Evangelion, Initial D's Hakone Setting at Risk After Volcanic Tremors (Updated)

posted on by Lynzee Loveridge

The setting of Neon Genesis Evangelion's Tokyo-3 and for numerous street races in Initial D: Fifth Stage is quickly losing otaku tourist money after 100 volcanic quakes shook the Hakone area. Meteorologists are concerned that an eruption from the Hakone volcano may be imminent as steaming gas is already visible from its top and have issued a warning to close a popular hot springs resort.

Two quakes were measured at 2.4 and 2.0, but the resort counted 34 on Monday and another 98 quakes on Tuesday. Overall 149 quakes under magnitude 2 were measured from April 1 to May 3. Despite the activity, the area's warning level is still at "1" or otherwise normal. The area's local government has closed off walking trails amid concerns of sudden high-temperature steam eruptions.

The warnings come during Japan's Golden Week, which is usually a prime time for tourism in Hakone. The area offers Tokyo-3 tours on Evangelion-themed buses and Initial D car tours. Hakone has also set up Evangelion charging stations, an Evangelion classroom, an iPhone app, a tourist map, and an Evangelion merchandise store in the train station.

Update: Officials raised the warning level in the Hakone area from 1 to 2 on Wednesday morning. This upgraded level calls for entry regulation near the volcano and town officials have issued an evacuation notice for 300 meters around Ōwakudani, the hot springs near Hakone. Roads leading into the area are closed.

Source: Japan Times, RT, Mainichi Shimbun

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