
Section should explain when, where, how the term butaitanbou came into use.
Section should address evolution of methods. Availability of consumer internet, self-publishing platforms, social media, Google Street View are major inflection points.
Anime tourism can include anime pilgrimage, but also guided tours, stamp rallies, transit passes, collaboration cafes, creator hometowns, events, exhibitions and museums. It functions as an umbrella term under which some self-initiated subculture originating practices are grouped together with promoted tourism and commercial activities. Anime tourism shares a similar scope with contents tourism but refers to induced travel behavior and location-based marketing collaborations specific to anime.
What are the origins of the term anime tourism using the English loanword (アニメツーリズム)? Why is this more prevalent than the native synonym anime kankō (アニメ観光)?
What impact did the formation of the Anime Tourism Association have on the use of this term?
Do Nothing – Local government, tourism promotion organizations and rights holders do not acknowledge the use of a real location as the model for an anime setting, or acknowledge it but make no attempt to utilize this for promotional purposes. All fan activity and interaction with the location is spontaneous.
Informal – Local government, tourism promotion organizations, or other civic groups are aware of fans visiting for seichijunrei. They engage with fans, but without the formal consent of or cooperation with rights holders.
Official Reactive – Local government or tourism promotion organizations obtain the consent of or work together with rights holders before engaging in promotional activities, but only after spontaneous fan activity demonstrates organic interest.
Official Concurrent Complimentary – Local government or tourism promotion organizations work together with rights holders to develop promotional activities that will occur at the time of broadcast, but the activities do not directly overlap or attempt to replace spontaneous butaitanbou or seichijunrei.
Official Concurrent Engineered – Local government or tourism promotion organizations work together with rights holders to develop promotional activities that will occur at the time of broadcast, and there is an explicit goal to direct fan movement toward desired locations. This frequently includes publishing a detailed location map prior to, at the time of, or shortly following broadcast.
Institutional – Large organizations promote anime tourism broadly, usually encompassing multiple works and locations. Anime Tourism Association is the most visible, but there may be others.
Section should give a general overview of contents tourism, which is helpful for putting anime pilgrimage into context.
Seaton and Yamamura define contents tourism as travel behavior motivated fully or partially by narratives, characters, locations, and other creative elements of popular culture forms, including film, television dramas, manga, anime, novels, and computer games. This definition is adopted in this article and across this website.
What does the word “tourism” mean, specifically? (varies by time period, culture, socioeconomic status, etc.) What does it mean in “contents tourism”?
Tale of Genji – Contents tourism is as old as content itself.
Norwegian Wood (Sankei Shimbun)
Onomichi film comission
走れ!ケー100 (Keyboar blog)
Otoko wa Tsurai yo (Gendai Business)
Roman Holiday (Trevi Fountain, Mouth of Truth)
The Sound of Music (Salzburg, Austria)
Rocky (Philadelphia Museum of Art)
Suzumiya Haruhi series
Saki / Shinohayu
Yama no Susume
VisualArts/Key (Air, Kanon, Clannad, Summer Pockets)
This entire page is about anime pilgrimage, so this section should just give a brief overview, including mention of milestone series like Heidi, Girl of the Alps, Sailor Moon, Please Teacher!, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Lucky Star, Love Live! Sunshine!! and Your Name. With Sound! Euphonium, one millennium later, give or take a few years, in the same city of Uji, contents tourism returns full circle.
Does it make sense to differentiate by medium? Where do you draw the lines?
Section should briefly trace history of anime, noting significant use of real locations, if they exist. Though use of a real location is a prerequisite (you cannot travel to a place that does not exist), having a setting based on a real life location does not imply that it will become an anime pilgrimage destination.
Katsudō Shashin (活動写真) – First animated film in Japan, as early as 1907
Earliest commercial Japanese animation dates to 1917
Lupin the Third Part I (1971 October 24) – Lupin series has real locations, but is there really much anime pilgrimage happening? Doesn’t appear to be records of pilgrimage for Part 1 at the time of release, hence Heidi is recognied as the first pilgrimage location. Needs investigation.
For this and subsequent anime pilgrimage history sections, format should resemble encyclopedia entries. Each series will have a brief explanation of the locations used, salient points about the creators and thematic material, and significant aspects of the pilgrimage experience. Series will appear in order of premiere date in Japan.
