A Glimpse of Japanese Movieland in Toei Kyoto Studio Park

About the Toei Kyoto Studio Park

Toei Kyoto Studio Park Map and Location

Kyoto, Japan’s ancient capital, used to be the center of governance, commerce, and culture for centuries. It was the center point of trade and development. This remains true until today which is why the city is home to a number of historical and modern tourist destinations. One of these would be the Toei Kyoto Studio Park.

This place was literally Japan’s Hollywood back in the day. It was established in the early 1970s and served as a studio for making films, particularly historical pieces. It is owned by the Toei Company, one of the leading production studios during the Golden Age of Japanese cinema.

User: (WT-shared) 耕太郎 at wts wikivoyage [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

The entire studio is designed and modeled to look like Edo period Japan. There are ancient houses, cobbled streets, Edo-period marketplaces, costumes and more. It may look like a typical warehouse structure from the outside but a step through the gates would feel like time travel.

The total area is a little over five hectares and there are a number of attractions inside the park. There are movie sets and museums that could be enjoyed. On top of that, it has been turned into a theme park through the years and several attractions are available for the public. There are also restaurants and cafes inside the park.

Toei Kyoto Studio Park Entrance Fee and Opening Hours

The Toei Kyoto Studio Park is open from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM during the spring, summer and fall seasons. The opening hours change to 9:30 AM to 4:30 PM during the winter time. On some holidays, the opening hours of the park is much longer. There are no specific schedules for maintenance which means that the park is closed irregularly depending on the need for the studio or movie. It is best to do a research when planning to go to the park.

Those who have been to the Toei Kyoto Studio Park suggest that a suggested length of visit is usually 3 to 4 hours depending on the activities done inside the park. This length of time is already enough to look through all the movie studios and enjoy the attractions.

Tickets going in the park usually costs about 1,100 yen for children, 1,300 yen for junior high to high school students, and 2,200 yen for adults. It is important to note that there are additional fees for most attractions inside the park.

Toei Kyoto Studio Park Access

There are different ways to go to the Toei Kyoto Studio park in Japan. One way is by taking the Keifuku Arashiyama Line and getting off at the Uzumasa-Koryuji station. The Studio Park is already about five minutes away from the station. This route usually takes about 10 minutes from Arashiyama and costs 210 JPY.

Another way is to take the JR Kyoto line and getting off at the JR Hanazono station. This is about 15 minutes away from the theme park. Simply as for direction going to Toei Uzumasa Eigamura (or just Eigamura). This way costs about 200 JPY and takes about 10 minutes from the Kyoto Station.

For those who prefer taking the bus, the Kyoto City Bus No. 75, the Kyoto Bus 71, 72, 73, the Kyoto City Bus 11 and 91 all pass by the theme park. It is just a matter of knowing which terminal to go to catch a ride going to the city center of Kyoto. For those staying in hotels, it might be a good idea to ask the reception desk for directions going to the park.

Main Attractions

Toei Kyoto Studio Park Haunted House

This is probably the most popular tourist attraction inside the park, it is what many visitors always talk about. What makes the experience more terrifying at first is the fact that there was a consistent reminder that there is no turning back once a step to the front door has been made. There was even a waiver that needed to be signed prior entering.

The props are sure to amaze that makes the room look authentically scary. There are sound effects that make the experience much worse. To top that off, the actors inside the haunted house are sure to deliver a scare. There are no spoilers at this point but the only clue is that it would feel like living inside a Japanese horror film.

Toei Kyoto Studio Park Nakamuraza theatre

There are free shows available at the park and are usually shown by the schedule in the Nakamuraza theatre. There are ninja shows, samurai duels, and comedy shows. The problem with this is that the dialogue is incomplete Japanese so foreigners might find it hard to fully understand. The costumes are incredible, the weapons looked real. The entire show was action-packed and very enjoyable. The shows vary from time to time and the storylines change by the season as well. This is to keep visitors coming back and less bored with the stories. This theatre is located at the center of the park.

Toei Kyoto Studio Park: Optical Illusion Maze

Japanese movies and animations are known for their impressive effects and illusions. This is why the Toei studio park in Kyoto has an optical illusion maze inside. A special attraction, this particular house is interesting as it is not a guided tour. Visitors must find their way out through the maze and avoid being confused by the optical illusions. The entire attraction is very enjoyable although some can get quite dizzying. The place is great for photo opportunities as a souvenir from the trip.

Toei Kyoto Studio Park: Ninja Mystery House

Those who love age-old Japanese films would know that many are centralized in samurai duels, ninja combats, and more. What better way to enjoy these kinds of shows that to see them up close and personal. The Ninja Mystery House is a museum that exhibits the wonder of the ninja world. This is not just simple exhibits and guided walking tours. The Ninja Mystery House will surely bring out the hidden ninja in everyone. The entrance fee to get into this attraction cost an additional of about 500 yen.

