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Washinomiya Promotes The Fruit of Grisaia in New Year's Festival

posted on by Eric Stimson
Also: new Lucky Star merchandise

Washinomiya Shrine in Kuki, Saitama Prefecture — a suburban area north of Tokyo — is one of the oldest shrines in Japan's Kantou region, with a history dating back to at least the 13th century. More recently, however, it's become a standard pilgrimage spot for anime fans owing to its role in Lucky Star, where it was featured in the anime's famous opening dance sequence and where the Hiiragi sisters were employed at the shrine as part-time shrine maidens. Local businesses have anime-themed menus and decorations, and visitors regularly hang ema (wooden prayer tablets) decorated with anime characters at the shrine.

For the 2015 New Year, when shrine or temple visits are customary, Washinomiya held a festival with the usual Lucky Star merchandise while also branching out into goods related to The Fruit of Grisaia. The Anime University Co-op booth sold Fruit of Grisaia sweet sake, ramune soda, T-shirts, and wall scrolls, while chopstick sleeves with Fruit of Grisaia characters were available at stalls selling festival food.

Left to right: sweet sake, ramune, T-shirts

Left: wall scroll; Right: chopstick sleeves (which also feature the visual novel Yuki Koi Melt)

The local Ootori Chaya restaurant, which specializes in noodles, sold Fruit of Grisaia black yakisoba (fried noodles), a favorite of Yumiko's.

Ootori Chaya also used special menus featuring Fruit of Grisaia characters and hung up curtains featuring characters from both The Fruit of Grisaia and Lucky Star.

Lucky Star merchandise was still very much in evidence, with the Powerful Production booth selling Lucky Star-branded bowls, gloves and happi (traditional Japanese coats).

Local stores have also been selling Lucky Star sweet sake, sauces, and ramen packets for some time.

Kaori Fukuhara, the voice actress behind Tsukasa, visited and took this photo of herself with a costumed Kagami.

The throngs of visitors to the shrine also left behind massive amounts of artistic ema. This giant ema was on display at the local chamber of commerce; the center illustration is by Lucky Star's manga artist, Kagami Yoshimizu.

The Washinomiya New Year's festival was held from December 31 to January 3. For more anime-themed ema, see our New Year's compilation article.

[Via Otaku.com and Kuki-shi Shoukoukai Washinomiya Shisho]

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