Heidi, Girl of the Alps (1974 January 6) – Maienfeld, Switzerland
Lupin the Third Part II (1977 October 3)
Lupin III Part III (1984 March 3)
Megazone 23 – Part I (1985 March 9) – Shinjuku, Shibuya and Harajuku, Tokyo Metropolis
Karuizawa Syndrome (1985 July 5) – Karuizawa, Nagano Prefecture
Maison Ikkoku (1986 March 26) – Higashikurume, Tokyo Metropolis
Megazone 23 – Part II (1986 May 30) – Shinjuku, Shibuya and Harajuku, Tokyo Metropolis
My Neighbor Totoro (1988 April 16) – Tokorozawa, Saitama Prefecture
Grave of the Fireflies (1988 April 16) – Nishinomiya, Hyōgo Prefecture
Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989 July 29) – Ross Village Bakery in Ross, Tasmania, Australia (unconfirmed fan theory); Stockholm and Visby, Sweden (possible confirmation)
Megazone 23 – Part III (1989 September 28) – Shinjuku, Shibuya and Harajuku, Tokyo Metropolis
Kyūkyoku Chōjin R (1991 September 26) – Tagiri Station, Iijima, Nagano Prefecture
Sailor Moon (1992 March 7) – Azabu-jūban, Minato Ward, Tokyo Metropolis
Tenchi Muyō! Ryōōki (1992 September 25) – Konkō-chō Kamitake, Asakuchi and Okusaka, Sōja (both Okayama Prefecture); OVAs were the first, but this is a sprawling series. Other media, when, where?
Before the internet, there were information sharing meetups facilitated through dōjinshi. How else did they communicate?
What roles did dōjinshi play throughout the history of anime pilgrimage?
When did consumer internet use begin in Japan?
Where did people share information online before social media and blogs? What did they share? (Usenet? BBS?)
What social media platforms were available, when? Which ones were used by butaitanbou-sha/seichijunrei-sha?
For publishing platforms, these are the service established dates, but when were they actually available and widely used in Japan? Other platforms?
GeoCities launched (1994 November)
Whisper of the Heart (1995 July 15) – Tama, Tokyo Metropolis
Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995 October 4) – Hakone, Kanagawa Prefecture
Initial D First Stage (1998 April 8) – Gunma Prefecture; sprawling series, needs research.
Blogger launched (1999 August 23)
Read or Die OVA (2001 May 23) – Jinbōchō, Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo Metropolis
Spirited Away (2001 July 20) – Dōgo Onsen main building in Matsuyama, Ehime Prefecture; Kanaguya in Shibu Onsen, Yamanouchi, Nagano Prefecture; Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum in Koganei, Tokyo Metropolis; Jiufen in New Taipei City, Taiwan
Please Teacher! (2002 January 10) – Lake Kizaki, Nagano Prefecture
Voices of a Distant Star (2002 February)
Shrine of the Morning Mist (2002 July 4) – Miyoshi, Hiroshima Prefecture
Someday’s Dreamers (2003 January 9) – Shimokitazawa, Setagaya Ward, Tokyo Metropolis
WordPress launched (2003 May 27)
Please Twins! (2003 July 15) – Lake Kizaki, Nagano Prefecture
R.O.D the TV (2003 October 1) – Hong Kong, Tokyo?
Mixi launched (2004 March 3)
Fafner in the Azure (2004 July 4) – Onomichi, Hiroshima Prefecture; There are OVA and films in addition to TV series.
The Place Promised in Our Early Days (2004 November 20)
Air (2005 January 6) – Mihama and Gobō, Wakayama Prefecture; Kasumi (now Kami), Hyōgo Prefecture
YouTube launched (2005 February 14)
Honey and Clover (2005 April 14) – Kanto? (dorm/school), Takemoto’s journey, Hokkaidō (Wakkanai, others?)
Kamichu! (2005 June 28) – Onomichi, Hiroshima Prefecture
Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid (2005 July 14) – Hong Kong; Tokyo locations (Chofu?) here and in prior/later seasons, needs research.
Aria the Animation (2005 October 5) – Venice, Italy
Noein: To Your Other Self (2005 October 12) – Hakodate, Oshima Subprefecture, Hokkaido Prefecture
The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (2006 April 2) – First broadcast; Nishinomiya and Amagasaki, Hyōgo Prefecture
Aria the Natural (2006 April 2) – Venice, Italy
Higurashi When They Cry (2006 April 4) – Shirakawa-gō, Gifu Prefecture
Honey and Clover II (2006 June 29) – Kanto? (dorm/school), Tokyo (Ueno Station), Cassiopeia, Hokkaidō (Sapporo? other?)
Twitter launched (2006 July 15)
Kanon (2006 October 5)
5 Centimeters per Second (2007 March 3) – Tochigi City, Tochigi Prefecture; Tokyo inner wards; multiple other
Lucky Star (2007 April 8) – Washinomiya (now Kuki) and Satte, Saitama Prefecture; Kadokawa is rights holder, gave permission for Kuki and Satte tourism tie-ins. Despite the commodification that would rapidly take off elsewhere a decade later, to this day these tie-ins have by and large remained low-key affairs. Fukuhara Kaori, otaku meetups. Background: Davinci News; Lucky Star mikoshi history (site)
Clannad (2007 October 4) – Mizuho, Denenchofu?
