Top News Japan invests in big attractions to boost tourism By Kathryn Wortley / Posted on 12 October, 2023 12:11 Japan is seeing the opening of more big-name and glitzy attractions, as companies seek to gain from the country’s tourism recovery. Warner Bros. Studio Tour Tokyo: The Making of Harry Potter, which opened in June, is the second theme park based on the hit film series after the one in London, which has welcomed 17 million visitors since opening in 2012. The Making of Harry Potter in Tokyo is the second theme park based on the hit film series after the first in London; photo by Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Covering 30,000m2, the Tokyo site is also the world’s largest Harry Potter attraction. Operated by Warner Bros. Studio Japan, it features exclusive sets from the film series, interactive experiences including using a green screen, F&B options and shops, with entry for adults priced at 6,300 yen (US$42). Attractions based on Japanese characters are also expanding, due to their popularity at home and abroad. Building on its 60 billion yen (US$403 million) investment to open Super Nintendo World in 2021, Universal Studios Japan, in July, launched attractions based on several animation series including One Piece, Detective Conan and Attack on Titan. Ghibli Park, which opened in Nagoya Prefecture in 2022, has also expanded this year to add two new areas: Mononoke Village, which unveils Japan as it was in the fifteenth century, and Irontown Village, featuring giant sculptures of creatures from Studio Ghibli films. Growth in theme park attendance is important to tourism recovery as Japan seeks increased consumption by visitors. Theme parks and amusement parks across the country are welcoming fewer visitors than pre-pandemic, with recovery at just under 80 per cent, but those visitors are spending more. Consumption per person exceeded 10,000 yen for the first time in 2022, according to data from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. There are more products in the pipeline. Tom’s City Circuit Tokyo Bay will open at the capital’s Odaiba waterfront in November, offering indoor and outdoor electric vehicle go-karting, as well as VR-based entertainment. The company said the attraction can “help revitalise Tokyo’s night-time economy” as electric vehicles are quiet, allowing smooth operations at night.