ANIME PILGRIMAGE

Quite a few anime and manga stories take place in real-world locations and borrow their scenery. Fans of these works regard these locations as “holy sites” and visit them frequently. Lucky Star (Raki☆Suta), a four-frame manga drawn by Kagami Yoshimizu, became an anime work in 2007 and won many fans inside and outside Japan. An anime version of the manga appeared on TV, using Washinomiya in Saitama Pref. as the setting of its story. As a result, sightseers spent more than a billion yen over three years to visit this location — the most financially successful anime pilgrimage yet.

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This place appears as Takanomiya Shrine in the story. The father of two sisters (who are the main characters) of the Hiiragi family is the chief priest of this shrine. He is skilled at drawing illustrations on wooden plaques (ema) for dedication to the spirits.

This summer festival has been held for generations in Washinomiya. Since 2008, the Lucky Star mikoshi (portable shrine) has made its appearance, carried by fans. This mikoshi procession is accompanied with the rallying cry of “moe moe” instead of the regular “sore sore.”

An old-fashioned mom-and-pop candy store is filled with drawings from Lucky Star.

GAME BAR
a gathering spot for grownups where old games are available
OTAKU CAMERA
the app that makes anyone a manga character
ANIME PILGRIMAGE
a quest to visit locations relating to stories and characters
AKIRA BIKE
enthusiasts create a dream machine from the world of Otomo’s AKIRA
Ramen (Japanese soup noodles)
ラーメン
Itsukushima Shrine
厳島神社
Gyudon(beef-on-rice bowl)
牛丼
Public bathhouse
銭湯
Gohtoku-ji
豪徳寺
Meiji Shrine
明治神宮
Edomae Zushi
江戸前寿司
Ramen Museum
ラーメン博物館
Steakhouse
ステーキハウス
International Avenue
国際通り
Public market
公設市場
Village of Long Life
長寿の里
USA
Gunbuster
Italy
One Piece
Germany
STEINS;GATE
Russia
Magic Knight Rayearth
How global fans see Japan: kawaii heaven.
“Twintail” — simple dream-come-true magic for change.
Outdoor girl finds kawaii in a sleeping bag.
I want to create awesome kawaii nail art.
Viewing Japanese gardens in Kyoto
日本庭園
Artisans’ Row
あじき路地
Kitchen of Kyoto
錦市場
Nurturing the arts
京都ギャラリー
Cosmetics
化粧品
Nambu ironware
南部鉄器
Candycrafts
あめ細工
Elevator attendants
エレベーターアテンダント
SOBA
蕎麦
KATSUOBUSHI
鰹節
RICE CAKES
SUSHI
寿司
TABAIMO
YAYOI KUSAMA
MANABU IKEDA
HISASHI TENMYOUYA
SANJA MATSURI
MENBURYU
NACHI-NO-OGI MATSURI
NIIHAMA TAIKO MATSURI