Anime Pilgrimage: 10 Different Cities you can visit

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  • In the past years, anime pilgrimage has been a thing for many Otaku in and outside of Japan. Without any doubt, this also contributes to the tourist boom in Japan. If you have not started your own anime pilgrimage check out this list and see what my recommendations are!

    1.Kyoto – Uchouten Kazoku (The Eccentric Family)

    Kyoto

    Author’s photo

    The anime tells the story of a bunch of shape-shifting Tanuki living in the modern-day Kyoto. Many of the locations depicted in the anime are as real as reality! The story takes place mostly in Central Kyoto with the main character living in Shimogamo-shrine. Some of the places most frequently depicted in the anime are the Demachiyanagi area, Kawaramachi & Kamo river area.

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    2.Iwami, Tottori Prefecture – Free! Iwatobi Swim Club

    A small town with only 5 schools, this is the place where Iwatobi (a fictional town in the anime) is roughly based on. Recently, this place has become a tourist attraction due to the popular anime about swimming. Do not forget to visit the Iwamicho Tourism Association; you can visit it for free (from 8 a.m.-6 p.m.) .You can find a lots of merchandise and don`t forget to also grab the Iwami Town`s Location Map (which is free of charge).
    Iwami Tourism Website
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    3. Karatsu, Saga Prefecture – Yuri on Ice


    Named Hasetsu in the anime series, this is the hometown of the main character Katsuki Yuri. The Hasetsu castle which is often portrayed in the anime is also based on the famous Karatsu castle in Saga. Other than the castle, Takashima Island and Yoyogi National Gymnasium are two other places that were featured in the anime. As there is little time left until the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the place is being renovated for the Olympic Games to come.
    If you want to find out the latest information about the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Venues, have a look at the link below:
    Potential Attractions For The 2020 Olympics
    Besides Japan, the anime also revealed some places in Bangkok and also the homeland of Yurio(Yuri Plisetsky) and Viktor Nikiforov, Russia along with its Airport, a few scenes in St. Petersburg and Sochi.
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    4.Otsu, Shiga Prefecture – Chihayafuru

    Annually, the Japanese national championship of competitive かるた(karuta-a Japanese card game) tournament takes place in the famous Omi-Jingu(shrine). This shrine also features lots of history & information about karuta and it has, of course, merchandise from the anime.
    As competitive karuta takes place at Omi-Jingu every year , it isn’t a surprise that this beautiful city was featured in Chihayafuru, the popular manga and anime that revolves around karuta.
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    5.Hida, Gifu Prefecture – Your name (君の名は/Kimi no Na wa)

    This animated movie took place mainly in Tokyo and the lesser known Hida city in Gifu. There are many places, from the Hida-Furukawa train station to the Hida City library, all featured in the movie so I recommend strolling around the city and find the joy in discovering the real locations!
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    6.Chichibu, Saitama Prefecture – The Flower we saw that day (あの花/Ano hana)

    Ano hana or あの日見た花の名前を僕達はまだ知らない。(Ano Hi mita hana no name wo bokutachi ha mada shiranai-“We Still Don’t Know the Name of the Flower We Saw That Day.”) – you get to see merchandise from this anime sold at gift shops in or near Chichibu Station and Seibu-Chichibu Station!
    The most famous landmark would be none other than the Chichibu bridge. Other places such as the Ryusei Kaikan Michinoeki(Roadside station Ryusei Kaikan), Chichibu Shrine, Jōrin-ji Temple etc. are also some of the locations featured in Ano Hana where you can find some anime goods please your otaku inner self.
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    7.Nishinomiya City, Hyogo Prefecture – The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya


    Many fans and cosplayers have been visiting this city because of the locations that resemble the anime. Besides the locations, this city is also recommended by the Japan National Tourism Organisation, so it should be a MUST on your to do list.
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    8.Washimiya Town, Saitama Prefecture – Lucky Star

    The Washinomiya-jinja (shrine) is located in Washimiy and is featured in the anime `Lucky star` as Takanomiya-jinja (shrine). You can find this anime’s merchandise from many shops around this town. It is also an anime pilgrimage location recommended by the Japan National Tourism Organisation.
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    9.Kanazawa City, Ishikawa Prefecture – Hanasaku Iroha

    Already a famous town by its own, this is also the city that inspires the location in which the characters of this anime are mainly based on. The hot spring inn Kissuisō (which is the centre plot of the anime) is actually based on the real-life Yuwaku Hot Spring!
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    10.Akihabara, Tokyo – Steins Gate

    Akihabara, Tokyo – Steins Gate

     

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    We are outside Radio Kaikan!

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    Many of the shops and places that the characters have spent their time at, can actually be traced back in Akihabara! Places such as the Radio Kaikan building, beef bowl shop and many more deserve some visit from you.
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    Some places mentioned here actually became tourist attractions just because of the anime that feature them! Without a doubt, some of the once sleepy towns became livelier all thanks to anime. Check out this Website for a list of 88 anime pilgrimage sites compiled for the 2018 edition!