"Edo Wonderland Nikko Edomura" in Tochigi Prefecture is a beautiful recreation of the Edo period from 400 years ago. A grand scene of the old town of Edo across large grounds, it's practically a theme park, one enjoyed by both children and adults.
How to Enjoy Edo Wonderland
To fully enjoy Edo Wonderland, you first we need to break through time with the appropriate attire! Men can take on the look of a merchant or samurai of the Edo period. Women put on a casual kimono like a daughter of a military family. Whether you choose to dress as a feudal lord, court lady, or princess, you'll feel transported to the old days. Once you're in costume, walk along the old streets and visit the many shops down the road. If anything catches your interest, check it out without hesitation!
Ninja Weapons! Try Shuriken Throwing Stars!
Experience what it's like to use shuriken, one of the weapons used by ninjas, at the "Shuriken Dojo" (5 tries for 600 yen, tax included). They've got Shuriken displays you can enjoy looking at while waiting for your turn. They'll teach you tips and tricks to throw the stars properly but it is pretty hard. Since it is a training ground, however, even if you don't hit the target, keep trying without giving up. Depending on how many times you hit the target you might end up with a prize.
An Illusional Space That'll Make You Topple
The "Ninja Kaikaitei" in the ninja village is a trick house where the floor and ceiling are swapped to give you a upsidedown illusion. The floor and walls are not straight, making you lose a sense of balance. This is an experience that you'll need to try out yourself.
Grill Some Traditional Japanese "Senbei" Crackers
At the merchant town experience area, you can try the "Senbei Cooking Trial." Sitting in front of a charcoal grill, you place a senbei on the net and cook away. Flipping it several times, cook it thoroughly, and then brush some soy sauce on it and in 10 minutes your grilled cracker is done! Eat your freshly made senbei right off the grill. Putting two to three coats of soysauce will give it a stronger flavor or applying one light coat will give it a light flavor, so coat it to your liking. The smell of soy sauce over the grill creates an aroma that'll stimulate your appetite.
Delicious "Kakiage" at a Established Soba Shop
Edo Wonderland has plenty of restaurants you can swing by for food. Among them is one of the Three Great Edo Shinise Soba "Nihon Soba Yabu" where you can eat the recommended Edo Kakiage Seiro for 1,500 yen (tax included). The seasonal kakiage is filled with the season's vegetables.
Watch a Play Performance at the Samurai Mansion
Ryogokuza is a popular spot to watch a theatre performance. Sitting close to the actors, you can even feel their breathing in front of you. The performance is about 30 minutes, taking place twice a day. After the show the actors will send you off.
At the Samurai Mansion, you can watch ninjas in action with shows like the "Great Ninja Theater" which take place in the small acting huts.
Observe "Oiran" Paint Edo in Splendid Colors
Visible from near the bridge is "Oiran Douchu." Here you get the opportunity to see Oiran (high rank courtesans) up close. The sight of beautifully dressed Oiran gracefully walking down the streets leave people speechless. The times Oiran walk about change depending on the season.
written by : Yuki Kanazawa
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