Yama no Susume Brings Peak Profits to Japanese Mountain City
posted on by Eric Stimson
Furusato nōzei, or hometown taxes, have become a popular way for revenue-starved Japanese cities to raise money, even from non-residents. The program allows cities to give away gift packages as rewards for paying taxes. Although elaborate food-related gifts are perennially popular, many cities are also discovering that anime tie-ins are a great way to stimulate interest. Hannō, the suburban Tokyo location of Yama no Susume, has discovered this with its hiking-related tie-ins.
Although the Yama no Susume goods were only introduced in December, they have already raised 20 million yen in taxes for Hannō with less than 800 orders — and this by January 12 only. The most popular item is the backpack above, which has already received 370 orders (only 500 are even available). Those who receive this item have donated over 30,000 yen ($261).
The Victorinox Traveler Swiss Army knife is second-most popular, with over 100 orders. It is given as a reward for donations above 20,000 yen ($174).
Hannō also offers Yama no Susume fans the Victorinox Classic Swiss Army knife (which only has six functions as opposed to 12), a radio CD, a thermos and cup set, and sleeping bags. They are available for orders of 10,000 yen ($87), 10,000 yen, 30,000 yen, and 80,000 yen ($696), respectively. The sleeping bags have received about 50 orders despite their steep "price."
Hannō's Prosperity Creation section has been pleasantly surprised by the enthusiasm, especially since it has received comments with the tax payments expressing support for the city and plans to visit. It plans to look into further Yama no Susume tie-ins, especially since many locales in the city were faithfully recreated in the anime (like train stations, schools and mountains).
As Hannō will also be the setting for the Moomin theme park, taxpayers can also get Moomin-related rewards. Other cities have reaped the rewards from offering goods related to anime like One Piece, Girls und Panzer and March comes in like a lion.