Visit the location of Demon Slayer in Japan ①: The rock cut in two by Tanjiro

Kimetsu Tourism

It is very popular in Japan to visit the “real-life” locations of anime. It is a so-called “anime pilgrimage” (アニメ聖地巡り). For anime fans the locations associated with the anime scenes are holy places. In this series of articles, the locations of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba are introduced. This article is on the rock cut in half by Tanjiro Kamado.

Where does it appear in the story?

There are rocks which resemble the one cut by Tanjiro Kamado and many fans of Demon Slayer visit the locations in Demon Slayer costumes.
The rock appears in Comic Vol.1 Chapter 4 of manga and Episode 3 of the anime Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba. Tanjiro has received the training for about a year and one day, his trainer Sakonji Urokodaki says:

If you are able to hack this rock in half then I will allow you to join the “Final Selection”

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, Comic Vol.1 Chapter 4
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, Comic Vol.1 Chapter 4

Six months later, Tanjiro still wasn’t able to cut the rock. At that moment a boy with the mask of a fox named Sabito (錆兎) appears and challenges Tanjiro with a wooden sword. Tanjiro trains himself further to defeat Sabito and six months have passed again. Sabito appeared with a real sword. When Tanjiro thought that he cut the mask of Sabito, he actually cut the rock in half.

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, Comic Vol.1 Chapter 5

Three most visited rocks

Three most visited rocks are listed here with the instruction of how to get to the location.

1. Yagyu Ittoseki (Nara), 2. Ryu no Wariishi (Nagano), 3. Suzuiwa (Fukuoka)
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Yagyu Ittoseki in Nara

Yagyu Ittoseki (Nara)

In Nara Prefecture, there is a rock called “Yagyu Ittoseki (柳生一刀石)” which is probably the most visited rock among the fans of Demon Slayer. The rock was named after “Sekishusai Yagyu (柳生石舟斎)“, a Samurai from Yagyu Family who was a feudal lord in Nara. “Itto (一刀)” means a single stroke of sword and “seki (石)” means a stone. It is said that Sekishusai Yagyu cut this rock in two with a single stroke of his sword, while he was battling against a long-nosed goblin.
Sakonji Urokodaki, the trainer of Tanjiro, wears the mask of a long-nosed goblin. This also might associate the rock with Demon Slayer.

How to get to Yagyu Ittoseki

Address: Yagyucho, Nara-shi, Nara, 630-1237 Japan

From JR or Kintetsu “Nara (奈良)” Station
Take bus No. 94, 100 or 102 for Yagyu. Get off at “Yagyu (柳生)” (50 minutes).
The rock is 20 minutes walking from the bus stop.

The bus Nara Kotsu has made a detailed instruction PDF on how to get to the rock from the bus stop. It is only available in Japanese but with many pictures.

Y’s Crow
Y’s Crow

The rock is in a mountain. Make sure that you visit with appropriate clothing and shoes!

Ryu no Wariishi in Nagano

Ryu no Wariishi (Nagano), Google Map Street View

In Nagano Prefecture there is a stone called “Ryu no Wariishi (竜の割石)“, meaning “a rock split by a dragon”. This rock fell from the mountain more than 70 years ago and got a crack of approx. 2mm. The crack has become wider being exposed to the weather. 

Near the famous rock there is “Sakata Shrine (坂田神社)“, which is also called “Fox Shrine (キツネ宮)”. Sabito, the boy who battled against Tanjiro at the rock, wore the mask of a fox.

Sakata Shrine
Mask of a fox. Traditionally a white fox is considered as a lucky charm especially for harvest.

There is also a farm of butterflies “the Japanese Emperor” or “Japanese Great Purple” (オオムラサキ) which is the motif of the hair accessory of the Insect Hashira Shinobu Kocho. These facts also associate the area with Demon Slayer. 

How to get to Ryu no Wariishi

Address: Sakatamachi, Suzaka-shi, Nagano, 382-0026

From Nagano Electric Railway Line “Suzaka (須坂)” Station
Take bus S30 or S40 to “Minamiharamachi (南原町)” (7 minutes)
The rock is 12 minutes walking from the bus stop.

Suzuiwa in Fukuoka

Suzuiwa (Fukuoka), Google Map Street View

At “Shohachiman Shrine (荘八幡神社)” in Fukuoka Prefecture there is a rock which resembles the one which appears in Demon Slayer. The rock is called “Suzuiwa (鈴石” and it literally means a rock which looks like a bell. It is said that this rock flew from the volcano Mt. Aso, when it erupted. It is believed that a god of youth and long life “Iwanagahime (石長比賣)” dwells in the rock. One of the two pieces is considered to be plus (=male), the other is considered to be minus (=female). It is believed to bring a good fortune in matchmaking and harmonious marriage.

How to get to Suzuiwa

Address: 3-1 Nakanukihonmachi, Kokouraminami-ku, Kitakyushu-shu, Fukuoka, 800-0235

From JR “Shimosone (下曽根)” Station
Take bus 138 to “Yayoigaoka Eigyosho (弥生が丘営業所)” (19 minutes)
The rock is 1 minute walking from the bus stop.

Y’s Crow
Y’s Crow

Koyoharu Gotouge, who wrote Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba was born in Fukuoka Prefecture. This might also be the reason why Suzuiwa has become the destination of Kimetsu pilgrimage.

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