All About Japan

Visit the City that Inspired 'Your Name'

Anime Movies Japanese Countryside Shoryudo Hida Takayama Gifu

The town of Itamori, which provides a lot of the backdrop for scenes in the smash hit anime film Your Name, is a totally fictional place. But as with many fantasy anime, the sleepy village in Your Name pulls a lot of inspiration from real-life locations—and one such location is Hida City in Gifu Prefecture.

The town has been gifted with an unexpected windfall to the tune of ¥18.5 billion (US$163.5 million) thanks to some shrewd marketing and the film’s ravenously committed Japanese fanbase.

Hida City, in light of the film’s success, recently began offering “Your Name Pilgrimage Tours” to capitalize on its newfound reputation, and fans have been showing up in droves to mill around town and snap photos of the iconic locations that inspired settings in the film. One of those venues is the Hida City Library, which due to a policy of largely allowing photos of the interior, has become a sort of holy grail for fans.

The library has fully embraced the Your Name pilgrims giving them slips of paper with the hashtag “I came to the Hida City Library” on it.

The library even started a board where people post how far they came to visit.

A limited run of 3,000 containers of kuchikamizake a type of blessed sake brewed by the area’s renowned Watanabe Shouzou-ten, also sold out almost immediately, netting the local economy even more cash. The traditional form of kuchikamizake is made by chewing rice, spitting it back out and letting it ferment, and plays a role in the film’s plot. That may sound kind of gross, but don’t worry: Selling spit-fermented rice wine is (hopefully) no longer legal in Japan, and Watanabe’s sake is actually just a limited special sake brew that comes in a decorative bottle.

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