Interest Saitama Governor Declares Prefecture a "Holy Anime Site"
posted on 2013-10-25 21:00 EDT by Lynzee Loveridge
Governor of Saitama prefecture Kiyoshi Ueda spoke in front of a crowd of anime fans during the Ani-tama festival last week stating, "Today we proudly promote Saitama as a holy anime site." The govenor admitted to getting teary-eyed while watching anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day, an anime series and film that borrows scenery from the town of Chichibu, Saitama as the model of its setting.
Since the series' debut in 2011, thousands of fans, both male and female, have flocked to Chichibu in groups to seek out the many locations that are replicated faithfully in anohana. This "anime tourism" has boosted the city's economy, and several key locations around town have since been decorated with characters from the series. A lucky couple met during one of these pilgrimages and were married two years later.
Fans of the Lucky Star anime also make the trek to Saitama to participate in the New Year festivals, with attendee numbers reaching over 73,000.
Ani-tama also celebrated the series Kamisama Kiss which takes place in Kawagoe in Saitama. Tourist buses, which also cameo in the anime, started adding designs from the series in early January.
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