Nikko, Japan is about a three to five hour car ride from the major cities of Yokosuka and Tokyo. Last year a group of friends and I decided to venture out a bit and make the trek to this beautiful prefecture. The road trip up was a strong indicator of the natural beauty Nikko was to offer, as there was plenty to look at including forests and mountain ranges on the way. 

A trip to Nikko isn’t fully complete without a day or two spent at Edo Land. Edo Land is a theme park nestled in the mountains of Nikko where foreigners and locals alike can experience what life was like in the Edo Period of Japan. 

The park is extremely immersive, starting off with the option to dress up in various traditional outfits to include the ceremonial dress of a Japanese priestess and the elaborate kimono of a royal. The more elaborate the costume, the higher the price; that being said it was relatively inexpensive to spend the day in a themed outfit. After getting dressed out, visitors are free to venture wherever they please. We went through several ancient style homes that featured common Japanese tools and utilities used during the 1800s. As you tour the area, you can engage in several activities like cooking your own rice cracker and practicing knife throwing for a prize. There are also various shows to enjoy, like a water show narrating famous Japanese folk stories and a parade throughout the “village” featuring Edo period actors (samurai’s, princesses, you name it).

In addition to entertainment, Edo Land has several eateries offering an array of delicious treats. We treated ourselves to bowls of traditional style soba and some hot sake to go with it. We also tried the traditional rice ball snack and packets of Japanese sweets and snacks, all of which were purchased at the many little merchant shops scattered throughout. The experience was extremely engaging; not only did we thoroughly enjoy ourselves, but we also learned quite a bit too. We even made some friends along the way….

For more information about Edo Land, check out their site: http://edowonderland.net/en/ 

PRICE: General admissions costs about 5800 yen for adults and 3000 yen for children

TRANSPORTATION: Travel easiest done with a car; buses are also available between Kinugawa Onsen Station and Nikko Edomura.

BRING WITH YOU: A camera for pictures and plenty of yen as most items at Edo Wonderland must be paid for with cash

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