" Japan Anime Tourism Association officials http://www.stlouisbluesteamstore.com/ad … gan-jersey , from left, Kadokawa Corp. Chairman and the association's Vice Chairman Tsuguhiko Kadokawa, Chairman Yoshiyuki Tomino, Director Yasuhiro Tsuboi, Director Tadashi Fujita and Director and Secretary General Yoshifumi Mori attend a press conference on the newly formed association in Tokyo, Friday, Sept. 16, 2016 while showing an image of a Japanese TV animation series, "Lucky Star" or "Raki Suta" on the screen. Eighty-eight places in Japan are going to be designated "animation spots" to encourage tourism - the train station, school campus, rural shrine and other fairly everyday places where popular "manga" characters were depicted. Japanese on the screen read: "Raki Sta," Kuki city in Saitama prefecture, a preceding example of the "animation spot." (AP PhotoKoji Sasahara)
TOKYO (AP) — Eighty-eight places in Japan are going to be designated ""animation spots"" to encourage tourism — using train stations, school campuses, rural shrines and other fairly everyday places where popular ""manga"" characters are depicted.

Such landmarks number in the tens of thousands, given the popularity and volume of ""manga"" comics In Japan. But this is being billed as the official list for any fan's animation ""pilgrimage,"" as the places are known as ""seichi,"" or ""sacred spots.""

People around the world can vote on the landmarks through a website set up in several languages, including English and Chinese.

""Japanese pop culture has grown to rival American Hollywood,"" Tsugihiko Kadokawa, chairman of Kadokawa Corp. publisher and film studio, one of the officials behind the effort, said Friday at a Tokyo news conference. ""Animation can change the times.""

The project highlights Japan's recent push to make tourism a valuable boon for a stagnant economy, as dynamic as the export of the long-hailed Toyota cars and Sony video-game machines.

Tourists from abroad have grown, under a ""Cool Japan"" initiative, reaching 20 million people last year — five years ahead of a goal set by the government, prompting officials to raise its 2020 target to 40 million tourists.

Kadokawa and other officials behind the newly formed Japan Anime Tourism Association said they would compile a travel route of 88 animation spots by December, including where manga and animation works took place, as well as the homes of manga artists and museums dedicated to their works.

Votes from fans will be taken into consideration in compiling the list. ""Vote for the special spot you want to share with everyone,"" the site says.

One shoo-in for the list, according to organizers, is Washinomiya Jinja, a picturesque shrine in Saitama prefecture on the outskirts of Tokyo, a familiar scene in comics by Kagami Yoshimizu, which later became a TV animation series, ""Lucky Star"" or ""Raki Suta.""

The shrine is not as grand or famous as others in the country, such as Meiji Shrine in central Tokyo, but it's still the one to visit for those who love the manga series, which depicts friendship among schoolgirls, all illustrated with the huge eyes and colorful hair characteristic of manga.

The shrine shows up in the opening sequence to the TV show, whose typical episode will feature a heated discussion in cute, cooing voices on the correct way to eat a pastry.

Hopes are high at Washinomiya Jinja to be picked for the honors.

""I'm all for it,""said Teruko Masaki, owner of a restaurant n