A while ago I mentioned the Washinomiya Shrine which has become a pilgrimage site for fans of the 2007 anime series Lucky Star. That was quite a while ago and one might think that the fans would have long since turned their attention to some newer fad.
However according to the Japan News (the English-language edition of the Yomiuri Shinbun) the number of anime fans and cosplayers who travel to the shrine has continued to increase year after year. This month’s Hajisai festival was attended by 1,200 cosplayers. 150 winners of a special lottery were privileged to take turns carrying the Lucky Star-themed portable shrine past cheering throngs behind the festival’s more traditional portable shrine. (Both are visible in the photograph above.)
I wonder whether this will spread to other shrines. This certainly isn’t the only Shinto shrine featured in an anime series. Will other shrines develop their own anime cults?