True Tears (2008 January 6)
Aria the Origination (2008 January 8) – Venice, Italy
2008 April 12 was the date of the first Butaitanbou Summit, held at Lake Kizaki in Nagano Prefecture (Onegai Teacher/Onegai Twins), which brought together butaitanbou-sha from across Japan, and was the day the Butaitanbou-sha Community was formally established. (Twitter)
Someday’s Dreamers II Sora (2008 July 2) – Biei, Hokkaidō Prefecture; Shimokitazawa, Setagaya Ward, Tokyo Metropolis
Clannad After Story (2008 October 3) – Mizuho, Denenchofu?; Uji, Kyoto Prefecture; Yokohama/Mutsu, Aomori Prefecture
Kannagi: Crazy Shrine Maidens (2008 October 4) – Shichigahama, Miyagi Prefecture
The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (2009 April 3) – Rebroadcast with new episodes; Nishinomiya and Amagasaki, Hyōgo Prefecture
K-On! (2009 April 3) – TBS is rights holder, to this day has not officially recognized Toyosatochō in Inukami, Shiga Prefecture as a pilgrimage site, though it has given the town the right to sell officially licensed merchandise. Also Kyoto, Fukushima, Kamogawa Chiba (S2?)
Summer Wars (2009 August 1) – Ueda, Nagano Prefecture
Mai Mai Miracle (2009 November 21) – Hōfu, Yamaguchi Prefecture
Durarara!! (2010 January 8) – Ikebukuro, Toshima Ward, Tokyo Metropolis
The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya (2010 February 6) – Nishinomiya and Amagasaki, Hyōgo Prefecture
Angel Beats! (2010 April 3) – Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture
K-On!! (2010 April 7) – Toyosato, Shiga Prefecture; Kyoto
Oreimo (2010 October 3) – Chiba City, Chiba Prefecture
Tamayura OVA (2010 November 26) – Takehara, Hiroshima Prefecture
Fractale (2011 January 13) – Galway, Ireland (neat thread)
Hanasaku Iroha (2011 April 3) – Yuwaku Onsen, Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture
Nichijou (2011 April 3)
Steins;Gate (2011 April 6) – Akihabara (Soto-Kanda), Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo Metropolis
Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day (2011 April 14) – Chichibu, Saitama Prefecture
YuruYuri (2011 July 5) – Takaoka, Toyama Prefecture
Tamayura: Hitotose (2011 October 3) – Takehara, Hiroshima Prefecture
Chihayafuru (2011 October 4) – Ōtsu, Shiga Prefecture; Awara, Fukui Prefecture; Tokyo
K-On! The Movie! (2011 December 3) – Toyosato, Shiga Prefecture; Kyoto; London
Lagrange: The Flower of Rin-ne (2012 January 8) – Kamogawa, Chiba Prefecture
Waiting in the Summer (2012 January 10) – Komoro, Nagano Prefecture
Another (2012 January 10) – Nojima and Shinmachi Fukuno, Nanto, Toyama Prefecture
Blossom (2012 March 24) – Otsuchi, Iwate Prefecture; 1st project of Yamamoto “Tōhoku trilogy”
Lupin the Third: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine (2012 April 4)
Natsuiro Kiseki (2012 April 6) – Shimoda, Shizuoka Prefecture
Hyouka (2012 April 22) – Takayama, Gifu Prefecture; Kamo Garden, Kakegawa, Shizuoka Prefecture
Tari Tari (2012 July 1) – Kamakura and Fujisawa, Kanagawa Prefecture
YuruYuri♪♪ (2012 July 2) – Takaoka, Toyama Prefecture
Sword Art Online (2012 July 8) – Tokorozawa, Saitama Prefecture?
Wolf Children (2012 July 21) – Kamiichi, Toyama Prefecture (Hana no Ie website)
Kamisama Kiss (2012 October 1) – Kawagoe, Saitama Prefecture
Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions (2012 October 4) – Ōtsu, Shiga Prefecture
Girls und Panzer (2012 October 9) – Ōarai, Ibaraki Prefecture
Very good interview with Sugiyama P on how machi okoshi was not a goal of Garupan. The success of Garupan and Ōarai is a combination of many factors. This is often overlooked when comparing more recent tourism promotion oriented anime productions. (Ascii)
Robotics;Notes (2012 October 12) – Tanegashima, Kagoshima Prefecture
Encouragement of Climb (2013 January 3) – Hannō, Saitama Prefecture; Hachiōji (Mount Takao), Tokyo Metropolis
Love Live! (2013 January 6) Tokyo; Kanagawa Prefecture
Tamako Market (2013 January 10) – Kyoto
Chihayafuru 2 (2013 January 11) – Ōtsu, Shiga Prefecture; Awara, Fukui Prefecture; Tokyo
Red Data Girl (2013 March 16) – Tokushima Prefecture
Hanasaku Iroha: Home Sweet Home (2013 March 30) – Yuwaku, Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture
The Garden of Words (2013 Mar 31) – Tokyo
My Teen Romantic Comedy Snafu (2013 April 5) – Chiba City, Chiba Prefecture
Oreimo (2013 April 7) – Chiba City, Chiba Prefecture
Tamayura: More Aggressive (2013 July 3) – Takehara, Hiroshima Prefecture
Free! Iwatobi Swim Club (2013 July 4) – Iwami, Tottori Prefecture
The Eccentric Family (2013 July 7) – Kyoto
Silver Spoon (2013 July 11) – Obihiro, Tokachi Subprefecture, Hokkaidō Prefecture
Beyond the Boundary (2013 October 2) – Nara and Kashihara, Nara Prefecture; Miyoshi, Tokushima Prefecture
Nagi-Asu: A Lull in the Sea (2013 October 3) – Kumano, Mie Prefecture; other?
