A Deep Dive into LEGOLAND(R) Japan!!
Ahead of its grand opening on Saturday, April 1, 2017, LEGOLAND(R) Japan held a preview for the press on Friday, March 17. Press members from all around the country, consisting of 400 people representing approximately 150 media companies, participated that day. Among the seven areas of LEGOLAND(R) Japan, Miniland was introduced in its entirety that day. So today, we take a detailed look at Miniland. Here is a comprehensive report, with pictures, of the famous sites and townscapes recreated with LEGO(R) bricks and the scenes you don't want to miss!
This is an area that recreates sceneries and townscapes from 10 areas across Japan, including Nagoya, Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, and Hiroshima. A rare opportunity, even among all the LEGOLANDs(R) around the world, to visit all the major Japanese sites.
There are a staggering 10.5 million LEGO(R) blocks used in Miniland. It is worth looking at the details of everything from the famous sites such as Nagoya Castle and the scramble crossing in Shibuya to representations of scenes from everyday life. We've seen the entire diorama and introduce the famous sites and scenes that especially moved us.
First, you'll want to see the numerous landmarks of Nagoya, the home of LEGOLAND(R) Japan. In particular, Nagoya Castle, which is about the height of an adult, is stunning.
The golden shachihoko dolphins and green copper tile roofing are superbly recreated. The LEGO(R) builders' skills shine in the roof that shows off its distinct curve.
Cast your eyes to the foot of the castle, and you'll see warriors that remind you of the Sengoku period of the warring states. One of the real pleasures of Miniland is to look at all of the details.
Nagoya City Science Museum with its distinctive sphere comes up to about the hip of an adult. You can see representations of everyday life there, including students enjoying the sites and people relaxing in Shirakawa Park.
There is a Nagoya Dome, the home of Chunichi Dragons, as well. Get close to peer inside the dome and...
You'll see players in the middle of a game, and all of the people watching them! The expressions on people's faces vary as well. Look at them even more closely, and imagine each person's story.
There are many more familiar spots such as the area around the Port of Nagoya, the Spiral Towers at Nagoya Station, and Oasis 21 in Sakae. You'll have fun walking around with friends identifying the various places.
Of course, you can't miss the georama recreating landmarks that are famous nationwide such as the SkyTree in Tokyo, Dotonbori in Osaka, and Itsukushima Shrine in Hiroshima. The amazing grand work that is taller than a grown person will take your breath away!
Tokyo is represented by sites such as the scramble crossing in Shibuya, SkyTree, and the Fuji Television building in Odaiba. There are detailed mechanisms at the scramble crossing, so that cars that are stopped may start moving.
Itsukushima Shrine in Hiroshima, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site, is also a must see. There are even tourists looking at the Otorii gate from a boat on the water near Miyajima Island. And it is only in Miniland that you can see the Spiral Towers of Nagoya Station in the background!
Tourist spots in Osaka, such as Tsutenkaku and Dotonbori, are also faithfully recreated. You can see tourists mimicking the famous "Glico pose" in Dotonbori. Take a close look at the people walking around the LEGO(R) townscape, including photographers taking pictures.
The faithfully recreated buildings are wonderful too, but take a close look at the scenes that represent the LEGO(R) builders' playfulness.
In the Hiroshima area, there is a postman that seems to be in trouble. The letters he dropped are scattered along the path he must have taken. Accidents that would be terrible in real life can make you laugh in the world of LEGO(R).
At the scramble crossing in Shibuya, there are businessmen walking on the zebra crossing. It represents an everyday scene, with busy people passing with their smartphones in one hand. The georama full of people depicts a scene that seems to represent Tokyo.
The georama includes a scene from a wedding that would make you expect wedding bells. Among the guests is a young man with a Pompadour wearing a red and yellow suit. Maybe the groom used to run around with a rough crowd!?
In addition to the people, notice the signs on the buildings. You may be pleasantly surprised by hidden messages such as "Welcome to LEGOLAND" on a sign with the Japanese flag.
You can get a bird's-eye view of Miniland from the Observation Tower. It is as if you are seeing a map of a city. We hope you will walk around the enormous grounds of Miniland to find your favorite spots.
[This article was originally published in Walkerplus on 03.17.2017]
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.