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

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

About Philip Seaton

Philip Seaton is Professor at the Institute of Japan Studies at the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. Prior to this appointment, he was a professor in the Research Faculty of Media and Communication, Hokkaido University, where he is the convenor of the Modern Japanese Studies Program. He holds a DPhil and MA from the University of Sussex and a BA from the University of Cambridge. Dr. Seaton’s previous publications include Japan’s Contested War Memories, Voices from the Shifting Russo-Japanese Border: Karafuto/Sakhalin, and Local History and War Memories in Hokkaido. He coedited a special issue of Japan Forum in 2015 “Japanese Popular Culture and Contents Tourism” and is editor-in-chief (along with Takayoshi Yamamura) of the International Journal of Contents Tourism. His website is

About Takayoshi Yamamura

Takayoshi Yamamura is a professor in the Center for Advanced Tourism Studies, Hokkaido University and holds a PhD in urban engineering from the University of Tokyo. He is one of the pioneering researchers of ‘contents tourism’ and ‘anime induced tourism’ studies in Japan. He has served as the Chair of several governmental advisory boards, such as the Meeting of International Tourism Promotion through Animation Contents of The Japan Tourism Agency and the ANIME-Tourism Committee of Saitama Prefecture. In addition to numerous publications in Japanese on contents tourism, Dr. Yamamura’s English publications include "Contents Tourism and Local Community Response," Japan Forum (2015), and "The Mediatisation of Culture: Japanese contents tourism and popular culture" (with Sue Beeton and Philip Seaton) in Mediating the Tourist Experience: From Brochures to Virtual Encounters. His website is

About Akiko Sugawa-Shimada

Akiko Sugawa-Shimada is an associate professor in the Graduate School of Urban Innovation at Yokohama National University. She holds a PhD from University of Warwick and an MA from the University of Chicago. Dr. Sugawa-Shimada is the author of a number of books and articles on anime, manga, and cultural studies, including Girls and Magic: How Have Girl Heroes Been Accepted?, chapters in Japanese Animation: East Asian Perspectives and Teaching Japanese Popular Culture, and “Rekijo, Pilgrimage and ‘Pop-Spiritualism’: Pop-culture-induced Heritage Tourism of/for Young Women” in Japan Forum and “Interplay with Fantasy: 2.5-dimensional Culture as Performance, and Imagination” in Eureka. Her website is

About Kyungjae Jang

Kyungjae Jang is a postdoctoral researcher in the Center for Advanced Tourism Studies, Hokkaido University. He holds a PhD and MA in tourism studies from Hokkaido University, and a BA from Korea University. Dr. Jang has conducted participatory research on transnational Japanese contents tourism, focusing on popular culture-related tourism and events in the USA, France, Tunisia, Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. Dr. Jang was also the keynote speaker at the 2016 Tourism Summit Forum, China.


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