A new immersive dining, shopping and entertainment attraction will open in Tokyo next spring, as more tourists flood into Japan and consumers stage a post-pandemic retail recovery.
(Bloomberg) — A new immersive dining, shopping and entertainment attraction will open in Tokyo next spring, as more tourists flood into Japan and consumers stage a post-pandemic retail recovery.
Immersive Fort Tokyo will offer 12 attractions spread across 6 shops and restaurants, putting visitors in the middle of fictional situations such as a murder mystery, or a treasure hunt. The venue will be entirely indoors, making use of a shopping mall in the middle of Tokyo Bay that closed its doors last year.
The new destination is the brainchild of Tsuyoshi Morioka, a former Procter & Gamble Co. executive who made his name by turning around Universal Studios Japan by introducing new attractions, including the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. He’s seeking to tap into a wider global trend toward immersive entertainment, an industry worth an estimated $61.8 billion in 2019.
“This will be the world’s first permanent immersive entertainment facility,” Morioka said on Thursday at a news conference to announce the event. “You will be a part of the entertainment.
The venue will take up two floors across 30,000 square meters. Pricing and details of specific attractions will be released at a later date.
Katana Inc., the company established by Morioka in 2017, has worked to revamp other parks in Japan, such as Huis Ten Bosch near the southern city of Nagasaki and Seibuen Amusement park near Tokyo.
Tokyo Disney Resort’s two parks and Universal Studios Japan in Osaka were among the top five most visited amusement and theme parks worldwide in 2022, with each place attracting more than 10 million people annually, according to a report by researcher AECOM and the Themed Entertainment Association.
Sales at amusement and theme parks in Japan almost doubled to ¥671 billion ($4.5 billion) during the fiscal year ended March from a year earlier, 93% of pre-pandemic levels seen four years ago, according to government data.
Morioka said that he wanted to bring content known within and outside Japan to Immersive Fort Tokyo.
“Having a place like this in Tokyo make sense and hopefully it will push more travelers to come and enjoy Japan,” Morioka said. “I want to make Tokyo lead the world in this field, and take it to the world.”
Tokyo Disney Resort operator Oriental Land Co. says travelers from overseas made up about 10% of visitors in 2019 at the peak of Japan’s tourism boom, when the nation had more than 30 million foreign visitors.
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The number of foreign visitors to Japan in August surpassed 2 million people, 86% of the numbers seen in the same month in 2019, according to Japan’s National Tourism Organization.
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