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.

AKIRA BIKE
enthusiasts create a dream machine from the world of Otomo’s AKIRA
BRAIN WAVE CAT EARS
cutting-edge tech joins Japan’s “fetish” (moe) culture
KOBE TETSUJIN 28-GO
mega-size robot who saves the peace in Kobe city
GAME BAR
a gathering spot for grownups where old games are available
Iced coffee
アイス珈琲
Capsule hotel
カプセルホテル
Electrical goods store
家電量販店
Character bento
キャラ弁
Tokyo Sky Tree
東京スカイツリー
Ramen Museum
ラーメン博物館
Architecture Street
建築ストリート
Gundam 1/1
ガンダム1/1
Taketomi Island
竹富島
Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium
美ら海水族館
Umi-budoh
海ぶどう
Kachaashii
カチャーシー
Japan
Kiki's Delivery Service
Japan
Lupin III
Brazil
Final Fantasy VI
United Kingdom
Eternal Sonata
I want to become Hello Kitty, the icon of Japan.
Cute community character promotes local charms.
Harajuku girl leads next-generation kawaii.
Harajuku fashion is a way to express myself.
Machiya bars
京町家の夜
Yokai Costume Parade
百鬼夜行
Secrets of autumn colors
紅葉
Moon watching
観月の夕べ
Department store basement
デパ地下
Nambu ironware
南部鉄器
Tenugui (Japanese towels)
手拭
Nishikigoi
錦鯉
KATSUOBUSHI
鰹節
ODEN
おでん
KAISEKI
懐石
SOBA
蕎麦
YAYOI KUSAMA
KOHEI NAWA
TAKU OBATA
TABAIMO
NIIHAMA TAIKO MATSURI
SANJA MATSURI
NEBUTA MATSURI
NACHI-NO-OGI MATSURI
JUDO
柔道
NIHONBUYO
日本舞踊
SADO
茶道
NOH