Where are you now? Majority of the answers now would be ‘home.’ Since social distancing started, home is literally the only place we know. Your day passes in the same rooms; and it doesn’t matter whether you are eating, studying, working or hanging out with your family members or friends online, it feels like your home is the only world for you (hope this doesn’t sound really depressing). Thankfully there ARE other places out there. Here are a few spots in Japan that will allow you to immerse yourself in some epic adventures! So all we need is just a little patience to make this come true 🙂
1. Super Nintendo World
Date: Summer 2020
Location: Universal Studios Japan, Osaka
For those who played many Mario games in their childhood (or even now), here is another new adventure to experience in the real world! Universal Studios Japan will launch Super Nintendo World with two new rides— Super Mario Kart and Yoshi’s Adventure. While little is revealed about Super Mario Kart, visitors can enjoy and compete a real-life race with the world-famous Italian plumber. This ride will bring you through the race tracks in various settings and each interaction comes with drifts and spins. You’ll also be able to throw red shells and banana peels to your opponents just like you’ve done so in the original games. Additionally, wearable wristbands called ‘Power Up Bands’ are to be sold on site. By syncing these bands to your smartphone app, visitors will be able to collect digital coins, earn points and compete against other visitors. As one described this park as a “life-size, living video game”, there is no doubt that it will bring back the childhood memories and provide the most thrilling experience!
2. New Fantasyland
Date: May 2020
Location: Tokyo Disneyland, Chiba
Need something romantic to spice up your life after being quarantined? Then head off to Tokyo Disneyland where New Fantasyland will be opening. This area will comprise of the Enchanted Tale of Beauty and the Beast attraction and the indoor Fantasyland Forest Theatre with the complete duplication of Belle’s village featuring Maurice’s Cottage, Gaston’s Fountain, restaurants and shops. Guests will ride in the magical cup as the journey starts where the prince turns into the Beast and meets Belle. These cups sing and dance through each of the memorable scenes in the animated film for the whole 10 minutes, the longest ride in the park. Others such as The Happy Ride with Baymax in Tomorrowland and Minnie’s Style Studio in Toontown are to be launched on the same day. Come and meet the characters in person when you can hug them without having to worry about keeping the 1.5m social distance!
3. Seibu Amusement Park
Japan’s amusement parks are not all just limited Universal Studios Japan and Tokyo Disneyland. This may be the first time you hear about Saitama (where this amusement park is) which is located relatively close to Tokyo. The entire Seibu Amusement Park will be renovated in 2021 to turn into a site where visitors can step into the era of 1960s. This is when Japan entered a period of rapid economic growth, where it had successfully positioned itself as one of the economic superpowers today. The Seibu Amusement Park will revive the old Japan; characteristic of the narrow streets, wooden houses, Showa Era vibes, unique food culture and caring and warm hearted people, a period when it was yet to be vastly influenced by technology. You will be able to appreciate the new and old, which you can only experience at Seibu Amusement Park.
4. World Masters Games 2021 KANSAI JAPAN
Location: Kansai area
Japan will mark 2021 as a big year for sports, with Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics being postponed forward a year and this international sporting event being held in May. It will be the first Asian nation to host this event, which takes place for 17 days with 50,000 athletes from all over the world participating in 65 different sports. Not only do the participants compete in the game, but they are also lucky enough to be able to explore the host area, Kansai region, the spiritual and cultural capital with various charms from ancient to energetic nightlife. In addition, the food culture is also an icon of the Kansai region. Whether you are foodie or not, Kansai food will make your mouth water. Many favourites, such as takoyaki (octopus balls), okonomiyaki (Japanese pancakes) and Kobe beef, all originated from Kansai. However, there is still so much more to explore and try! Kansai area will certainly fulfil every need of sports lover, foodie and travel bug!
5. Studio Ghibli Theme Park
This is for all of the Studio Ghibli fans who thought that its unique and peculiar world would never come to life. You will be thrilled to have your dream come true in 2022 as it will launch the first theme park! Little is unveiled but the park will be separated into five different areas- Youth Hill, Ghibli Large Warehouse, Mononoke’s Village, Dondoko Forest and Witches’ Valley Areas. The shops, buildings and nature that resemble some of Studio Ghibli’s masterpieces, such as Howl’s Moving Castle, Whisper of the Heart, Princess Mononoke and Kiki’s Delivery Service. The park is also structured to cater to the nature lovers, as one of the messages behind Studio Ghibli’s movies is to covey the negative effects of human activities on nature and strongly appeal the importance of environmental protection. This self-isolation period is the ideal time to watch over the Studio Ghibli’s films before visiting the amazing Theme Park. Jump to the link to see our recommended Ghibli films at ‘The Best Anime Series and Studio Ghibli Films on Netflix‘
Now this self isolation is no longer boredom. Keep yourself occupied with playing Mario games, watching Disney and Studio Ghibli films, exercising and doing a little bit research on old Japan? Be fully prepared when the time has come to visit all these sites and events!