In Japanese Buddhism, there the Shikoku Henro, a 1,200-km spiritual journey that encompasses 88 Buddhist temples across Shikoku. Now, the anime industry is seeking to replicate that with its own “Anime Tourism 88-Stop Pilgrimage”. It encompasses over 80 cities, towns and ward across Japan.
The Pilgrimage will include several popular anime tourism sites such as Shinjuku Ward and the city of Hida. Both of these areas are linked with Makoto Shinkai’s hit, your name. It also the town of Oarai in Ibaraki Prefecture, which of course is Girls und Panzer’s Holy Land.
They selected the tourist spots based on votes solicited from about 50,000 anime fans worldwide. They also discussed it with the municipalities involved.
According to Japan Times:
For many Japanese anime fans, visiting places depicted in their favorite animations has become a common custom dubbed seichi junrei, meaning “pilgrimage to sacred place.” The concept behind anime tourism is nearly the same as seichi junrei.
Since Japanese anime are popular overseas, there are probably many non-Japanese fans eager to go on such pilgrimages but unsure of where to start because of the limited amount of information in other languages, said Fumiyuki Kakizawa, the public relations chief of the Anime Tourism Association.
Source: Japan Times