Non Non Biyori (2013 October 8) – Ogawa, Saitama Prefecture; many other
Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions -Heart Throb- (2014 January 8) – Ōtsu, Shiga Prefecture; Kagoshima City, Kagaoshima Prefecture; other Kyūshū
Silver Spoon S2 (2014 January 9) – Obihiro, Tokachi Subprefecture; Wakkanai (both Hokkaidō Prefecture)
Wake Up, Girls! (2014 January 11) – Sendai and Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture; 2nd project of Yamamoto “Tōhoku trilogy”
Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha (2014 January 15) – Fushimi Inari Taisha, Kyoto
Love Live! S2 (2014 April 6) – Tokyo, Kanagawa Prefecture
Is the Order a Rabbit? (2014 April 10) – Colmar, France
Tamako Love Story (2014 April 26) – Kyoto
Free! Eternal Summer (2014 July 2) – Iwami, Tottori Prefecture
Glasslip (2014 July 3) – Mikuni, Sakai; Awara; Fukui City? (all Fukui Prefecture)
Sword Art Online II (2014 July 5) – Tokyo
Hanayamata (2014 July 7) – Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture; outing to Hiratsuka; random shots in Kawagoe
Encouragement of Climb Second Season (2014 July 9) – Hannō, Saitama Prefecture; others
Celestial Method (2014 October 5) – Sōbetsu and Tōyako, Iburi Subprefecture; Sapporo (all Hokkaidō Prefecture)
Amagi Brilliant Park (2014 October 7) – Kanto
Shirobako (2014 October 9) – Musashino, Tokyo Metropolis
Your Lie in April (2014 October 9) – Nerima Ward, Tokyo Metropolis
Yuki Yuna is a Hero (2014 October 16) – Kan’onji, Kagawa Prefecture (this and other installments also use Sakaide, maybe others, needs research)
YuruYuri Nachuyachumi! OVA (2014 November 29) – Takaoka, Toyama Prefecture
Kamisama Kiss◎ (2015 January 5) – Kawagoe, Saitama Prefecture
Fafner in the Azure: Exodus (2015 January 8) – Onomichi, Hiroshima Prefecture
Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend (2015 January 9) – Toshima Ward; other Tokyo inner wards; Toden Arakawa Line; Wakō, Saitama Prefecture
Durarara!!×2 (2015 January 10) – Ikebukuro, Toshima Ward, Tokyo Metropolis
The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan (2015 April 3) – Nishinomiya and Amagasaki, Hyōgo Prefecture; Nagano City, Nagano Prefecture
My Teen Romantic Comedy Snafu Too! (2015 April 3) – Chiba City, Chiba Prefecture
Sound! Euphonium (2015 April 8) – Uji, Kyoto Prefecture
Beyond the Boundary -I’ll Be Here- Future (2015 April 25) – Nara and Kashihara, Nara Prefecture; Osaka?
Charlotte (2015 July 5) – Kanagawa Prefecture?
Non Non Biyori Repeat (2015 July 7) – Ogawa, Saitama Prefecture; many other
The Boy and the Beast (2015 July 11) – Shibuya Ward, Tokyo Metropolis
YuruYuri Nachuyachumi! + (2015 August 21) – Takaoka, Toyama Prefecture
The Anthem of the Heart (2015 September 19) – Chichibu and Yokoze, Saitama Prefecture
Lupin the 3rd Part IV: The Italian Adventure (2015 October 1) – Italy, San Marino
YuruYuri San Hai! (2015 October 6) – Takaoka, Toyama Prefecture
Beautiful Bones: Sakurako’s Investigation (2015 October 7) – Asahikawa, Kamikawa Subprefecture; Mashike, Rumoi Subprefecture (both Hokkaidō Prefecture)
Is the Order a Rabbit?? (2015 October 10) – Colmar, France
Girls und Panzer der Film (2015 November 21) – Ōarai, Ibaraki Prefecture
High Speed! Free! Starting Days (2015 December 5) – Iwami, Tottori Prefecture
Myriad Colors Phantom World (2016 January 7) – Kamakura and Fujisawa, Kanagawa Prefecture
Haruchika (2016 January 7) – Shizuoka Prefecture
Erased (2016 January 8) – Tomakomai, Iburi Subprefecture, Hokkaidō Prefecture
Kuromukuro (2016 April 7) – Tateyama, Toyama City and Nanto, Toyama Prefecture
Flying Witch (2016 April 9) – Hirosaki, Aomori Prefecture
High School Fleet (2016 April 9) – Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture
Amanchu! (2016 July 8) – Itō, Shizuoka Prefecture
Your Name. (2016 August 26) – Tokyo inner wards; Hida, Gifu Prefecture
A Silent Voice (2016 September 17) – Ōgaki, Gifu Prefecture
WWW.Working!! (2016 October 1) – Sapporo, Hokkaidō Prefecture
Sound! Euphonium 2 (2016 October 6) – Uji, Kyoto Prefecture
Yuri!!! on Ice (2016 October 6) – Karatsu, Saga Prefecture
March Comes In like a Lion (2016 October 8) – Tokyo, trips to Yamagata, Osaka, Kyoto, others?
