Japan is expanding its tourism opportunities, and with the growing number of foreign tourists visiting Japan for anime, and anime tourism growing within the country’s own anime-loving citizens, Kadokawa is planning an 88-stop anime tour for anime pilgrims from outside of Japan.
This pilgrimage tour is planned to highlight a few anime hot spots outside of the usual cities anime fans visit, like Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka. It was announced during a meeting in Tokyo for representatives of Japanese local governments interested in exhibiting at the Hong Kong Book Fair, Hong Kong’s largest book-related event, which also showcases the Japanese tourism industry, as Japanese local government units have been participating in the event to promote tourism since 2014. Representatives from Hokkaido, Niigata, Wakayama Prefecture, and Hyougo Prefecture were all present during the meeting.
Anime Tourism is a fast growing industry in Japan, and most of these anime tourists are from japan themselves, visiting sites which were featured in their favorite anime, and with the influx of many foreigners visiting these sites as well, expect cities or towns such as Chichibu (AnoHana), Oarai (Girls und Panzer), Washinomiya (Lucky Star), and Kanazawa, Ishikawa (Hana-Saku Iroha) to be more foreign-friendly.
The small coastal town of Oarai ,which has become one of the hottest anime tourism destinations because of the popular tank series Girls und Panzer, as well as the Washinomiya Shrine in Saitama which experienced an increase in pilgrims because of the anime Lucky Star, are both experiencing a huge influx of anime tourists. Both Oarai and the Washinomiya Shrine have experienced a huge increase in visitors since the respective anime series first aired.
Another city in Saitama, Chichibu is also having a lot of anime fans come over. It is known for being the setting for the hit anime series AnoHana, and like Washinomiya shrine and Oarai town, has been visited by anime pilgrims ever since AnoHana first aired.
Mostly, places like Akihabara, would be enough for foreigners, but it seems that these days, fans want more. The influx of these foreign anime pilgrims has even gotten the attention of the Japanese government, with agencies like Visit Japan and Cool Japan promoting some of these sites, and not just the ones found in Tokyo like Akihabara or even Kyoto. Heck, even a website is even listing some of them, even ones you probably did not even know of. There’s an anime pilgrimage guidebook as well.
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Anime Tourists Rejoice! Kadokawa planning on an 88-stop anime tour for foreigners