Edomura Village (AKA Edo wonderland) is a re-creation of an Edo period (1603 – 1868) small town. There are a number of traditional houses, theatres, restaurants as well as performances by ninja’s, geisha’s and other traditionally dressed artists and townspeople. Visitors can hire period costumes for photos or to wear around the town for a fee, but the fees start at £20 for a simple costume and go up to £150 for the more elaborate and expensive kimonos. The town has been used for a large number of Japanese period dramas and films as many of these centre around the Edo period.
The Edomura village is a short bus ride from Nikko in tochigi prefecture – about 2 hours north of Tokyo on the train; if like us you are planning a trip on a national holiday, think twice as it is not easy to get there when the direct bus is not running – we had to take 2 trains and then a bus just to do the 15 mile trip from Nikko, on the way back we took a cab instead and it cost 5000 yen (£30).
Edomura is a large village and has been beautifully built and maintained – the buildings are built using traditional materials and methods. There are a wide range of shops and restaurants around Edo Wonderland mostly selling a range of tackysouvenirs such as teapots, woodblock prints and toy weapons at inflated prices – this is not the place to do your shopping in Japan. There is also the Blacksmith and Armor Repair Shops, which are replica storefronts that show how period craftsmen worked. As well as this, there are two wax museums, Kodenmacho Jail House and Kira-Kozukenosuke Residence which show pretty graphic scenes of prison life, torture, battle and vengeance – our 4 year old was a little scared by these scenes so we rushed through pretty quickly.
There is also a haunted house with lots of Japanese spirits and ghosts to scare you amongst sloping floorboards and trick mirrors and a few other optical illusions.
There is a Ninja Maze and a Ninja house – the maze was actually pretty tricky as it is made of wood so is extremelly repetitive and disorienting – I was stuck in there for 15 minutes with a bunch of high school kids laughing at me; a little self righteous I felt but fair enough!
Whilst I was in there the rest of the family were in the Ninja house checking out the optical illusions and other Ninja tricks which were apparently great fun, unfortunately i cannot verify this.
I did check out the part of the Ninja house next to the maze where there were lots of throwing stars and other weapons that were pretty evil looking which was really interesting.
We also took in a couple of the shows that were put on in some of the theatres around the town including a Ninja show. The lights were turned off and the room blacked out with spot lights following the ninja’s whilst theyambushed and fought each other using martial arts and Ninja tricks for about 15 minutes. They told a short story to explain the performance and it was great fun to watch.
Around the town there are lots of other performers and also games for visitors to participate in.
9:00 to 17:00 (mid March to January)
9:30 to 16:00 (December to mid March)
Closed: Wednesdays, and January 25 to February 7 for maintenance
Open on national holidays and every day during school holidays
Admission: 4500 yen (3900 yen after 14:00 in summer or 13:00 in winter)
Includes access to all shows and attractions
A coupon for 10% off the price of admission can be found here
Admission is covered by some versions of the Kinugawa Themepark Pass.
You can go to the Edomura main website here