Poco’s Udon World (2016 October 9) – Takamatsu and Shōdoshima, Kagawa Prefecture
In This Corner of the World (2016 November 12) – Hiroshima City and Kure, Hiroshima Prefecture
“Seichijunrei” is named among top 10 words of the year by Jiyū Kokumin Sha; “Kimi no Na wa.” is among 30 nominees.
Gabriel Dropout (2017 January 9) – Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture
Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid (2017 January 11) – Koshigaya, Saitama Prefecture; Kasama, Ibaraki Prefecture
Bang Dream! (2017 January 21) – Tokyo, Toden Arakawa Line
Sword Art Online The Movie: Ordinal Scale (2017 February 18) – Tokyo
Napping Princess: The Story of the Unknown Me (2017 March 18) – Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture; also called Ancien and the Magic Tablet
Yuki Yuna is a Hero: Washio Sumi Chapter (2017 March 18) – Kagawa Prefecture
Sakura Quest (2017 April 5) – Nanto, Toyama Prefecture
Tsuki ga Kirei (2017 April 6) – Kawagoe, Saitama Prefecture
The Eccentric Family 2 (2017 April 9) – Kyoto; Arima Onsen; Shikoku?
Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend Flat (2017 April 14) – Toshima Ward; other Tokyo inner wards; Toden Arakawa Line; Wakō, Saitama Prefecture
Free! Timeless Medley (2017 April 22, July 1) – Iwami and Tottori City, Tottori Prefecture (2 compilation films of 2nd season, with additional scenes)
2017 August 26: Anime Tourism Association Anime Seichi 88 Site final list for 2018 announced (Weekly)
Just Because! (2017 October 5) – Fujisawa and Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture
Love Live! Sunshine!! S2 (2017 October 7) – Numazu, Shizuoka Prefecture; Hakodate, Oshima Subprefecture, Hokkaidō Prefecture
Wake Up, Girls! New Chapter (2017 October 9) – Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture
March Comes In like a Lion S2 (2017 October 14) – Tokyo, trips to Yamagata, Osaka, Kyoto, others?
Free! Take Your Marks (2017 October 28) – Iwami and Tottori City, Tottori Prefecture; Tokyo
Encouragement of Climb Omoide Present (2017 October 28) – Hannō, Saitama Prefecture
Yuki Yuna is a Hero: Hero Chapter (2017 November 24) – Kagawa Prefecture
Girls und Panzer das Finale: Part 1 (2017 December 9) – Ōarai, Ibaraki Prefecture
Anime pilgrimage is dead, long live anime pilgrimage!
A Place Further than the Universe (2018 January 2) – Tatebayashi, Gunma Prefecture; Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo; Showa Station, Antarctica
Laid-Back Camp (2018 January 4) – Yamanashi Prefecture; Shizuoka Prefecture
Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions! Take on Me (2018 January 6) – KyoAni seichi master tour
Teasing Master Takagi-san (2018 January 8) – Tonoshō, Shōdoshima, Kagawa Prefecture
The Ryuo’s Work is Never Done! (2018 January 8) – Osaka
Violet Evergarden (2018 January 11) – Germany; Kyoto (sort of); other?
Uma Musume Pretty Derby (2018 April 2)
Lupin the Third Part 5 (2018 April 4) – France
Amanchu! Advance (2018 April 7) – Itō, Shizuoka Prefecture
Sword Art Online Alternative Gun Gale Online (2018 April 8) – Obihiro, Tokachi Subprefecture, Hokkaidō Prefecture; Tokyo?
