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.

NEXT GENERATION
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3D LATTE ART
the ultimate shape of art to come — too cute to drink?
BRAIN WAVE CAT EARS
cutting-edge tech joins Japan’s “fetish” (moe) culture
VACUUM TUBE HEADPHONES
a key item to bridge dreams and reality
Itsukushima Shrine
厳島神社
Character bento
キャラ弁
Soba (Japanese traditional noodles)
日本蕎麦
Manga cafe
マンガ喫茶
Asakusa
浅草
Edomae Zushi
江戸前寿司
Gundam 1/1
ガンダム1/1
Tsukiji Market
築地市場
Okinawa soba
沖縄そば
Steakhouse
ステーキハウス
Shiisaa
シーサー
Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium
美ら海水族館
Japan
VOCALOID
Japan
Hakuohki
Russia
Magic Knight Rayearth
Japan
Lupin III
Harajuku girl leads next-generation kawaii.
Toybox kawaii shop shows people power.
How global fans see Japan: kawaii heaven.
Natural kawaii with new balance for future fashion.
Jidai Matsuri
時代祭
Ikkyu-ji Natto
一休寺納豆
Zazen
坐禅
Modern jikatabi
モダン地下足袋
ANREALAGE
アンリアレイジ
Nambu ironware
南部鉄器
Daruma
達磨
Elevator attendants
エレベーターアテンダント
URUSHI
漆芸
RICE VINEGAR
お酢
WASABI
山葵
SUKIYAKI
すき焼き
TAKU OBATA
TABAIMO
MANABU IKEDA
Nerhol
NIIHAMA TAIKO MATSURI
MENBURYU
NEBUTA MATSURI
SANJA MATSURI
NOH
NIHONBUYO
日本舞踊
SADO
茶道
IAI
居合
KATANA-KAJI
刀鍛冶
KACCHU-SHI
甲冑師
FOOD MODEL CRAFTSMAN
食品サンプル職人
SAMURAI AVATAR
侍アバター