I found a funny story, which sounds a little prudent for a devout Buddhist, that one Japanese temple went into the world of "Anime" to attract more visitors. Original article is here.
One temple in rural Tokyo is trying to attract young males by "Anime ads."
Recently, original anime characters are becoming a key for the revitalization of suburban area in Japan. Some regional companies have successfully boosted the sales by promoting their local specialities with original anime characters. In this trend, A Nichiren sect temple named "Shoeizan Ryohoji" is attracting young men by "Anime ads." (We call it "Moe ads".)
At the entrance, the temple placed ads with the anime characters inspired by Buddhist images - "Toro Benten" comes from Saraswati (Benzaiten, the goddess of knowledge, music and the arts), "Mama" comes from Hariti (Kishimojin, the goddess for the protection of children) and "Chibi-nen" comes from a priest.
The characters are available at the temples's mobile web site (automatic translation version is here) and you can see the detailed explanation of original Buddhist images and the inspired characters. In addition, you can find how to pray and how to reach the temple. Wall papers of the characters can be downloaded from the web site.
According to Ryohoji temple, the priest's sister asked her "Akihabara-oriented" (softer expression of "otaku (nerd)") friend if the temple can attract more people and the friend created "really attractive" characters for the temple. The creator is a young lady named "Toromi" (it's not a real name but a kind of pen name, though.)
The number of young male visitor has been increasing since it placed the ads, told the temple. Currently it is limited to the virtual space, the ads and the mobile web site, where we can see those anime characters and they don't have a plan to expand it to the real space. Nor do they have a plan to sell related goods. However, it is said to be under discussion whether or not they expand the advertisement more.