Liz and the Blue Bird (2018 April 21) – Uji, Kyoto Prefecture
Encouragement of Climb Third Season (2018 July 2) – Hannō, Saitama Prefecture; others
Free! Dive to the Future (2018 July 11) – Iwami, Tottori Prefecture; Tokyo
Flavors of Youth (2018 August 4) – Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai
Penguin Highway (2018 August 17) – Ikoma and Nara City, Nara Prefecture
Non Non Biyori Vacation (2018 August 25) – Taketomi, Okinawa Prefecture
Zombie Land Saga (2018 October 4) – Saga City, Karatsu, Imari and Ureshino, Saga Prefecture
Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai (2018 October 4) – Kamakura, Kangawa Prefecture; Ōgaki, Gifu Prefecture
Iroduku: The World in Colors (2018 October 6) – Nagasaki City, Nagasaki Prefecture
Sword Art Online: Alicization (2018 October 6) – Tokyo
SSSS.Gridman (2018 October 7) – Tokyo Metropolis multiple
Tsurune (2018 October 22) – Nagano City, Nagano Prefecture
2018 October 29: Anime Tourism Association Japanese Anime 88-Stop Pilgrimage 2019 edition list announced (Weekly)
Bang Dream! S2 (2019 January 3) – Tokyo, Toden Arakawa Line
Love Live! Sunshine!! The School Idol Movie: Over the Rainbow (2019 January 4) – Numazu, Shizuoka Prefecture; Europe
Sarazanmai (2019 April 11) – Taitō Ward and Sumida Ward, Tokyo Metropolis
Sound! Euphonium The Movie – Our Promise: A Brand New Day (2019 April 19) – Uji, Kyoto Prefecture
Girls und Panzer das Finale: Part 2 (2019 June 15) – Ōarai, Ibaraki Prefecture
Twilight (2019 June 21) – Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture; 3rd project of Yamamoto “Tōhoku trilogy”
Teasing Master Takagi-san S2 (2019 July 7) – Tonoshō, Shōdoshima, Kagawa Prefecture
Kyoto Animation arson attack (2019 July 18)
Weathering With You (2019 July 19) – Tokyo inner wards; Kōzushima, Ōshima Subprefecture, Tokyo Metropolis
Violet Evergarden: Eternity and the Auto Memories Doll (2019 September 6)
After School Dice Club (2019 October 2) – Kyoto
Her Blue Sky (2019 October 11) – Chichibu, Saitama Prefecture
Chihayafuru 3 (2019 October 22) – Ōtsu, Shiga Prefecture; Awara, Fukui Prefecture; Tokyo
Saekano the Movie: Finale (2019 October 26)
Asteroid in Love (2020 January 3) – Kawagoe, Saitama Prefecture; Ibaraki Prefecture; Ishigakijima, Okinawa Prefecture
Room Camp (2020 January 6) – Yamanashi Prefecture; other?
Bang Dream! S3 (2020 January 23) – Tokyo, Toden Arakawa Line
Shirobako Movie (2020 February 29)
Kakushigoto: My Dad’s Secret Ambition (2020 April 2) – Meguro Ward, Tokyo Metropolis; Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture
Sing “Yesterday” for Me (2020 April 4) – Suginami Ward, Tokyo Metropolis
Diary of Our Days at the Breakwater (2020 April 7) – Ashikita, Kumamoto Prefecture
A Whisker Away (2020 June 18) – Tokoname, Aichi Prefecture
My Teen Romantic Comedy Snafu Climax (2020 July 9) – Chiba City, Chiba Prefecture
Uzaki-chan wa Asobitai! (2020 July 10) – Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture; Kōbe, Hyōgo Prefecture; Tottori Prefecture
Violet Evergarden the Movie (2020 September 1)
Higurashi When They Cry – Gou (2020 October 1) – Shirakawa-gō, Gifu Prefecture
The Day I Became a God (2020 October 10) – Yamanashi Prefecture
Is the Order a Rabbit? Bloom (2020 October) – Colmar, France
Non Non Biyori Nonstop (2021 January 4) – Ogawa, Saitama Prefecture; many other
Laid-Back Camp S2 (2021 January 7) – Yamanashi Prefecture, Shizuoka Prefecture
Bottom-tier Character Tomozaki (2021 January 8) – Saitama City and Hannō, Saitama Prefecutre
Wonder Egg Priority (2021 January 13) – Inzai, Chiba Prefecture
SSSS.Dynazenon (2021 April 2) – Tokyo Metropolis multiple
Super Cub (2021 April 7) – Hokuto, Yamanashi Prefecture
Zombie Land Saga Revenge (2021 April 8) – Saga Prefecture
Don’t Toy with Me, Miss Nagatoro (2021 April 11) – Hayama and Zushi, Kanagawa Prefecture
Higurashi When They Cry – Sotsu (2021 July 1) – Shirakawa-gō, Gifu Prefecture
Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid S (2021 July 8) – Koshigaya, Saitama Prefecture; other
Aquatope of White Sand (2021 July 9) – Nanjō, Okinawa Prefecture
Love Live! Superstar!! (2021 July 11) – Tokyo
Section should categorize and describe common points of interest for pilgrimages, with representative examples. Maybe some of these are better incorporated into the history sections. Will see how it goes.
Meiwaku is to be avoided as much as possible.
Communicating intention is essential.
Sharing knowledge is ikigai.
Do not enter school grounds without explicit permission. Do not publish photos where faces of students or staff are identifiable.
There is debate on whether the detailed address of an individual residence unit be revealed in text or images on openly accessible websites or social media platforms.
