As the highest-grossing anime film worldwide, it’s inspired Cool Japan Initiative, a Tokyo-based Anime Tourism Association, (yes, we’re also amazed that they exist) to organize a pilgrimage tour to the different spots featured in the film. The association is currently accepting applications for free group tours of Kimi no Na wa landmarks in Tokyo and the Gifu Prefecture. Because while it’s perfectly fine to keep wishing that you could wake up as a handsome Tokyo boy, it would be easier to see Shinkai’s illustrated work in real life by taking the next step — fly over and tour.
Applications for the tour are due on February 28. The tours will run from March 7 to April 29, with 30 people from different countries welcome to join. In case you decide to apply or if ever you plan to go on your own tour, we’ve come up with a list of possible tour spots accompanied by suggested activities per destination.
Hida-Sannogu Hie Shrine
You might remember seeing the Hie shrine from when Mitsuha and her sister perform a traditional Japanese dance onstage. The real-life shrine is popular for its Spring Festival which features Karakuri, a marionette show that’s usually held on April 14 and 15.
Hida City Library
Ever since the film started gaining popularity, the library where Taki researches about Itomori has been getting a steady influx of visitors. The library staff even set out some Kimi no Na wa materials for fans to look at. Rules have also been set or eager fans who want to take photos inside.
Lake Suwa, Nagano
The lake in the Nagano prefecture was used as the inspiration for Mitsuha’s home, the fictional town of Itomori. It’s the largest lake in the prefecture, so there’s room for lots of activities, including a visit to the Lake Suwa-ko Geyser Center to take a dip in the hot springs and view the mountains of the Northern Alps. If you go in the summer, you might even be able to catch the fireworks festival and recreate the scene where Mitsuha and Taki meet in the fog.
Pedestrian Bridge at Shinanomachi Station
Phone a friend while you’re on the bridge (and maybe take a couple photos while you’re at it) to reenact when Taki tried to call Mitsuha to tell her about his date with Ms. Okudera. Just make sure to hold it together while you remember the next part of the scene.
Suga Shrine, Tokyo
The steps leading to the shrine are iconic — the sight of them may even trigger you to start bawling. For the tour, we suggest to bring a friend and film yourselves re-enacting the last scene in the film where Mitsuha and Taki see each other again.