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Edo Wonderland Nikko Edomura

Tucked away in the hills of Nikko's Kinugawa Onsen, Edo Wonderland brings the past back to life with the sights and sounds of Old Japan.

Edo Wonderland Nikko Edomura
  • Edo Wonderland Nikko Edomura

    Edo Wonderland Nikko Edomura

    One of the more unique experiences you can have in Japan is at Edo Wonderland. It’s a theme park that recreates the atmosphere of the shogun’s capital in the Edo Period (1600-1868). “But I hated history in school” you say. Don’t worry, while the park makes great efforts to be historically accurate in many ways, the real emphasis is on culture and entertainment.

    Edo Wonderland Nikko Edomura

    Edo Wonderland Nikko Edomura

    Edo Wonderland is laid out as a microcosm of its namesake, featuring a shitamachi (low city, commoner district), a yamanote (high city, samurai town), and a shukuba machi (post town). The city is populated by a cast of characters of all walks of life and social ranks (in the Edo Period, there was a strict hierarchy and little social mobility). The characters interact with each other and the guests according to their rank.

    Edo Wonderland Nikko Edomura

    Edo Wonderland Nikko Edomura

    Oh, that’s right. You’re encouraged to cosplay and get in on the fun. At the post town, before you enter Edo, you can choose from a variety of costumes — most authentic, some just for fun. Depending on your social rank, costumes range from ¥2500 to ¥9800. The cast show deference to samurai and o-hime (princesses), and will even go so far as to get down on the ground and bow to daimyo (feudal lords).

    Edo Wonderland Nikko Edomura

    Edo Wonderland Nikko Edomura

    And when I say “cast,” you can be sure that’s the appropriate word. Many of them are actors in their own right — not only staying in character all day, whether they’re on the street or performing in a show, but some also act in historical dramas and movies. Some of them have picked up followings — guests coming repeatedly just to watch and interact with them.

    Edo Wonderland Nikko Edomura

    Edo Wonderland Nikko Edomura

  • It’s the enthusiasm and spirit of fun that really sets Edo Mura apart from other theme parks. At Disneyland, the staff are in the background and just ensure that everything goes smoothly. Here, the cast is the experience, interacting with the guests to bring the Edo Period back to life.

    Edo Wonderland Nikko Edomura

    Edo Wonderland Nikko Edomura

    In addition to a meticulously choreographed ninja show and comical geisha show, there are plenty of hands on activities to do. Do you know the correct way to throw a shuriken (ninja star)? It’s a lot harder than it looks. You can also learn how to make your own senbei (rice crackers) – and of course, you get to eat them, too! One of the most interesting exhibits is about torture and execution in the Edo Period. This time may have been one of Japan’s Golden Ages, but it wasn’t all ice cream and puppy dogs. Beheadings, crucifixions, burnings at the stake, and public displaying of criminals were par for the course.

    Edo Wonderland Nikko Edomura

    Edo Wonderland Nikko Edomura

    If your trip to Japan doesn’t coincide with any of Japan’s traditional Shinto festivals, once a day you have a chance to see one and join in the revelry. And finally, you can cap your day off by throwing back a few beers while you enjoy the traditional scenery and customs under the backdrop of Nikko’s beautiful mountains. It’s the perfect way to reflect on a ¥4700 well spent.

  • ACCESS:

    From Tobu Nikko Station or JR Nikko Station, take a taxi (about 5 minutes) or walk (about 30 minutes) to Fujiya Kanko Center and there’s a free shuttle bus that runs 4 times a day. Check edowonderland.net for details.
    Or, take the bus from Kinugawa Station (about ¥410, 19 minutes).

    Posts by Marky Star

    EDO WONDERLAND Nikko Edomura
    Address
    Tochigi Pref. Nikkoushi Karakura 470-2
    Phone
    0288771777
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