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Anime Aunties Visit Japan
Day 1: Demon Slayer IRL

by Lynzee Loveridge & Jacki Jing,

Jacki Jing and Lynzee Loveridge in Asakusa

And we're off! Jacki and I landed in Tokyo on May 13, but I was dead to the world after nearly 24 hours of travel time (two planes, multiple trains). The following day I was mostly human and ventured out to the local convenience store to stock my fridge. At noon, we met at Ueno Station to link up with ANN Tokyo Correspondent (and unofficial tour guide) Richard Eisenbeis. We had a lot on our itinerary for the day, but our first plan of action was Asakusa.

Asakusa is a district in Taito-ku, Tokyo and home to the Tokyo's oldest Buddhist temple, Sensō-ji. It's also very much a tourist destination, but it's not without its charm. It's popular to rent kimono at one of the stalls and wear it around. We saw plenty of couples and women in beautiful outfits enjoying the sites. Thankfully, it was dry while we were there (the rain would come later).

The area's connection to Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba was the primary reason we ventured into Asakusa. Fans may remember that the anime's first season features the "Asakusa Arc" beginning in episode 7. The modern district isn't a 1:1 match; the buildings have changed since it was rebuilt after its bombing during World War II.

Asakusa in Demon Slayer Season 1.


Browsing the stalls, we saw plenty of places selling hyottoko, the comedic masks worn by the swordsmiths. Other stalls sold traditional artisan crafts, street food, and more.

As we got closer to the temple, we couldn't pass the opportunity to try our luck with omikuji. For 100 yen, luck-seekers can find out their fortune by pulling a stick from a metal container. The stick displays a number corresponding to a small drawer with a fortune inside. I pulled #70, while Jacki pulled #91. The pictures adequately sum up our results.

Jacki pulls good luck.

Lynzee's fortune is especially bad.

Suffice it to say, I had a horrible fortune! According to the slip, the editorial freelancers were out to get me, and any significant life changes or wishes would not be fulfilled. I did what anyone would do when pulling a bad fortune and immediately tied it off at the nearby fence. Jacki got a great fortune, declaring any bad luck she had would turn around. I wish that luck would rub off on me a little!

We wrapped up our visit at Sensō-ji by crossing the street and entering the Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Center. The Center is free to enter, and we were still feeling energetic, so we opted to climb seven flights of stairs to get to the viewing deck. My calves are really mad at me for this. On our way up, we spotted standees of Kiruko and Maru from Heavenly Delusion. The Nakano area of Tokyo is currently collaborating with the series. Hopefully, I'll have more on that later this week. From the top of the information center, we spotted the Sumida River, where the Himiko is docked, Tokyo Skytree, and The Asahi Flame, which, up until I started writing this, I thought was a giant daikon radish (apparently it's beer foam).

We decided to beeline it to Himiko since we had no idea when she might disembark. The "water bus" is unique thanks to its futuristic appearance, designed by none other than Leiji Matsumoto. The Galaxy Express 999 and Space Battleship Yamato creator designed the cruise ship in the early 2000s, and its maiden voyage followed in 2004. Tokyo Cruise operates it and has two sister ships, Emeraldas (named after the space queen herself) and Hotaluna.


When then headed to the statue area outside of Bandai Headquarters., a short walk from Asakusa station. Once there, we spotted some of our favorite anime and tokusatsu superheroes. We tried our best to do the Kamen Rider pose, gushed over Goku, and had a nostalgia attack when we befriended a Tamagotchi!.

The last place on our stop for the day was Ueno's Ameyoko open market to scour for Japanese sweets. We got a ton and will have a video for you soon tasting the wide variety we found. The market has everything from street food vendors selling fresh fish to bootleg anime jackets (we skipped the latter). The candy store had two floors and spanned a huge space. We found everything from traditional cookie boxes to powder that makes your water look (but not taste like) beer. I was partly inspired by Dagashi Kashi and tried to pick up some of the sweets featured in the series. The aforementioned Warugaki Kid's Beer packets we picked up are similar to the Namaiki Beer soft drink seen in the series. I'm excited to try a pack of gum I bought that bundles a horror story inside.

That's all for our first day! Check back tomorrow for the Kirby Café, the Tokiwaso Museum, Otome Road, and real-life places seen in your name.

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