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Saitama Launches Trilingual Site for Anime Tourists (Updated)

posted on 2009-01-13 21:09 EST
English/Korean/Chinese guides to Lucky Star shrine, Totoro hills, more

Saitama, the Japanese prefecture just west of Tokyo, has launched a trilingual version of its sightseeing web guide for foreign anime fans. Visitors can learn more about the shrine popularized by Lucky Star, the Crayon Shin-chan amusement facility, and the forested hills that inspired My Neighbor Totoro's backdrops — in English, Korean, or Simplified Chinese. The site is intended for the many visitors from Korea, Taiwan, China, and elsewhere that visit the prefecture due to the settings seen in anime. Echoing the "Yokoso! Japan" ("Welcome! Japan) campaign of the national government, the website is titled in three languages, "Welcome to Anime Land, Saitama!"

The Japanese version of the website launched in April, and received over 70,000 hits in its first month. The foreign versions of the website were launched in response to the foreign travelers who would ask questions like, "Where is Shin-chan's [hometown of] Kusakabe?" The city of Tokyo has more foreign-language resources for anime tourists, such as Akihabara Channel and Akibanana's English maps of Akihabara, Patrick Macias and Tomohiro Machiyama's Cruising the Anime City: An Otaku Guide to Neo Tokyo book (Stone Bridge Press), and the tours run by Digital Manga's Pop Japan Travel, H.I.S., and Intermixi.

Source: The Saitama Shimbun

Update: Written form of Chinese corrected. Thanks, dormcat.


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