Tuesday, 22 December 2015


Today's day trip was to Nikko, an historically important place in the Edo period. Nikko is famous for its UNESCO world heritage temples and shrines as well as the Nikko National Park. After visiting Nikko Toshogu, we thought we'd give the children a real feel of the Edo period by taking them to Edo Wonderland! We did toss up whether or not it was sacrilege to not go to the other sites but we only had one day and wanted the children to enjoy the day and hopefully also learn something from it.
Toshogu Shrine

5 story pagoda

Free shuttle to Edo Wonderland

From Nikko Toshogu Shrine there was a free shuttle bus to Edo Wonderland. The shuttle bus also takes guests back to the JR Nikko Station. However, please be aware of the bus timetables as they are not that frequent. For those that are interested, you are able to get a 10% off discount pass online.

Edo Wonderland attempts to bring to life the culture and way of life of the Edo period. If you like ninjas and samurais then you will like this place. Disney would be proud of the buildings and surroundings, everywhere you looked you really felt like you were in Japan 400 years ago. All the staff were in costume down to the shopkeepers and restaurant staff. If you so wish, you are able to hire a costume to walk around the park which many people did. You could be a princess, a samurai's daughter, ninja, samurai, the list goes on!

A Singaporean family asked if we wanted to pool our numbers and go for a group discount. Sure why not!

Let's go find some ninjas!

Every building recreates a part of the Edo period lifestyle

One of the theatres

Beautiful streets

The highlights for young Jonah were the 2 ninja shows. As with everything Japanese, there was plenty of drama and it was highly entertaining. The main gist of the story line did not require any knowledge of Japanese to understand! They also had a variety of hands on experiences for children and adults, some of which were quite wonderful. An example of this is a short session of archery in an old fashioned dojo. The walk through attractions were also a heap of fun and included a haunted house and a "ninja-training" house of optical illusions in a tilted house such that standing still without falling over was a challenge and took great concentration! Definitely not for one prone to motion sickness...There was also the "best maze ever" which had clever features such as sliding and rotating wall panels. The central viewing tower also had entries and exits which were only one way so you had to choose carefully! Food there as expected was overpriced but was tasty enough. All in all, it was another fun filled day for the whole family.

Most buildings are functional ones that can be entered

Ninja Lara

The walk through haunted house 

"Ninja training" house

Malcolm struggling to stand up!

Entrance to the maze!

Go through the cave first. Jonah wasn't so sure

Er...which passage do we take?

We can do this!

NO GIVE UP exits for us!

The panels need to be slid in the right order for it to work. Very simple but clever. You have to notice first though that there are panels to slide! The children had all run past it before Mother called them back...

Some spin

This is all you could see from the central viewing platform!

There were 2 disappointed children in the afternoon 

The master showing how its done

Elliot had a good go

And hit the target! The ones on the right were Malcolm's efforts

We were finally shown how to throw the spinning tops

Nikko is roughly 50 minutes by Shinkansen from Tokyo Station and then a further 40 minutes on the JR Nikko line.
We were told salt based ramen was good in Tokyo. So here it is, at a simple ramen bar at Shinagawa Station

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