Tasmania has its fair share of tourist attractions, but if you were to compile of list of them to visit, it's unlikely the Ross Village Bakery, nestled between Hobart and Launceston, would be in the number one spot. Unless you're a massive fan of Studio Ghibli's Kiki's Delivery Service, in which case it might be the only place you go.
According to a story by The Mercury's Emma Hope, each day the bakery welcomes some 50 Japanese tourists, all curious to check out the "uncanny resemblance" the small store has to its cartoon counterpart.
Dr Craig Norris, from the University of Tasmania, even wrote a thesis about it. He compares it to "discovering Hobart is the setting for Snow White or Cinderella":
A small bakery in regional Tasmania, Australia, has been reimagined as a pop culture destination by Japanese tourists who claim it is the inspiration for a key location in the anime Kiki's Delivery Service.
To understand how and why Japanese tourists have located this bakery in the imaginary world of Kiki, two processes are explored: the media pilgrimage, where fans bridge their ordinary reality and enter the special media world, and the media scaffold, where Kiki becomes a way to interpret the world around them.
As for the owners of the bakery? Here's their perspective:
Some — known as cosplayers — even wear costumes to emulate their anime idols. "Seeing the looks of joy on their faces when they walk in, some squeal and jump up and down," [co-owner Carl Crosby] said. "Some of them will come in their little costumes, with their bow in their hair and their little red shoes, and they want to stand in front of the oven and take a multitude of pictures."
The lead picture is a photo of the bakery itself. Below is the one from the movie: