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Edo Wonderland Nikko Edomura Review- Is it worth it?



Edo Wonderland ticket line

100% guarantee! This is the ultimate Japanese experience!  It's a slice of the Edo Period in the 17th century.  Yes! It's like traveling through time and beats going to Edo Museum - for sure!

Our group includes a 5-year old, a 10-year old, a teenager, adults in 30s and 40s, and senior citizens. The vote was unanimous! This ranked #1 favorite place out of all the places we've visited in Japan last holiday.

Edo Wonderland Nikko Edomura is a theme park located in Nikko, Tochigi prefecture. It's 2 hours away from Tokyo via limited express trains of Tobu Railway.  Some say it can be a good day trip from Tokyo but since we have kids and senior citizens with us, we preferred a sleepover.  Besides, we wanted to explore all other attractions near it like Onsen, World Heritage sites, Chuzenji Lake, Kegon Falls, and Akechidaira Ropeway.

We went to Nikko in December where the Opening Hours is 9:30 am to 4:00 pm. Naturally, we wanted to make the most of our experience before it gets dark.

Tickets and Access

The ticket to Edo Wonderland cost ¥4,700 for adults, ¥2,400 for a child.  Children aged 0-5 years old can enter the theme park for free. We could have bought the ticket at the gate for a discounted price of ¥4,150 using our Unlimited Nikko All Area Pass from Tobu Railway, but we saved extra by buying electronic tickets through Klook for only ¥3,900 for adults and ¥2,000 for a child (6 - 12 years old).  Yes, it's a bit pricey but I've read a lot of bloggers and reviews say it's worth it.

You don't need to book in advance to go there but you can only purchase Klook tickets one day before your desired visiting date.

Getting there was easy. They have a free shuttle bus at Nikko station.  There is also a bus at Kinugawa Onsen station.  Be sure to check out the bus schedules at Bus stop number 3 (it's clearly marked with Edo Wonderland name in English) when you arrive. There is also a Tourist Information desk at the station where you can ask for direction and transportation schedules.

We stayed at New Ohruri Hotel which is around 10-minute walk away from Kinugawa-Onsen station.

Looking at maps and schedules of Edo Wonderland

It's not just an attraction, it's the Experience...

When we arrived, we presented our electronic tickets and got the Map and schedule for the day.  I knew that with the kind of group we have and with only a 6-hour window, it's impossible to stamp everything on the map.  Prioritization is the key to everyone's satisfaction.

I marked the Ninja Workshop and Ninja Karasu Goten (live-action show) as the number 1 priority. It did not disappoint!

The Ninja experience is the most memorable one.  While the kids got trained (not everyone is allowed inside), we explored and signed up for our number 2 priority - Samurai Training.  Be sure to check out the class schedules.


Ninja workshop

Here's Lucas and Mariette's Ninja training experience. They learned about the Ninjutsu technique which includes non-detection, avoidance, and misdirection. The result was hilarious and surprisingly impressive! The training was in pure Japanese yet they were able to follow all the instructions. (watch the video below)

Lucas after showing his ninja skills

Mariette (from California) after learning about Ninjutsu


They also learned how to use the Shuriken (手裏剣 : Ninja Star)  and was surprisingly good at it! There were other kids who had to be given more than three shurikens.

If you've watched a scene in a movie or anime about ninjas throwing some kind of star-shaped piece of metal, that's shuriken.  That's exactly what the kids needed to throw as hard as they can to stick to the wall.

Lucas successfully throwing shuriken

Mariette successfully throwing shuriken

After the training, they were the proud bearer of a ninja card that certified their ninja skills.  They showed it to everyone they talk to during the rest of the vacation.  Lucas even bragged about it during their class' Show and Tell.

Ninja training card


After the ninja workshop, we got a little bit of extra time before the Ninja show started so we went inside the Ninja Karakuri Mansion where we learned to navigate inside a ninja's house.  It looked normal on the outside. Inside, however, there were trapdoors and secret passages to provide means of escape in times of need. A ninja showed us how to go through the revolving walls.  Once you're inside, you have to navigate on your own. Lucas went with us, he was so scared! (also in the video below).