Collegiality – No community is free from tensions or drama, but by and large butaitanbou-sha are extraordinarily collaborative.
^ Nishinomiya Kita (Gigazine)
When restraint requests become overzealous
^ Soraao shrine (Fun Chichibu); subculture origin restraint was overkill
^ Ōgaki hair salon; subculture origin restraint was overkill
^ Numazu; complicated!
Section should describe non-academic research work by seichijunrei-sha and butaitanbou-sha, including choice of media and venue (blog, dōjinshi, talk, etc.). Emphasize butaitanbou-sha self-identified roles of explorer and educator.
Where are the exchange notebooks of most interest to overseas visitors?
Section should explain the Shiga Prefecture origins of tobidashi, then go on to explain how they came to be associated with anime seichi and highlight examples and creators.
Tobidashi history (Line Travel)
Article about Hisada Yasuhei, creator of the original tobidashi (Shiga Guide)
Toyosato tobidashi archive (site)
Toyosato music instruments
Hananami record player
Jungle Kinenbi [ジャングル記念日] (Washinomiya)
Ōtori teahouse (Washinomiya) *closed
多幸焼 (Washinomiya) *closed, then reopening 2021/10/16 for weekends only (tweet)
Cafe Dream (Nishinomiya)
Saizeriya Shukugawa (Nishinomiya) *closed
Times Mart (Hannō)
Bon Bon Cafe (Demachi)
Cafe Sando (Kashihara)
38 Mitsubachi (Sendai)
Cafe Bijou (Sendai)
Cafe Kotonoha (Awara)
Matsutei (Kichijōji) (Tabelog)
らんぶる (Takaoka) (blog)
Choco de Ninmari (Uji) *closed
Cafe Moka (Ureshino)
Takehara Shōkei no Michi
Komoro Citizens Festival Dokansho
Section should highlight butaitanbou-sha and seichijunrei-sha who act as bridges between visitors and locals, who encourage civic space and dialog
Chichibu cleanup volunteers. (Asahi Shimbun)
Section should highlight butaitanbou-sha and seichijunrei-sha who relocate to seichi, often to take roles in local government or businesses
Hyouka fan inspired by the anime series to move to Takayama, Gifu Prefecture and apply for a position in local government. He is now part of Takayama’s overseas strategy division. (Chintai Jōhōkyoku)
Emigrant to Hida for Your Name (Gifu Shimbun)
Emigrants to Numazu for Love Live! Sunshine (research paper)
Emigrant to Karatsu for Zombie Land Saga (blog)
Emigrant to Hirosaki for Flying Witch (Hirosaki Keizai Shimbun)
These are examples of places and activities that fall under anime tourism, and in some cases may be co-located with seichi, but visiting or participating in them is not, in and of itself, considered seichijunrei.
Takehara Momoneko Matsuri
Yuwaku Bonbori Matsuri
Keihan Electric Railway – Keihan Main Line, Uji Line
Keihan Electric Railway – Ishiyama Sakamoto Line
Eizan Electric Railway
Enoshima Electric Railway
Chiba Urban Monorail
Ghibli Museum – Mitaka, Tokyo Metropolis
Ishinomori Manga Museum
Mizuki Shigeru/GeGeGe no Kitarō facilities – Sakaiminato, Tottori Prefecture (Yomiuri Shimbun)
Gundam statues (Yahoo News Japan)
Gundam manhole covers in Odawara, Tomino Yoshiyuki hometown (Sora News 24)
Akihabara – Soto-Kanda, Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo Metropolis
Nakano Broadway – Nakano, Nakano Ward, Tokyo Metropolis
Otome Road – Higashi-Ikebukuro, Toshima Ward, Tokyo Metropolis
Den Den Town – Nipponbashi, Naniwa Ward, Osaka City
Section should layout best practices for planning an anime pilgrimage, tiered by experience level and Japanese language ability.
Section should explain what the Butaitanbou Archive contains, how it was created, who created it, and how to search for resources there.
Potentially, this section could include brief introductions of notable butaitanbou-sha.
Section should introduce English-language bloggers who approach the content in similar ways to butaitanbou-sha, emphasizing the self-initiated aspect, awareness of subculture norms, and spirit of adventure.
likeafishinwater.com – 2012; Michael Vito (@mjvito); pilgrimages, Weekly Review of Transit, Place and Culture in Anime
Potentially, this section can include descriptions of other English-language resources, including commercial websites, which may provide useful information.
Anime Tourism Association
Manga.Tokyo – Otaku Travel
I’m almost certain there are more German-language pilgrimage bloggers out there. Help me find them!
I plan to build a Google Map with pins that indicate each city where a series has locations, one pin per city per series. The intent is not to create a map for use as a navigation aid, but to give a comprehensive picture of the distribution of pilgrimage locations in Japan and other countries.
I argue that anime pilgrimage is far more than just tourism. Give reasons and supporting examples.
