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 within Tokyo or other major cities, this may be a relatively easy task, even if you don’t speak the language. For example, “Love Live!” and “Steins:Gate” fans can visit Akihabra, 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.
However, for anime with settings in the countryside or other locations which may be unfamiliar to tourists, making such pilgrimages can be a more daunting task.
Thankfully, in a new initiative in collaboration with the Anime Tourism Association, private tour operator otomo is offering “anime tours” as part of a project called “Unique Experience Japan.”
Otomo will be adding new anime locations regularly but their first round, which begins on October 1st, 2019, 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 see what the lineup looks like on grape Japan website…