A ninja showing us how to hide through revolving walls

Watching the ninja show with live ninja action was really fascinating and heart-pounding! Video taking was not allowed so I can't show it here. It was a theatre act about a ninja who escaped from the organization because he wanted to have a normal life.  However, Ninjutsu was supposedly a secret war technique, therefore he must pay for his betrayal with his life.  The fight scene between ninjas, jumping from the roof, hiding through walls, and sword fighting was indeed spectacular!

Tatay (Father) asked, "Have you guys figured out how they were able to change scenes really fast?"  For him, it was magic!

Before the ninja show, with curtains still closed.

There were also other performances that we were not able to see like Ryogoku-za (comedy play), Mizugei-za (water illusions), Wakamatsu-ya (about Oiran entertainers), Bunka Eizokan Cultural Cinema (3 short films about Nyanmage, firefighters, and Geisha).

Other attractions we tried and loved (in order):


1. Samurai Training Institute - I can't forget Mariette's face when she took the samurai out and found that it was real.  She thought we would be holding wooden ones.  She whispered, "Tita, it's real!" And boy, was that training for real! Unlike the ninja workshop for the kids, this training was S-E-R-I-O-U-S! We learned the basics of proper sword handling through the Kenjutsu Workshop.

2. Ninja Training Hall - A test of balance.  We couldn't walk straight or climb the stairs inside this house! You can't even tell which is the floor or ceiling! Lucas wanted to give up and just leave the place. I did the Matrix move... It was mysteriously fun!

Feeling groggy after going through that strange lopsided house.

3. Ninja Shikake Mechanical Maze - Are you brave enough to enter a maze and get lost? Only three of us were able to find the exit. Most of us took the "give-up" exits.

Exit right there! Oooops.. that's the "give up" door - but only if you can fit that small door.

4. Jigoku Temple - it's a haunted temple.  Don't expect to be scared but having someone like Marcha who's got exemplary imagination always adds to the suspense!

Outside the Haunted Temple trying to figure out which is the entrance. That's Marcha on the right.

5. Exhibits and Other Attractions - There were several exhibits about historical inns, teahouse, firefighters, etc. The place itself is majestic with all the historical structures, dressed-up staff, mountain view, a canal with plenty of Koi, and three Japanese bridges.  We couldn't take enough pictures to satisfy our excitement for this place.

Historical tools and handicrafts.

What did you find Lucas?

Strike a ninja pose
Jane inside an old Inn

Cool brother Marcus doesn't want to be left out.

You can buy souvenirs here too (shop in the background).

At the entrance gate with Tatay and Nanay.

Right by the canal. You can ride the boat for 600 yen. Good experience if you have toddlers.

Someone fed them so I took the opportunity for a photo.

Near the Samurai Training Institute.

Fukiage Bridge

Restaurants

There are 9 food stores that offer Japanese dishes.  I wouldn't exactly call it dining as they don't have dining tables.  You can also opt to bring your own food and eat outside by the canal's roofed-table and chairs.  It was so cold when we went there, we ended up just eating at the Yakitori place. They have chairs but no dining table.  It helps imagine what eateries during the Edo period looks like!

These girls can't get enough of those sweet tri-colour hanami dumplings (Dango).

Couple Marcus and Jane enjoying their Yakitori bento.
Other Experiences we did not try:

There were still a lot of other experiences that we did not get to try. Some of them were also free but you have to pay extra for the others.  Before you visit the place, make sure to check them out and make the most of your day.

We saw that most visitors rented costumes to hype up their experience.  If you want to, be sure to do this first before going around. You can rent out costumes for the day and dress up as police (¥6,800), ninja (¥3,900), or princess (¥9,800).  If you don't want to spend the extra cash, it's okay too. You get to try Yukatas if you stay in a ryokan like we did.

Edo Wonderland English map
No matter how far you traveled to get to Japan, I would say, go to Edo Wonderland.  I am confident based on the experience we had, you will have fun and great memories here no matter what age.

Not convinced yet? Watch this video:




Have you been there? Let us know how it went by leaving a comment below.

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