- FILM & TV
Tokyo’s Nerima Residents Welcome Opening of Harry Potter Studio Tour
1:00 JST, June 18, 2023
Residents of Nerima Ward, Tokyo, have high expectations for the opening of a new attraction based on the Harry Potter film series that is expected to attract not only people living in Japan but also inbound tourists.
Warner Bros. Studio Tour Tokyo — The Making of Harry Potter opened Friday at the site of the now defunct Toshimaen amusement park, which closed in August 2020.
The Studio Tour was built in a section of Nerima-joshi Park, which was newly developed by the Tokyo metropolitan government after the closure of Toshimaen.
Even before the 9:30 a.m. grand opening, ardent fans wearing costumes were seen waiting at the entrance of the park.
“I’d been waiting for this day to come,” said a starry eyed 33-year-old company employee dressed in the protagonist’s school uniform.
The woman, who is from Taiwan and now lives in Nerima, said she was the first in line at 6:30 a.m. and had taken the day off in preparation for the opening.
“I’m looking forward to seeing the set of the Great Hall,” she said.
One of the main attractions of the Studio Tour is the Great Hall, which often appears in the Harry Potter movies. Tableware is lined on the long tables where students dine, and the walls and floor are elaborately decorated with stains.
This is the world’s second park of its kind after the original location in the United Kingdom, but the full-scale Ministry of Magic set is exclusive to Tokyo. The Studio Tour is also scattered with photo opportunities such as fireplaces used as transportation in the series with smoke and lighting effects mimicking the magic from the movies.
The area surrounding the Studio Tour was eagerly anticipating the opening of the attraction.
Seibu Toshima Line’s Toshimaen Station, the nearest station, was refurbished with red to resemble a train station from the Harry Potter series, helping visitors step into a magical world as soon as they arrive.
The municipality set the mood, as well. Flags based on a design provided for free by the Studio Tour’s operator Warner Bros. Japan LLC were produced and distributed by the Nerima Ward Office to 12 shopping associations and others within the ward.
The Tokyo attraction is expected to draw in foreign visitors and help the pandemic-hit local economy recover.
“We are looking forward to international visitors from the opening of Asia’s first world-class Studio Tour,” said the chairman of the association of Nerima shopping streets. “It will be great if visitors shop, eat and drink in the surrounding area to enliven our shops and Nerima as a whole.”
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