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Tokyo's Toshimaen ends 94-year run to make way for Harry Potter



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The Japan Times


A family-friendly amusement park in Tokyo accepted visitors for the last time Monday 94 years after it first opened, with part of the site slated to be turned into a new “Harry Potter” theme park in 2023.
Toshimaen, which opened in September 1926, is one of the largest amusement parks in Tokyo with over 30 rides and attractions including a wooden carousel that was made in Germany in 1907 and brought to the park in 1971.

It also features a 350-meter, doughnut-shaped pool introduced in 1965, which is said to be the world’s first lazy river pool. The park was expected to hold a “final ceremony” in the evening to close the curtains on its long history.
Most of the 22-hectare site will be purchased by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, which plans to build a park there. The green space will also be used as an emergency shelter in the event of a disaster.
The new “Harry Potter” theme park, slated to open in the first half of 2023 over an area of approximately 30,000 square meters, will display film sets, costumes and props used by the fantasy films based on the popular novels of the same name by British author J.K. Rowling.

It will be the second such facility after Warner Bros. Studio Tour London — The Making of Harry Potter, which opened in Britain in 2012 and has welcomed over 1.4 million visitors, according to Seibu Railway Co., which owns Toshimaen.
The railway operator said earlier this month it has reached an agreement with companies including Itochu Corp. and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. for part of the Toshimaen site in Tokyo’s Nerima Ward to be developed as the “Harry Potter” facility.
The Japan Times LTD. All rights reserved.

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