News Final New Year's Tally for Lucky Star Shrine: 420,000 (Updated)
posted on 2009-01-07 10:40 EST
The local prefectural police report that 420,000 people visited the Washinomiya shrine, one of the real-life locale inspirations for the Lucky Star manga and anime series, during the first three days of the year. That was an increase of 120,000 over even the previous year's estimated high mark. Otaku have been flocking to the Tokyo area's oldest shrine since the 2007 Lucky Star anime featured Kagami and Tsukasa Hiiragi — twin sister characters who supposedly work at the shrine as miko (shrine maidens).
Many Japanese visit a local shrine or temple during the New Year's break in a tradition called hatsumōde. Washinomiya became the #2 most visited shrine or temple in the metropolitan Tokyo's Kanto area for hatsumōde. Only the larger Ōmiya Hikawa Shrine, with its 2.05 million visitors, had more attendance. In all, 4.43 million people visited the main shrines and temples in Kanto, an increase of 410,000 over last year's previous record high.
Source: Sankei News
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Update: Washinomiya was the #2 most visited shrine or temple in Saitama prefecture, not the entire Kanto area. Thanks, zetubouzinsei.
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