Girls und Panzer is a popular anime that began airing in the fall of 2012 and has gained a cult following of anime and tank fans. The anime is about a girl named Miho Nizhizumi and her friends at the Oarai high school that form a martial arts team called Anko Team. They don’t practice any old martial art though; in the world of Girls und Panzer, girls traditionally practice tank fighting using actual tanks. Yes, the type with heavy armour and big guns. Their goal is to win the national Sensha-do championships and become the best high school tank operators in the country.
While many people may not have heard of Oarai, the town in which Girls und Panzer is set, it is an actual place in Japan. In fact, the anime has taken steps to include many Oarai landmarks in the series in order to capture the feel of the town. Some of the more noticeable places in Oarai that are shown in the anime can be seen in the comparison pictures below.
Here we have Oarai’s famous marine tower, which is one of the town’s biggest tourist attractions.
Visitors to Oarai will no doubt also catch a glimpse of the dolphin statue right outside of Oarai station.
Another hotspot for visitors is the Resort Outlets mall, which has more than enough places to shop for residents of Oarai.
Along with all of these well-known places, the anime goes down to the little details and captures the less notable areas in order to make viewers feel like they’re actually seeing Oarai.
One of the more prominent of these lesser-known places is a restaurant called Cook Fan, which supposedly has some delicious pork cutlets.
This sword fish shop was also spotted in the background of one Girls und Panzer scene.
The anime even includes small shops like this one with its green and orange awnings.
Thanks to Girls und Panzer’s impeccable portrayal of Oarai, the actual town has actually seen an increase in tourists who have watched the anime. Taking note of this, they have capitalized on the market much like how Saitama capitalized on other popular anime. Visitors to the town can see various Girls und Panzer ads and buy Girls und Panzer memorabilia. There are also cutouts of the characters scattered throughout the town, turning it into a mecca for the anime’s fans. Just to give you a glimpse into how far they’ve gone, here is a video showing what can be seen at the Oarai station:
If you’re a die-hard Girls und Panzer fan, definitely consider visiting Oarai before all of this goes away.