Aya has dark eyes and wears her hair short, with her bangs brushed to her right. She wears dull kimono and has a rather disheveled appearance after the disappearance of Ito. After Ginko leaves in Pickers of Empty Cocoons, she appears more groomed, possibly because she is mourning less.
As a child, Aya wore her hair long, although prior to her apprenticeship, she kept it tied in a bun behind her head. She also wore colourful and patterned kimonos.
At two years old, Aya and her sister Ito are tested for the ability to see mushi, as is the custom in their family. Both are able to see the uro that the elder has in a jar, so he determines that when they are ten, he will return to take one of the girls as an apprentice.
In the following eight years, Aya and her sister learn how to collect cocoons and harvest silk from them, but are cautioned not to pick empty cocoons.
When Aya and Ito turn ten, the elder returns. Because the family couldn't decide which child should go, the head of the family decides to send the younger of the children, Aya. Ito sees that Aya is scared, and states that she will go instead, but Aya speaks up and says that if Ito is going, she will too. The head of their family understands that the children will be lonely apart, especially if their master dies, and with the parents' approval, sends both girls.
At first Aya looks frightened when they reach the mountains, but both she and Ito relax upon finding out that the elder has collected stories to tell them. She is enthusiastic about learning more and collecting empty cocoons, and although initially scared, she is the first to help relocate an uro into new paired cocoons.
Aya appears to enjoy living with the elder and Ito, and seems happy that Ito cares enough to continue to remind her about closing doors.
When Ito disappears, Aya blames herself for lifting the sheet that fell over her sister, and her mourning continues after the elder tells her it is not her fault, even after his death and for five years following Ito's disappearance. Aya searches for her sister and places letters into the empty cocoons, hoping to find her. In this time, Aya stops wearing the colourful kimonos of her childhood and cuts her hair.
Ginko showing her an uro passageway appears to lessen her mourning, as she appears less disheveled and exhausted following.
Aya is very family oriented. She enjoys learning her family's traditional crafts. Despite her fear, she resolves to go with the elder even without Ito, and will not let Ito go alone.
She struggles with self care due to her grief after Ito's disappearance. She may have cared more for Ito than herself.