The government, the Japan External Trade Organization and other bodies released a joint action plan Thursday to encourage foreign tourists to visit "sacred places" in the world of anime.
As a "pilgrimage to sacred places," fans of Japanese anime often visit buildings, streets and other sites related to the stories.
For instance, many fans visit a shrine in the town of Washimiya in Saitama Prefecture featured in manga-based anime "Lucky Star," according to the Japan National Tourism Organization.
The organization said the recent boom in pilgrimages to story-related sites was ignited by "Lucky Star," which has been released in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Canada and other countries.
Under the action plan, the organization and the Japan Tourism Agency will provide tourism information on such anime-related places and promote trips there at such events as the Japan International Contents Festival, or CoFesta, backed by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.
The Japanese government is aiming to increase the number of foreign tourists visiting Japan from 8.36 million in 2012 to 10 million in 2013, and over 30 million in 2030.