The highly successful anime “Your Name” (Highest worldwide grossing anime film) has given birth to a new anime pilgrimage. Fans astutely discerned the real-world places that were drawn into this anime production. They then quickly embarked on a journey to some of the sites. Thus inaugurating what fans term as a seichi “holy/sacred site”. One such place that gained the attention of fans is Suga Shrine (須賀神社) in Tokyo’s Shinjuku ward.
The stairs leading up to the shrine are but one example of how the film integrates real locations into its background scenery.
I went to the shrine in early October 2016 and observed a handful of fans that had already arrived at the shrine. They paid particular attention to the stairs leading up to the shrine and took photos (like myself) of the stairs and then commemorative photos with themselves at the stairs. I also noted that fans had begun offering votive tablets (ema 絵馬) with prayers. And in the characteristic fashion of anime fans on pilgrimage, some had also drawn anime characters on the votive tablets as well.
Although there were only a handful of votive tablets with illustrations of anime characters at the time of my visit, many of the images appeared not to be directly linked to “Your Name”. This in itself was interesting.