How to Enjoy Edo Wonderland Nikko Edomura: Theme Park for Fans of Japan
If you are a fan of Japan, we doubt you don’t know it, but do you know Nikko Edomura? Nikko Edomura is a distinctive amusement park with theme of Edo Period, which is over 400 years ago. Today we will introduce how to enjoy Nikko Edomura, to make you really feel “this is Japan!” Photo: https://www.flickr.com
Entrance of Nikko Edomura: Commonly Known as “Sekisho” Checkpoint, https://www.flickr.com
Nikko Edomura is located in Nikko City, Tochigi Prefecture, and you can get there in two hours by train from Tokyo.
Taking “Tobu Kinugawa Line” from Tobu Asakusa Station, you get off the train at “Kinugawa-Onsen Station”, and it’s about 15 minutes by a local bus, or about 10 minutes by taxi.
If you are coming from JR Shinjuku, Ikebukuro, or Omiya Station, you can take a direct express “Kinugawa” or “Spacia Kinugawa” and get off at “Kinugawa-Onsen Station”. After getting off the train, it’s the same as above.
Try Dressing up in Class-Specific Costumes of Edo Period
Since you have come all the way, let’s pump up the mood by changing your clothes first! By doing so you can completely blend in as a resident living in the town of Edo!
Types of Costumes
- tono-sama… a lord who holds the power even in the town proper
- hime… lawful wife of a lord, princess
- “Shinsen-gumi”… A group of swordsmen that was active during the last Tokugawa period in the latter half of the 19th century.
- samurai… an occupation to guard government official
- chonin… townsfolk
- buke-musume… a daughter of samurai class
- okappiki… a kind of vigilante an Edo police member
- oiran… a star of the night world, top rated courtesan (reservation required)
- yoroi… armor worn by samurai in times of war (reservation required)
2 Attractions You Must Experience
Now that you have changed into a costume, let’s take a walk in Nikko Edomura! There are 5 areas where the streets of Edo are reproduced. You can use all the facilities in 5 areas if you buy a one-day pass; roads, post-town, merchant town, samurai residence, and ninja village. There are facilities like Yaba Archery Dojo, Samurai Swordsmen Experience, or haunted house, but the following two are especially recommended that you shouldn’t miss.
1. Ninja Shuriken Experience
“NARUTO” is a popular manga, not only in Japan but also abroad, and the story depicts how the main character Naruto, an outcast ninja apprentice, fights his way to be a great ninja. If you like Naruto or ninja, please do try this ninja experience!
You actually get to experience throwing shuriken at Shuriken Dojo and if you manage to hit the target twice, you can get a nice prize!
2. Karakuri Yashiki Experience
“Kai Kai Ninja House”, the Karakuri Yashiki, https://www.flickr.com
The other one is to experience ninja training. When you look at the photo, you might wonder someone must have made a mistake in designing the house, but please rest assured. This is also one of the genuine attractions, and it is constructed to make you lose sense of balance once you step into the building, to such an extent that standing normally becomes really hard. Would you be able to go through this attraction all the way? We will leave the inside unexplained until you experience it for yourself!
Related Articles: 6 Highlights Specific to Myoryuji aka Ninja Temple and A Word of Caution
2 Must-See Shows
In addition to experience-based attractions, there are also tremendously dramatic shows that make you lean forward to get a better look without realizing.
1. Grand Ninja Theater & Ninja Karasu Yashiki
A Scene from Grand Ninja Theater, https://www.flickr.com
We sincerely recommend Grand Ninja Theater where you can enjoy acrobatic stunts and Ninja Karasu Yashiki where you can watch battles of ninja. They are rated as the most exciting shows in Nikko Edomura. You can enjoy the show content without understanding Japanese language, so please secure front row seats and give it a try.
“Mizugei” (literally translated as water performance) is a traditional performance to liven up the stage, and hidden pipes in a fan or a tobacco pipe spurt out water, depending on the scene. In recent years theaters to show mizugei have dramatically decreased, and it seems Nikko Edomura is the only place that you can see a large scale mizugei. Please enjoy this invaluable show.
2 Recommended Dining Places
Soba Noodle with Stewed Chicken at “Tori Soba-ya”, http://tabelog.com/
Sample Dish from “Kikusui”, http://tabelog.com/
We’d recommend “Tori Soba-ya” where you can eat light tasting chicken soba noodle, and “Kikusui”, if you are looking for luxurious dishes.
There are several dining areas in Nikko Edomura, but they often get extremely crowded around noon. So you might be better off getting there early to secure your table.
Nikko Edomura, only 2 hours away from Tokyo, is the best amusement park to add to your Tokyo tour as a side trip. It might even become a centerpiece rather than sightseeing in Tokyo. In Nikko Edomura, the mascot character “Nyan-mage” is waiting for your arrival.