The "Noboribetsu Date Jidaimura" is the name of this Edo-period village. Jidaimura celebrates a time of Samurais and Ninjas during Edo period Japan, which makes it a really fun location to visit with the young ones.
Jidaimura is in Noboribetsu, Hokkaido, very close to the Noboribetsu town which is famous for its onsen. There is ample parking in the front, and Jidaimura is built like a village. There is good attention to detail at the village buildings with many of the buildings look like they came from that period. The staff and actors also wear costumes from that period.
After paying for entry, we are greeted by a Samurai - a real kick for my son. Then, a long row of shops selling Edo-period brik-a-brack, ninja games and toys, ramen and other food outlets and even a photo-studio where one can dress in Edo-period costumes. Once out of the "main shopping street" [think the main street of Disneyland or Universal Studios right after the entrance], the real fun begins.
There is an alleyway that illustrates homes from the Edo period, including an outdoor toilet where a "boy" is doing his "business", and a tattoo parlour. Nearby is the Ninja Maze which we had the most fun in. There is a room whose floor is cantered at a 30 degree angle, and which seems to gently move as you walk across. It reminded me of that scene from the movie "Inception". There is also a Ninja-dojo where you can learn to be a Ninja.
There are other attractions like the Cat Temple, and the House of Ghosts and Monsters. A little basic and a little scary only. We went in winter and there are no outdoor shows then. However, there were 3 indoor shows to see - Kasumi Ninja House, O-Edo Theatre, and Japanese Culture Theatre. We went to the Culture theatre and the Ninja house. Both were good fun. The culture show was funny with some audience participation. The Ninja House being the most fun. There are ninja fight sequences galore, with some slapstick comedy thrown in. Lots of laughs. At the end of the show, you wrap some Yen coins in paper and throw it on stage as a show of appreciation. You can also take photos with the stars.
Note that only Japanese is spoken here, so a guide who can translate to your language would be good. We came as a tour group with an English speaking guide who translated the shows for us. In fact, the shows recognise the guide and encourage them to translate for us so that all will enjoy the fun. Another point to note is that it was unfortunate that some of the atrractions were showing some wear-and-tear when we visited.
Even though most things are in Japanese at Jidaimura, we still enjoyed the attractions and the shows a lot. We would recommend this theme-park to anyone in the Nobiribetsu area.
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