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Anime Tourism Association Opens Online Survey for Noteworthy Pilgrimage Sites for 2023

posted on by Kim Morrissy
Web survey will be available until September 30, physical voting available in select locations in Japan

The Anime Tourism Association opened its annual online survey on Wednesday for its list of noteworthy anime pilgrimage sites. Popular user-submitted entries will be taken into consideration for the final list.

The web survey will be online until September 30, and will be available in Japanese, English, and Chinese (simplified and traditional). In addition, a selection of physical locations across Japan with ties to the Anime Tourism Association will accept handwritten submissions from July 1 to August 31. The list of participating locations will be announced at a later date.

Participants of the online survey will enter a draw to win prizes, listed as follows:

  • 1st prize (1 winner): Electronic money worth 30,000 yen (US$231)
  • 2nd prize (2 winners): US$150 Hotels.com Gift Card Electronic money worth 10,000 yen and supplementary prize
  • 3rd prize (5 winners): Electronic money worth 10,000 yen (US$77)

Winners of the 1st and 2nd prizes are required to provide the Association with photos and reports of their visit to the anime spots they voted for as a condition for receiving the prize. The submitted photos and reports may be posted on the Association's website and publications. Multiple entries are allowed, but only one prize will be awarded per person.

The 88 anime pilgrimage concept is modeled on Shikoku's 88 Temple Pilgrimage, Japan's most famous Buddhist pilgrimage route. The Anime Tourism Association was founded in 2016 as a partnership between Kadokawa and various tourism and travel companies. Their aim is to attract tourists, from Japan as well as foreign countries, and bolster regional revitalization projects throughout Japan.

At a press conference in December, the Association revealed statistics from the poll indicating that the popularity of the project has declined since the last iteration, with the 2022 survey receiving roughly 40,000 responses compared to 80,000 for the 2020 version. In particular, interest declined steeply overseas; only around 9,000 respondents (22% overall) came from outside Japan this time compared to approximately 50,400 (63% overall) in 2020. The Association attributed the decline to COVID-19, which made it difficult to represent the project at various overseas anime conventions and events. International respondents, particularly from mainland China, also reported a heavy decline in "I have visited this location already" responses due to the ongoing travel restrictions.

Voting was skipped in 2020 due to concerns around the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Source: Press Release

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