Friday, March 25, 2005

Japanese tourism gets a boost from anime

Asahi Shimbun reports that an increasing number of die-hard anime fans are flocking to Japan for behind-the-scenes tours of animation studios and shopping sprees at speciality shops.

Local governments are responding by spotlighting anime in their tourism promotions, while more and more package tours, such as "Pop Japan Travels," are offering visitors trips to anime "hot spots."
According to an official at Studio Pierrot, an anime production company in Mitaka, Tokyo, anime otaku in the United States and Europe are well-versed in titles that are not even broadcast in their countries. They get their information from anime magazines, the Internet and pirated DVDs, the official said.

Another factor has been the talent of Hayao Miyazaki, the nation's most acclaimed animated film director. Miyazaki has gained international recognition with such feature films as Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away.