Travel TrendsTourism players are capitalising on the immensely popular Demon Slayer to spur travel demand.

The anime hit turning Japan's tourist offerings into monster success

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From staycations to exhibitions, Demon Slayer is taking Japan’s domestic tourism by storm.
From staycations to exhibitions, Demon Slayer is taking Japan’s domestic tourism by storm. Photo Credit: ANA

While Japan’s borders still remain largely closed off to international visitors, tourism players have been proving innovative at creating new product offerings to capture the interest of travellers.

The country’s mixed bag of newly launched experiences are targeted at a wide array of tourists, including anime fans with the recent announcement of a Studio Ghibli theme park and a multitude of Demon Slayer attractions.

Riding on the immense popularity of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, an anime series that became a household name just months after its debut, many travel players are rolling out imaginative experiences for Demon Slayer fans.

Demon Slayer takes to the skies

All Nippon Airways (ANA) has revealed a Boeing 767 jet emblazoned with images of the characters from Demon Slayer. The adorned plane started flying on domestic routes since late January this year, featuring in-flight announcements with the characters’ voices, serving drinks in paper cups printed with the anime’s title and silhouettes of the main characters.

Selected episodes of Demon Slayer will also be available to watch on demand with ANA’s in-flight entertainment on both international and domestic flights.

"We are excited to partner with Demon Slayer to generate excitement and share Japanese culture with a wider audience," said Junko Yazawa, senior vice president of customer experience management and planning at ANA.

Slay-cations at Hotel New Otani

The New Otani teamed up with Japanese animation studio, Ufotable, to offer a Demon Slayer hotel experience.
The New Otani teamed up with Japanese animation studio, Ufotable, to offer a Demon Slayer hotel experience. Photo Credit: The New Otani/Ufotable

From the start of January to the end of March, six of Hotel New Otani’s properties across Japan — Tokyo, Makuhari, Osaka, Nagaoka, Tottori, and Hakata — have been transformed into Demon Slayer paradise. Not only does Hotel New Otani’s hotel lobbies, guest rooms and hallways feature life-sized cardboard cut-outs of Demon Slayer characters, the chain has also incorporated the theme into its cuisine.

The attention to detail is thorough. From room key cards to cushion covers, and from mirrors to exclusive bathrobes designed to resemble the Demon Slayer Corps’ uniform, fans of the anime will receive a truly immersive experience.

“Demon Slayer' has a broad fan base, ranging from children to adults," a spokesperson from Hotel New Otani told Nikkei Asia. “By preparing a variety of rooms, from singles to suites, on an entire floor we aim to attract wide segments of that fan base.”

Bringing out the inner demon through art

The first official Demon Slayer exhibition took place from October to December 2021.
The first official Demon Slayer exhibition took place from October to December 2021. Photo Credit: 吾峠呼世晴/集英社

Demon Slayer fans got a first-hand look at the inner workings of creator Koyoharu Gotoge’s mind at the anime’s first official art exhibition held at Mori Arts Center Gallery Tokyo from 26 October to 12 December 2021.

The exhibition featured over 450 original artworks by Gotoge, ranging from the incipient stages of the manga’s conceptualisation to the present which has seen the birth of multiple TV episodes and movies.

Visitors even had the option of purchasing these original illustrations from Gotoge’s archives, along with bringing home an exclusive keepsake. The next official exhibition is slated to take place at the Grand Front Osaka from 17 July to 4 September 2022.

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