Jackie: Awaji Island has a plethora of otaku attractions: NARUTO & BORUTO Shinobi-Zato, the Godzilla Museum, Crayon Shin-chan adventure park, dragon quest Hello Kitty Island and Smile. Ok sign me up!
I read a few travel blogs about the island, but none of them explained how to approach all this fun in Nijigen no Mori in one day or how to get there clearly. anime news network to the rescue! I’ll move on to the semantics of how to get there and how much it all costs, but first, why should you go?
if you are a naruto fan, NARUTO & BORUTO Shinobi-Zato will be electrifying. First of all, the landscape of the island is very similar to that of Konoha Village: green hills covered with trees, and Showa Pond is just a stone’s throw away. You then walk in and are greeted by life-size cutout figures of your favorite heroes. It is surreal to look at the iconic shinobi face to face with big warm smiles on his face.
I’m already ecstatic. We get two tickets for about $15, I rush around the box office and there he is, Hokage Rock. I make eye contact with Hashirama Senju and then look at Tsunade. I am covered in chills. I honestly could have gone home at that point and been happy with the money spent. Fortunately, this was just the beginning.
General admission gives you two scroll quests. First, you need to go through a maze/obstacle course and find 12 Shinobi inside and get a seal from their hand seal on your scroll. This was an incredibly fun exercise, a physically stamina puzzle, testing your mental and physical acuity. And I thought that the Chūnin exams seemed difficult (hehe).
My partner and I had to crawl through small passages and doors, jump from board to board to avoid falling on caltrops, climb ladders, traverse wooden and rope challenges, solve sliding door puzzles, unlock passages using two hand seals: our hand stamps were terrible. In one passage, we spend 15 minutes in front of the camera doing every imaginable hand movement. I thought it would be this hard for everyone, but then two girls beat us to it and made it in one go. Anyway, we finally made it through and were greeted by a life-size statue of the 7th Hokage and a beautiful view of the Showa pond. naruto He had a nice message for us in Japanese, which we sadly didn’t understand, but this obstacle course was one of my favorite parts of the trip. it was an outside naruto escape room What can you improve?
Now to the second scroll. You have to follow clues to get to the end, and each station had a riddle or riddle that you needed to solve. Real talk, my partner and I fought a lot on this case. We don’t speak Japanese and we had a lot of trouble understanding what to do. Honestly, we just walked around and checked out the cool exhibits and the first station: Akatsuki. I couldn’t take my eyes off Itachi. The statue of him was so beautiful and impressive. This exhibit alone made the admission worthwhile as well. Konan, Obito, Kisame – they were all there and they looked so cool. After that, everything went downhill. Again, we couldn’t understand the signage, but there were rocks with cool pictures on it, a giant snake with Orochimaru looking at you at the end, and a Kurama climbing wall. The grand finale was a video presentation and incredibly cool statues of naruto and Sasuke lit up in the dark behind you and congratulated you on finishing — OH! There’s also a cool surprise with the second scroll at the end – you’ll have to see it to find out!
if you like it a lot narutoI don’t think you will be disappointed. If you’re meh into it, it’s a bit childish. My partner falls into camp “meh”, but he told me that he had a lot of fun. He really enjoyed the physical and mental gymnastics of the steeplechase. I am a huge naruto fan, so… I thought it was DOPE.
You know what else was dope? The Godzilla Museum. I wasn’t thrilled with this one when we first walked in. Godzilla is cool and all, but it’s not like he’s obsessed. Well this museum changed that! For $30, we slid into a gigantic, roaring Godzilla mouth, watched an exciting video presentation of Godzilla NIGOD, and got to see all these amazing statues of Godzilla, Mecha Godzilla, and Mothra—the list of monsters featured doesn’t end there. There were so many iterations of Godzilla to look at, with figurines showing his evolution from 1954 to the present (he started losing his googly, derpy eyes in the ’90s). He was so impressed. The zip line was terrifying and an adrenaline rush. He was 10 again, running around with a toy gun, pretending to attack Godzilla. I am a huge naruto fan and a mildly interested Godzilla fan, and the Godzilla experience was narrowly surpassed by the naruto theme park. I really had a great time on both.
He Shin Chan Crayon Adventure Park also had a zip line, but this thirty-something heart couldn’t do it twice in one day, so we just watched excited kids fly over Showa Pond while other kids shot them with water cannons. While they were doing that, I posed with the different, adorable, and silly Shin Chan statues I also went down a slide and climbed around the game designed for children from 6 to 12 years old. Admission to this park is free, and it’s a nice addition. It’s just nice and quiet.
Now that Nijigen no Mori concludes for us. There is also Dragon Quest Island there, but sadly our time ran out, and I couldn’t miss the Hello Kitty Smile building on the other side of Awaji Island. A free shuttle runs all the way across Awaji Island, so we hopped on it, and within 20 minutes, we were ready to hop on our Hello Kitty. My partner was definitely not a fan while I WAS IN HEAVEN! Hello Kitty Otohime and Mermaid Themes – I was crying the moment we walked in. Hello Kitty plushies lined the walls in the Under The Sea room featuring a white convertible with a giant Hello Kitty and Dear Daniel inside. Then the Palace Theater showed a magical and colorful video presentation of Otohime Hello Kitty, me and a 5 year old girl were so enraptured as her mother and my partner played on their phones. I was about to stick my face to the glass screens with dazzling Swarovski Hello Kitty figurines, shoes, guitars and pianos. The gift shop also had expensive designer shoes and clothing with steep price tags. The best part though was meeting Otohime Hello Kitty. She smiled and danced with me, the literal picture of kawaii. She even gave me a hug at the end.
So basically the Awaji Island rocks. We were blessed with sunny weather, but it turned stormy at the end, which was a bit scary. The only downside to the adventure is that Awaji Island is very far away. My suggestions on how to get out and how to tackle the day:
- You can take a JR bus that takes about an hour and a half from Osaka Station to the island; they run at 9am, 10am and 2pm I would definitely take the 9AM one.
- Go to Hello Kitty first (they open at 11am), have lunch there, then head to Nijigen no Mori and catch the bus back whenever you want.
- Take the JR train to Maiko or Sannomiya station and then take the bus to the island (use your Suica card or pay with coins). There are many trips. It depends on the person if it’s worth it.
Ugh, I’m BEAT! Do I end each piece more or less by saying this? Every day has been fun and exhausting, hahaha. And we’re nowhere near done yet, people! Tomorrow, Universal Studios Japan! I wish executive editor Lynzee Loveridge was still here with us. I miss you!
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