After 94 years of bringing joy to kids and adults alike, the iconic Toshimaen amusement park in Tokyo, Japan has officially closed its doors to guests on Monday to make way for a “Harry Potter” theme park.
Owned by Seibu Railway Co., Toshimaen was one of the largest amusement parks in Tokyo and featured 30 rides and attractions, including a wooden carousel built in Germany in 1907 that was transported to the park in 1971, reported Japan Times. The wooden ride was the last ride to operate before the park closed for good.
In addition to rides and attractions, the 22-hectare park, which first opened in September 1926, featured swimming pools as well. Toshimaen was the world’s first to open a river pool in 1965.
“I thank all those who have supported (Toshimaen) from the bottom of my heart. I hope that you will remember that Toshimaen was once here,” head of the operating company Tatsuya Yoda said during the final closing ceremony on Monday night, Kyodo News reported.
Visitors lined up well before the opening of the park at 9 a.m. to reminisce on memories visiting the park and to bring their children to experience that same feeling.
The Tokyo metropolitan government will purchase most of the 22-hectare land to build the 30,000 square meters (322,917 square feet) “Harry Potter” theme park set to open in 2023. It is the second theme park based on the popular movie and book franchise created by J.K. Rowling. The first was the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London that opened in 2012.
The green space of the park will reportedly serve as an emergency shelter for disasters.
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