The most interesting part about this is that the tour inside is completely unguided. The visitors must find the correct passageways and uncover secret hallways on their own with the help of clues. It is important to note that there are a number of traps and decoys all around to lure and confuse visitors.

Toei Kyoto Studio Park: Anime Museum

Toei is a very successful animation company. In fact, it was the home of popular and award-winning animators like Hayao Miyazaki. Among the most popular series produced by Toei in the 1990s are Sailor Moon, Dragon Ball, and Slam Dunk. They also produced the popular series One Piece. These are all name brands and shows that have reached international popularity and has spread through the televisions like wildfire.

The Anime Museum is every 90s kid’s dream. There are original pictures, action figures, life-sized statues, animation cells and more of most of the company’s famous animations. There are descriptions of animators and famous animations. There are even exhibits of cut scenes from famous animated series.

Toei Kyoto Studio Park Movie Sets

The Toei Kyoto Studio Park is a popular film set for period films or jidaigeki movies. This is due to the fact that a majority of the park’s area is a complete model or Edo Period Japan. A visit to the park allows visitors to look through these studios, and if they are lucky, actually witness a shoot. There are even photo opportunities with famous Japanese stars (as long as visitors don’t bother with the shooting schedule).

Photo by 663highland [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0) or FAL], from Wikimedia Commons

This is a great way to experience live studio performances with impressive swordfights from ninjas and samurai in costume. It is said that there are more than two hundred movies that are taken in the theme park every year.

Toei Kyoto Studio Park Costume Rental and Costume rental price

Walking around in costume is a great way to fully immerse one’s self in the vibe of the theme park. This is why there are costume rentals available in the place for only about 1,900 yen for a simple photo opportunity. For those who really want to wear it while enjoying and exploring the park, a cost of about 4,500 yen is needed. For authentic costumes that give off a regal vibe, the rental is about 8,500 yen. This includes makeup, hairstyle, and wig.

Toei Kyoto Studio Park Review

Overall vibe

All in all, the Toei Park is an incredible place to visit as there is no other place in Japan that has the Edo Town vibe as good as this studio. The idea of the park is to be modeled from Old Tokyo with full replicas of Nihonbashi Bridge, Yoshiwara red-light district, and old Tokyo markets. It is not just like walking through a large museum, there are literally geisha, ninjas, and samurai walking about the place.

There are shops and houses lining up narrow streets. There is also a Meiji Period Police Office on one side of the “town”. The visit to this park is a worthwhile experience and can surely give the chills of fooling everyone that they have traveled through time.

Toei Kyoto Studio Park in December and June

Majority of the space in the park is open and only the museums and attractions are indoors. Kyoto is known to experience some mild to severe winters. This is why touring the park during the winter can be a bit difficult. This is why it is best to check weather reports prior going to the park during the cold season.

The park is open throughout the year but opened slightly shorter during winter time. If the temperature is cold, only the indoor attractions are easy to enjoy. Outdoor performances are usually canceled or moved to a different location. This makes the entire “Edo town” a bit empty and sad. However, the image of snow-covered Old Tokyo is an unforgettably beautiful image. Also, rainy seasons like the months of June and July can be a difficult time to travel as well. It might not be a good idea to rent authentic costumes because the rain and puddles might ruin the attire.

Foreign Traveler Friendly

The good thing about the theme park is the fact that it targets all forms of audiences. It is a family-friendly place that will create awe and wonder in the eyes of young children – a good place to learn a thing or two about Japan’s history and culture. It is also a great place for adults because it will take them back memory lane to the cartoons and shows they used to watch as young kids.

By Maksym Grinenko [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

What makes the place even traveler friendly is the fact that most of the signs, guides, and maps are available in multiple languages. There are maps and guides available in the English language. The shows are also available in the English language. This is why the Toei Kyoto Studio Park is for everyone.

Amenities, Restaurants, Parking spaces

Finding a parking space in the area is not easy. This is why it is preferred that tourists and visitors take the public transport going into the theme park. However, the amenities inside the park are great there are rest areas, benches, and tables for those who want to just appreciate the place. There are also restaurants and cafes available in the area. There are vending machines for minor items like water and some light snacks as well.

Japanexperterna [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

Toei Kyoto Studio Park Extra Ticket Charges

Adult tickets to the studio park is cost about 2,200 yen. This is a bit expensive price to pay for first-time tourists. An important disclaimer is that there may be additional charges to some attractions like the haunted house, the ninja house, and the optical illusion maze. So when visiting the theme park, a sum of about 5,000 yen may be enough for the attractions, some lunch, and some light snacks.