Planned Tokyo park to honor closed Toshimaen amusement park

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A Tokyo metropolitan government-run park will be built on the site of the Toshimaen amusement park, pictured in June 2020.
The Yomiuri Shimbun

A new park planned on the former site of the Toshimaen amusement park in Tokyo’s Nerima Ward is likely to have playground equipment imitating attractions once featured in the closed park.

The century-old amusement park closed last August.

The Tokyo metropolitan government will build a new park called Nerima Joshi Koen on the site, with plans to install a Toshimaen-esque playground equipment to preserve the history of the park, which was long loved mainly by Tokyo residents.

Details on the project are being discussed.

Phased work on 5 zones

The about 27-hectare site will be divided into five zones, with development work to be carried out in phases, according to the metropolitan government’s plan.

The southeastern part of the site will serve as the park’s entrance for visitors coming from Toshimaen Station and will be considered the “entrance interaction zone,” which will feature a Japanese garden. The southwestern part will be a “culture zone to connect people and convey history” with a playground and water facilities. The northeastern part will be an “activity zone,” which will include a facility where visitors can experience a studio tour of the popular movie series Harry Potter. The northwestern part will be the “flower zone” with an open space surrounded by fields of flowers where various events can be held.

Finally, an area along Shakujii River running through the park will become the “riverside strolling zone” where visitors can enjoy the scenery along the river.

The metropolitan government is considering installing playground equipment imitating attractions once at Toshimaen park in the culture zone.

Discussions are also in progress to open an information center that would convey the history of Toshimaen in the entrance interaction zone.

Construction of the park will be carried out in stages. The flower, entrance and riverside zones are scheduled to partially open in fiscal 2023. These three zones and the culture zone will be completed by the end of fiscal 2029.

Warner Bros. Studio Tour Tokyo — The Making of Harry Potter is scheduled to open in the first half of 2023 in the Activity zone.

Local requests reflected

In January, the metropolitan government released an interim draft of the development plan, which has drawn 2,425 opinions from local residents.

Of them, 309 were related to Toshimaen, with many people calling for the envisaged park to keep Toshimaen’s attractions and set up a facility that conveys the history of the closed park.

Fifty-four requests were for keeping Toshimaen’s famous Carousel El Dorado in the new park. However, as it seems difficult to realize, the metropolitan government decided to install playground equipment for children to enjoy and establish an information center.

“Based on local residents’ requests, we would like to create a park that can also convey the history of Toshimaen,” said a senior metropolitan government official.