When making their travel plans in Japan, many anime fans consider visiting locations which inspired their favorite works, or as Japanese anime otaku put it, seichi junrei 聖地巡礼 (“anime pilgrimage to holy sites”).
For locations inside Tokyo or other major cities, this will be a comparatively easy task, even in the event you don’t speak the language. For instance, “Love Live!” and “Steins:Gate” fans can visit Akihabara, fans of Shinkai Makoto’s film “The Garden of Words” or “your name.” can visit Shinjuku Gyoen park, Roppongi and the famous staircase near Suga Shrine, fans of “Tokyo Ghoul” or Hosoda Mamoru’s film “The Beast and the Boy” can visit Shibuya and fans of “Durarara!!” can visit Ikebukuro.
Nevertheless, for anime with settings within the countryside or other locations which could also be unfamiliar to tourists, making such pilgrimages could be a more daunting task.
Thankfully, in a brand new initiative in collaboration with the Anime Tourism Association, private tour operator otomo is offering “anime tours” as a part of a project called “Unique Experience Japan.”
Otomo shall be adding recent anime locations usually but their first round, which begins on Oct 1, includes tours to the settings of three popular anime series from the Heisei Era, two of them from beleaguered anime studio Kyoto Animation.
Let’s examine what the lineup looks like:
The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (Hyogo Pref)
“Let’s go on a tour to go to the real-life places of the large succeeded anime all around the world, ‘The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya.’ You’ll visit Nishinomiya and Koyoen, that are the places where the creator grew up. Because it is his hometown, there are a whole lot of spots you desire to visit which can be described within the anime.
You’ll first visit the station where the SOS Brigade used to hook up. The cafe of which they were regulars is busy with Haruhi fans so you would possibly discover a mate to have a chat over the anime. You’ll experience a every day life in Japan that you simply saw within the anime including the varsity SOS Brigade attended to. Visit the world of Haruhi together with your otomo guide!”
Visit the page at Anime Tourism: Explore “The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya” World!
Hyouka (Gifu Pref)
“The anime ‘Hyouka’ is a mystery anime that began with the catchphrase ‘I ponder.’ You’ll tour Takayama, Gifu, where this anime was set. Even today, many visitors from Japan and abroad repeatedly travel to this pilgrimage site.
You’ll start at Miyagawa Morning Market, a spot from the opening scene, where you may eat various delicious food. The varsity and the shopping district are those that you simply saw within the anime series. On the cafe, you may order from the identical menu because the predominant characters. There may be even a notebook prepared for fans through which you may write your thoughts.
You can too visit the library and shrine that appeared within the anime. The world of ‘Hyouka’ is waiting for you.”
Visit the page at Anime Tourism: Visit Places appeared in “Hyouka” in Takayama!
For more details about otomo’s anime-themed travel plans and to enroll, please visit the Anime Tourism page here.
For those who’d prefer to learn more about anime tourism in Japan, please visit the Anime Tourism Association’s very useful website (also available in English) which provides an in depth and yearly updated database of 88 chosen anime sites throughout the country, along with useful travel-related information and links for every location.
Source: PR Times / © otomo, Inc / © Anime Tourism Association
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