While Misaki may help Satou recover from his hikikomori lifestyle in Welcome to the N. H. K. for the rest of us there is anime! Wait, how is anime going to get us outside you may ask? The answer? By making it just seem fun. Two anime had a large focus on the outdoors and both of them help attract tourism to the locations featured in them. These are Encouragement of Climb and Laid-Back Camp.
Encouragement of Climb
Encouragement of Climb is focus on Aoi who has developed a fear of heights along with her friend Hinata. The two made a promise to each other when they were very young to climb a mountain. Aoi, who rather stay inside now days, get pulled outdoor and after giving it a try finds it fun to go mountain hiking. The first season felt more of an experiment with only 5 minute episodes but the 2nd and 3rd season flow much better and was a lot more enjoyable with 15 minute episodes.
The Director of Encouragement of Climb Yamamoto discussed the pros and cons of using real-life reference photos in anime. Him taking the photos and gone to each place himself he help made the hiking with the girls in the anime feel like your on a trip with the girls instead of watching something about climbing. He said that with Encouragement of Climb, he went for long shots and close ups to make it feel more intimate, and avoided using aerial shots because it would put distance between the viewers and the characters.
The anime was full of helpful advice, telling us facts and point out things that we may want to know to go on our own trips. Introducing it as slice of life of our lead Aoi learning such things for herself. Such as the ability of buying shoes to better fit the needs of Hiking, and yet not pushing the need of such for people who just want to try it.
There was also Capsule Hotel that Offers Encouragement of Climb Rooms as well as promotional spots that the girls visited in the anime that gave items for enjoying the trip yourself. They also did a Pilgrimage to Hanno which had a map shown below.
All about camping outside, even more so doing the off season, Laid-Back Camp had help drive off season camping in Japan. Promoting the facts and benefits of such. Laid-Back Camp follows Rin who enjoy solo camping and Nadeshiko, a girl who ride her bike to see Mt. Fuji right after moving. The girls become friends as Nadeshiko gets into camping herself.
Laid-Back Camp staff went winter camping to give the series a high level of authenticity. A lot like how Aoi in Encouragement of Climb gave our viewers a person learning the ropes for us to follow Nadeshiko does this for us here. I found it interesting that the owner of the Lake Shibire campsite in the anime was biased off of the real life owner of the camp site!
The real life locations use the anime as promotion for it’s area. The school in the anime is baised off of a real school that had closed down, using that locations as a focus point to host events. All the camping sites being local to the area, or at least as local as they gave the feel of in the anime. Rin was shown to make a bit of a ride to a few locations which would also need to be done in life if you was to visit.
Other Real life places in Anime
With anime taking advantage of it’s nature to avoid copyright issues it may surprise some how many times they use real life locations. Such as the golden arches of McDonnell being MgRonald in The Devil is a Part Timer anime being totally fake they do clearly use real things like McDonnell for the inspiration. When the anime Free! went to Australia they used a real life hotel, that got surprise by the sudden boom of business from the anime. Even unrealistic anime’s such as Zombie Saga has a real life base. The very home of the girls has a real world location. You also have real life places adopting anime to help promote it’s locations. Such as the Iwate Prefecture Adopting Geodude as Its Official Pokémon.
I find it interesting the effects that Anime has within Japan. Keep in mind, Japan also find that anime T-shirts are often perceived as straight-up “unprofessional”. People who work in Anime in Japan find our conventions very interesting quoting they got nothing like it in japan.