Contents Tourism in Japan: Pilgrimages to “Sacred Sites” of Popular Culture

by Philip Seaton, Takayoshi Yamamura, Akiko Sugawa-Shimada, and Kyungjae Jang


"This is rich analysis. It not only proposes an approach for analysing how people and places benefit from content tourism, it convincingly applies its framework to provide valuable insights for those interested in Japanese history and culture, and for modern and international media and tourism scholars. The authors draw on an extremely wide range of sources to develop their method, and to illustrate content tourism in Japan using their own research, including many illustrative photographs of people, derivative content and places. In all, Contents Tourism in Japan provides a new understanding of how people in Japan have used the popular culture of their day as inspiration to travel, enhancing their enjoyment of their favourite content and transferring economic benefits upon the producers of the content and the places associated with it." —Tourist Studies

"This book is an interesting read for three reasons: the narratives of Japanese history, the characters and events, and the touristification process in the book are cleverly interwoven to reveal the essence of contents tourism in Japan. First, it provides snippets of Japanese history narratives that are not too lengthy but sufficient to give insights into contents tourism in the context of Japan. Second, the various characters and events mentioned—historical figures such as Matsuo Basho and Masaoka Shiki (poets), Jippensha Ikku (travel author), and Date Masamune (daimyo), and popular culture emblems such as Luck Star (manga) and Koitabi (augmented reality tour)—represent lively and interesting examples to illuminate the emergence of popular culture and its relation to contents tourism. Finally, the touristification process highlights the lucrative potential of popular culture as a critical component for creating tourism content; however, it also reveals flaws. The touristification process reinforces the need for different stakeholders (fans, community, corporations, government) to cooperate and sustain tourism business for local and national economic growth. The book flows well and is an easy and accessible resource to help readers, in particular those who have no background knowledge of contents tourism, understand what constitutes this type of tourism in Japan. This book is useful as a foundation study of contents tourism for undergraduates. It is also a fun read for those who are interested in contents tourism in general and in Japanese popular culture in particular." —H-Net Reviews

"The book provides a succinct history of Japanese tourism [and] also skillfully illustrates the painful history of bubble-era tourism excess." — The Japan Times

“This may be the best book ever written on tourism in Japan! This work is one of the most important subjects in contemporary tourism studies and Japan studies, perhaps a forerunner of things that are also happening in the Korean and Chinese worlds and elsewhere, which makes it doubly important. This book is comprehensive in many ways. It is historically complete, from prehistory up to the contemporary Internet. It covers many different kinds of domestic tourism in all areas of the country. It covers a huge range of institutions involved in promoting, financing and operating tourism and fan clubs. It is well organized and very well written. It is comprehensively illustrated with good photographs and diagrams. A marvelous and fascinating book!” —Nelson Graburn, University of California, Berkeley

“This is a much-needed, welcome contribution to the field of film-induced tourism and pop culture studies, which the authors have expanded to give us a broader understanding of ‘media’ and tourism. We are privileged to be able to include this work into the English-language literature. While set in a Japanese context, contents tourism can and should be more widely understood and applied, and this book helps fill that gap as an eminently readable, legible and rigorous study that incorporates Western as well as Asian sensibilities and comprehension.” —Sue Beeton, William Angliss Institute, Australia

“This book provides a fascinating exploration of the ways in which diversified Japanese media-induced tourism has historically and geographically developed and evolved. It also offers a new perspective on the convergence of tourism and popular culture by introducing a new term, contents tourism, which originated in Japan to represent tourism induced by various creative elements of popular culture forms. The book’s compelling analysis of media-induced tourism using a case study of an entire nation, Japan, makes this important book of great interest to a wide readership.” —Chieko Iwashita, Takasaki University of Commerce, Japan

“This book will lead you into the complex and fascinating world of Japanese contents tourism. It follows its players and patterns in the twentieth century with examples from throughout the country to show the historical roots of this ‘new’ type of tourism while also emphasizing the radical changes in the twenty-first century. The research in this book impresses with its clarity and comprehensiveness and is both well grounded in regional studies and theoretically thought-provoking. It will be an important source for everyone interested in tourism and popular culture.” —Carolin Funck, Hiroshima University, Japan


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