“Demon Slayer” Fans Flock to Kyoto Rock

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Kiyoshi Taniguchi points to a huge split rock that looks like one in “Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba” in Kyotango, Kyoto Prefecture.

KYOTANGO, Kyoto — Fans of the popular anime “Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba” are coming from all over the country to see a giant, split rock at Kamitani Shrine (Kamitani Tachinomiya) in Kyotango, Kyoto Prefecture, because it looks like one in a key scene.

The rock began to attract attention after a local resident posted a photo of the rock on social media.

The shrine is located about 300 meters northwest of Kumihama Station on the Kyoto Tango Railway.

The 5-meter-tall rock is called Iwakura, and is split vertically almost in the center. The rock has long been considered sacred, but is said to have been rarely visited by tourists.

In late October, Kiyoshi Taniguchi, 65, chairman of a Kumihama residents’ association, noticed that the rock looked like a giant boulder that was cut in half by Tanjiro Kamado, a main character in the anime. He posted a photo of the rock on the association’s Facebook page with a comment that “you may feel like being Tanjiro at the rock.”

The post was shared widely and “Demon Slayer” fans began visiting the site in November.

On Nov. 22, about 80 people visited the site. They included one person wearing a checkered outfit similar to that of Tanjiro and taking selfies with a toy dagger in hand.

“I was surprised to see even people from Tokyo visiting the site. I want many people to know about the rock, because it will be something the locals can be proud of,” Taniguchi said.

Nobuyuki Saji, 46, a chief priest of the shrine, said, “I never thought that this long-time fixture would attract such attention, but I am pleased.”