Visiting anime or manga related place is called “pilgrimage to the Holy Land (seichi junrei)” among fans.
The most popular destination used to be Washimiya-machi in Saitama Prefecture, where the story of “Lucky Star” took place. (Click HERE to read a past post about the place.)
What is the new hottest holy land?
That is Chichibu, in Saitama Prefecture!
It is a mountainous town located northwest of Tokyo, and used as the setting of anime series “Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai (We Still Don’t Know the Name of the Flower We Saw That Day)” aka “Anohana.”
The Chichibu Shrine which is shown in the opening scene has been especially visited by many fans, who then drew the characters on ema (votive tablets) and dedicated to the shrine.
Chichibu Shrine in Anohana
The Actual Shrine
Chichibu Bridge in Anohana
The Actual Bridge
Although the anime series was broadcasted in the dead of night, it kept 3-4 % of audience rating.
The official digital book made for iPhone/iPad and Android ranked top across the board.
Since the local chamber of commerce and tourism association are enterprisingly having events relating the anime, it will stay as the hottest holy land for a while.
Source: Niconico News
This is JAPAN Style!