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
NEXT GENERATION
TOYOTA x STUDIO4°C collaboration begins a new PES Project called “Next Generation”
BRAIN WAVE CAT EARS
cutting-edge tech joins Japan’s “fetish” (moe) culture
AKIRA BIKE
enthusiasts create a dream machine from the world of Otomo’s AKIRA
Iced coffee
アイス珈琲
Sumo wrestler
大相撲力士
Soba (Japanese traditional noodles)
日本蕎麦
Manga cafe
マンガ喫茶
Monja
もんじゃ
Architecture Street
建築ストリート
Novels of Haruki Murakami
村上春樹の小説
Asakusa
浅草
Public market
公設市場
International Avenue
国際通り
Awamori
泡盛
Steakhouse
ステーキハウス
Italy
Sengoku Muso
Taiwan
Mobile Suit Gundam
Japan
VOCALOID
Japan
Saint Seiya
Natural kawaii with new balance for future fashion.
How global fans see Japan: kawaii heaven.
Harajuku girl leads next-generation kawaii.
Outdoor girl finds kawaii in a sleeping bag.
Machiya bars
京町家の夜
Stay at Machiya
京町家ステイ
Art of brush and ink
書道家
Mizuura Mikuji
水占みくじ
Department store basement
デパ地下
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
WASABI
山葵
ODEN
おでん
RAMEN
ラーメン
SUKIYAKI
すき焼き
TAKU OBATA
TABAIMO
MANABU IKEDA
KOHEI NAWA
SANJA MATSURI
MENBURYU
AWA ODORI
NACHI-NO-OGI MATSURI