Sankei Shimbun on opportunities and pitfalls with regard to anime pilgrimage and contents tourism. It notes instances when the sudden popularity of small towns unprepared for outside visitors has led to apprehension, and conversely, anime produced for the express purpose of local revitalization that have fallen flat or resulted in fan backlash. It recommends that local promotion groups with an interest in contents tourism evaluate works individually and understand the needs of visiting fans, rather than applying a blanket approach, which often reverts to goods sales. (Sankei Shimbun, 2015)
Oricon explaining salient points and macro trends in seichijunrei. It illustrates the phenomena with several notable examples, then goes on to explain how municipalities that have deliberately used their connection to anime works to promote tourism and goods sales have generated some backlash among the core seichijunrei fandom, whereas grassroots momentum from fan community initiated tourism has generally been of greater magnitude and had more lasting effects. (Oricon News, 2016)
Okamoto Ryosuke on the trajectory of anime pilgrimage: Stresses the volunteer, self-initiated origins of the behavior and cautions that, though the potential tourism revenue opportunities are attractive, over commercialization and institutionalization by cities and regions, travel agencies and publishers could dilute the mystery solving and “hacking” elements that make butaitanbou and seichijunrei attractive to practitioners, leading to conflicts, cheapening of the experience and other unintended negative consequences. (Gendai Business, 2016)
Kobe Shimbun on trends in local governments leveraging seichijunrei to drive tourism. It cautions that “business-ization” of fan driven behaviors has the potential to deter, not encourage visitors. (Kōbe Shimbun, 2017)
Kawashima Tarō on the “de-subculturalization” of anime through seichijunrei, the promotion of which is now a widely recognized component of regional revitalization efforts. In telling the history of anime pilgrimage, which began as fan-initiated exploration and information dissemination, but now often involves deliberate planning of real location use at the development stage and active promotion during the release period, Kawashima points out how the commodification of the practice takes away the appeal for the people who created it. It is as if a mountaineer who is inspired by forging his own path and climbing where no one has gone before is suddenly forced to ascend leisurely via cable car or ropeway. (Danro, 2020)
Seaton, Philip; Yamamura, Takayoshi; Sugawa-Shimada, Akiko; Jang; Kyungjae (2017 March 25). Contents Tourism in Japan: Pilgrimages to “Sacred Sites” of Popular Culture. Cambria Press. ISBN 9781604979732
Seaton, Philip; Yamamura, Takayoshi (2014 December 13). “Japanese Popular Culture and Contents Tourism – Introduction”. Japan Forum. 27 (1): 1-11. doi:10.1080/09555803.2014.962564.
Yamamura, Takayoshi (2014 December 11). “Contents tourism and local community response: Lucky star and collaborative anime-induced tourism in Washimiya”. Japan Forum. 27 (1): 59-81. doi:10.1080/09555803.2014.962567.
Okamoto, Takeshi (2014 December 11). “Otaku tourism and the anime pilgrimage phenomenon in Japan”. Japan Forum. 27 (1): 12-36. doi:10.1080/09555803.2014.962565.
Seaton, Philip (2014 December 15). “Taiga dramas and tourism: historical contents as sustainable tourist resources”. Japan Forum. 27 (1): 82-103. doi:10.1080/09555803.2014.962568.
Okamoto, Takeshi (2020). “コンテンツツーリズムとインバウンド－現実空間・情報空間・虚構空間の移動を考える” [Contents Tourism and Inbound: Considering Movement of Real Space, Information Space and Fictional Space]. IATSS Review. 45 (1): 51-57. doi:10.24572/iatssreview.45.1_51. ISSN 0386-1104
Ōishi, Gen (2020 March 31). “アニメ《舞台探訪》成立史・新訂版：いわゆる《聖地巡礼》の起源と紀元” [Introduction to the history of anime tourism: Newly revised edition]. 富山県立大学紀要. 30: 25-35. ISSN 09167633
Ōishi, Gen. 舞台探訪アーカイブ. wikiwiki.jp/legwork.
Nanba, Yūki (2019 March 2). “聖地巡礼の美学”. lichtung.hateblo.jp. Lichtung Criticism
Sakai, Tōru (2017 April 28). “Anime ‘Pilgrimages’ Create New Tourist Destinations”. nippon.com. Nippon Communications Foundation.
Okamoto, Takeshi (2019 October 24). “Pilgrims and Prejudice: The Kyoto Animation Arson Attack in the Media”. nippon.com. Nippon Communications Foundation.
Lombardi, Linda (2016 July 25). “Fans hunt real places in Japan featured in anime”. apnews.com. The Associated Press.
Lombardi, Linda (2018 December 12). “Anime tourism: Your Name, The Garden of Words are inspiring travelers”. polygon.com. Vox Media.
Yi, Xiaojun (2019 September 15). “Japan’s anime tourism: A blend of cash and chaos”. japantimes.co.jp. The Japan Times, Ltd.
Yamamura’s list of readings (site)
History of anime (Wikipedia)