Life & Leisure

Tokyo’s amusement park closes after 94 years for Harry Potter world

Tokyo, Aug 31 (efe-epa).- Toshimaen, one of the largest amusement parks in Tokyo, will close its doors on Monday after 94 years of operations.

Authorities will convert the landmark into a theme park inspired by the Harry Potter universe.

Toshimaen, located in the west of the city, began operating on Sep 15, 1926. The closure on Monday night will follow a series of events, parades, and musical performances that will take place throughout the day.

The almost 100-year-old park, which like the rest of the amusement parks in the country was forced to limit capacity due to the Covid-19 epidemic, is one of the largest in Tokyo.

It has over 30 attractions, including a wooden carousel built in Germany in 1907 and brought to the park in 1971.

The park also has a 330-meter (1,082 feet) doughnut-shaped pool, opened in 1965, which its curators say is the world’s first lazy river and whose water movement was inspired by the flow of the Tama River.

It has also been home to Japan’s first suspended monorail, in an attraction dubbed “The Flying Train” that began operations in 1951 as well as the world’s first indoor ski attraction, which opened in 1957.

The new Harry Potter theme park, which is scheduled to open in 2023, will span an area of 30,000 square meters and will be inspired by the fictional universe created by British writer J.K. Rowling and the movies based on it.

The theme park in Tokyo will be the world’s second such park dedicated exclusively to Harry Potter, following the Warner Bros: Studio Tour in London, which opened in 2012 and has received some 1.4 million visitors.

Meanwhile, Universal Studios in Osaka, Japan, and in Orlando and Hollywood in the United States also have areas dedicated to the young wizard’s universe.

The agreement for the construction of the theme park was announced in August by the project’s stakeholders, Seibu Railway, which owns the Toshimaen amusement park, and US mass media and entertainment conglomerate Warner Bros.

The rest of the land on which the amusement park is presently located will be purchased by the Tokyo government, which will build a park there. EFE-EPA


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