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Kyoto: Studio Park to Be Fully Renovated

The Yomiuri Shimbun
People experience an Edo period-style tavern in Ukyo Ward, Kyoto, on Nov. 25.

KYOTO — The Toei Kyoto Studio Park in Kyoto, a theme park where visitors can watch the filming of samurai dramas, will undergo full-scale renovations for five years until 2028. It will continue operations during the renovation period.

Toei Co., the park’s operator, announced the renovation plan on Nov. 25. New facilities will be constructed, including an old-fashioned “Edo Sakaba” tavern, where visitors can enjoy food and drinks in an atmosphere of Japan during the Edo period (1603-1868).

On the day, an event was held for people to experience such a tavern, created with the existing facility, ahead of the renovation.

Opened in 1975, the studio park will mark its 50th anniversary in 2025. After reaching its peak of about 2.6 million in fiscal 1982, the number of visitors has declined recently, with about 600,000 visitors expected this fiscal year.

The company hopes to attract more foreign tourists and young people after the renovation, aiming to increase the number of visitors to 1.6 million a year.

“More and more foreign visitors are interested in period dramas,” said Toei President Fumio Yoshimura. “We’d like to turn the facility into one where visitors can immerse themselves in the Edo period.”

The Edo Sakaba will open in 2025. A new theater and a hot spring bathing facility will open in phases in addition to another new area where visitors can experience traditional activities such as ikebana flower arrangement.

While the park currently closes at 5 p.m., it will be reborn as a facility allowing visitors to stay after dark, starting from 2025.