It’s damn near impossible to escape Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba’s impact, especially now that Mugen Train’s success might usurp Spirited Away as Japan’s highest-grossing movie of all time. The phenomenon surrounding this movie seems as infinite as the train itself, its songs becoming big record-breaking hits, and its characters winning over the hearts of young students across the country. To paraphrase the old tune, Demon Slayer is a train that keeps a rollin’. And not just figuratively speaking, either. Kyoto will soon be the center of a special train-themed Demon Slayer event for the second year in a row.
The event, running from 26 December to 14 March, takes place at three different places. The first is at Toei Eigamura, featuring recreations of famous scenes from the anime, like the sliced boulder from episode three. Visitors can immerse themselves in Demon Slayer’s world as a voice-over of Tanjiro guides their way through. Toei Eigamura will also supply cosplays of Demon Slayer characters for photoshoots.
The second destination can be found at Ramden tram line’s Arashiyama Station, which comes decorated with Demon Slayer imagery. Four special train cars will feature illustrations of Tanjiro and company inside, and the station’s popular Kimono Forest will have designs inspired by Demon Slayer’s main cast. If this weren’t enough, the rest area on the station’s third floor will be adorned with wisteria flowers to ward off any pesky demon that dares disturb the peace.
But most impressive of all is our final destination, the Kyoto Railway Museum. What we’ve got here is a hulking steam train straight out of the Taisho period with a special ‘Mugen’ plate fitted on the front. Tanjiro will once again play the role as tour guide and provide information to tourists peeping through the kilometer-long locomotive.
Last year’s Demon Slayer train event ran from August to October and only took place inside the Arashiyama Station. Whoever ran it must have been feeling the winter spirit, pushing it just a day past Christmas and expanding the event to its Toei Eigamura and Kyoto Railway Museum locales. To add to things, this year’s event comes after JR East showed off their own Demon Slayer-inspired train back in September. With so many real and fictitious trains being hurdled at us, there’s only one thing I can take away here. And that is: the Demon Slayer fanbase over in Japan must really, really like trains.