Japan to open world's second 'Making of Harry Potter' attraction

Maggie Hiufu Wong, CNNPublished 20th August 2020
(CNN) — Great news for Japan-based muggles in need of a bit more magic in their lives -- a new 30,000-square-meter Harry Potter attraction is coming to Tokyo.
Warner Bros. Studio Tours and Warner Bros. Japan have just signed a deal to bring the famed series' permanent studio tour, "The Making of Harry Potter," to Japan.
Not to be confused with the Wizarding World of Harry Potter -- the themed area in Universal Studios Japan in Osaka -- the studio tour offers visitors a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the movies based on the books by author J.K. Rowling.
Attractions include the recreation of famous film sets such as the Great Hall inside Hogwarts, the Forbidden Forest and Diagon Alley. There will also be original props and costumes from the movies. In addition to Harry Potter, the Tokyo attraction will also cover the "Fantastic Beasts" spin-offs.
The half-day tour will take visitors through the facility and the exhibition space's "sound stage" and "backlot" areas.
Now for the bad news. It's not opening till 2023.
Nonetheless it will be the first Making of Harry Potter studio tour in Asia. The only other one in the world is based in London.
Warner Bros has teamed up with Itochu Corporation, one of the largest general trading companies in Japan and the majority owner of Family Mart, to create the new attraction.
"The Studio Tour Tokyo will be the second facility of its kind in the world, after London, and will offer a new type of experiential entertainment in Japan," says a statement from Itochu Corporation.
Opened in 2012, the London version has received more than 14 million visitors.

Saying goodbye to a 94-year-old park

For many Japanese, the news is significant for another reason.
The Making of Harry Potter will be located on part of the current grounds of historic Toshimaen Amusement Park.
Set to close at the end of August, the 22-hectare attraction celebrated its 94th anniversary this year. It's home to a century-old carousel, one of the oldest in the world.
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government will reportedly lease a large part of the remaining land from Seibu Railway Co. Ltd, which owns and operates Toshimaen, to build a public park.
It's hoped the new Harry Potter attraction will lure people to the fading area once again.
"We are also considering various sales promotions including renewal of Toshimaen Station, by the cooperation between Warner Bros. Japan LLC and Seibu group companies such as Seibu Railway, in order to revitalize the areas along Seibu line, by which we try to offer added value to the local community," says Takashi Goto, the chairman of Seibu Railway Co., in a press release.
Toshimaen sits in the Nerima ward in the northwestern part of Tokyo. It's about a 45-minute train ride from central Tokyo districts Chuo and Shibuya.