Harry Potter Theme Park in Tokyo Celebrates 1st Anniversary; Draws in More Foreign Visitors to Local Shops

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Keychains awarded for the digital stamp rally

Warner Bros. Studio Tour Tokyo — The Making of Harry Potter, a theme park built on the site of the former Toshimaen amusement park, celebrated its first anniversary on Sunday. Many events were held by local shopping association, among others, and efforts are constantly being made to revitalize the area.

Toshimaen Burari Fes was held on Sunday at Nerima-joshi Park in Nerima Ward, Tokyo, organized by the ward government. About 10 stores, including the local shopping association, opened stalls selling castella sponge cakes and much more. There was also a digital stamp rally, where visitors at nearby photo spots could win keychains featuring Nerimaru, the ward’s official anime mascot character, dressed in appropriately themed costumes.

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Students hand out coasters from the local shopping associations on Sunday in Nerima Ward, Tokyo.

According to Seibu Railway Co., the number of non-commuter passengers at Toshimaen Station, the closest station to the park, increased by more than 30% in FY2023 compared to FY2019, the year before the COVID-19 pandemic. Daijiro Shimura, chairman of the nearby Kasuga-cho main street shopping association, is pleased with the changes since the park opened, saying, “The number of people here has definitely increased, and many foreign customers stop by the stores before going to the park.”

Local restaurants and shops have original menus with a magical theme and new photo spots were set up to encourage visitors to explore the area.

Nearby shops have started giving out around 40 differently designed original coasters marked with the names of the theme park, member stores of the shopping association and local related businesses from Sunday. Members of the Nihon University College of Art’s cosplay club also handed out coasters at Sunday’s festival.

“We would like to continue our efforts to strengthen the unity of the local shops and encourage more visitors to come to our stores,” said Shimura.