Kadokawa to Plan 88-Stop Anime Pilgrimage Tour for Foreigners

posted on by Eric Stimson
Opportunity for obscure Japanese regions to promote themselves

Mindful of anime's popularity and recognition abroad, and eager to promote tourism to parts of Japan outside of Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka, Kadokawa is planning an 88-stop anime "pilgrimage" around Japan for foreigners in cooperation with local authorities.

The plan was first announced on March 1 at a meeting in Tokyo for representatives of Japanese local governments interested in exhibiting at the Hong Kong Book Fair, which will be held from July 20 to 26 this year. The fair is Hong Kong's largest book-related event, attracting about a million people per year, and since 2014 there has been a Japan Pavilion of local governments trumpeting their respective areas. They have focused on the manga and anime related to their regions, which have attracted interest among the fairgoers. Kadokawa cites this as the reason for its proposal, claiming that 1 out of 5 foreign tourists in Japan are repeat visitors. Kadokawa's CEO, Tsuguhito Kadokawa, said "we'd like to connect" the different authorities promoting their regions and coordinate their efforts.

About 50 representatives attended the meeting from 35 localities in 21 different prefectures, including Obihiro in Hokkaido, Niigata, Wakayama Prefecture, and Hyōgo Prefecture. The number 88 is most likely a reference to the 88-temple pilgrimage in Shikoku.

[Via NNA.ASIA; Image from NPO Hōjin Kinki Zaitaku Kaigo Kyōkai Senior Persocom Kyōshitsu]

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