What do you have in mind when traveling to Kyoto? It might be Geisha hunting in Gion, enjoying the changing color of the trees, or giving yourself a huge amount of zen by immersing yourself in Japanese garden and shrine. However, if you are looking something different, take a route to visit Toei Uzumasa Eigamura or famously known as Toei Kyoto Studio Park.
Toei Kyoto Studio Park is movie set as well as amusement park. The movie set is forbidden for the public while the park is open for public. I myself managed to see some part of the forbbiden stuff thanks to Tokyo International Film Festival and Kyoto Master Lab. It is basically a huge park where they build real house for film/tv shooting. The material is 100% real and you will be blown away by how detail they are. Anyway, enough about me and lets continue about the park that open for public.
Kyoto itself dubbed as the Japanese Hollywood in the 20s-60s. But the decline of film production, made Kyoto lost its reputation. In response to the situation, Toei Studio Park opened part of its location for public in 1975. To visit the park, you will be charged for 2,200 Yen for adult, 1,300 Yen for junior and senior high school students, 1,100 yen for children aged 3 and above.
But bear in mind that this park is different with Universal Studio or Disney Land. You wont find any rides here as this place only consist of mock-up of Edo Period samurai town. Nevertheless, you still can have fun here. Hey, you don’t need rides to have fun right?
For a start, you can visit Anime Museum which filled with impressive displays, pictures and cells from shows produced by the Toei film company’s animation army, including “Kamen Rider,” “Sailor Moon,” “Dragon Ball” and “Super Sentai.” There also dozen of place with movie related theme. If you were not really a fan of film or movie, you can try Haunted House, Ninja Mystery House, Trick Art Museum, 3D theater, maze of illusions, science museum, indoor kids play areas and Japanese “ukiyo-e” woodcut print gallery.
And if you are done with the entertainment sites, be sure to check all the mock-up because the detail is amazing. Some areas might be familiar such as Tokyo Station and some areas might not such as red district Yoshiwara.
To reach the park, you can take five minute walk from Uzumasa-Koryuji Station on the Keifuku Arashiyama Line (10 minutes, 210 yen from Shijo-Omiya or Arashiyama) or a 15 minute walk from JR Hanazono Station (10 minutes, 200 yen from Kyoto Station). It can also be reached in about half an hour by Kyoto City Bus 75 or Kyoto Bus 71, 72 or 73 from Kyoto Station or by Kyoto City Bus 11 or 91 or Kyoto Bus 61, 63 or 64 from Shijo Avenue in central Kyoto.