We went for the opening of Naruto Village and here is what you can expect.
The Lowdown: The Leaf Village opened last weekend and we were there to see it! Other than iconic character statues situated around the park, you can join in 2 ninja quests as part of the experience. There are also AR spots that you can explore with your phone!
When we reached the place at 9ish, there was already a long que outside to get in. Thankfully, Boruto and gang were around for us to take pictures with!
At 10, the gong struck and there was a cool Taiko performance (Japanese drums). After that we were free to enter!
At the entrance, you’ll be greeted with the whole cast for Naruto!
Here is where you will get your tickets and get your Ninja “missions” scrolls.
It was a sight to behold when you enter
The first thing you’ll see is a large coliseum stage setup with the Hokage mountains in the middle. For a second, you really feel like you have reached the Hidden Leaf and my curiosity for the rest became much higher.
2 Main parts of the Village
If you look at the map, the 2 main parts are basically the BLUE highlights and RED highlights.
The PURPLE highlights are AR spots which you can interact with your phone (if you download the app. I was too lazy to download it :p)
The ORANGE highlights are basically the entrance, shop and ramen.
The Hokage Maze
Entering from the bottom left of the Hokage mountain, you will enter a 3 story maze. There are 2 doors to start – the Uchiha or Uzumaki.
Both of them leads to the top with different physical obstacles where your mission is to collect stamps to fill up certain slots in your ninja scroll.
In order to complete it(the scroll), you’ll need to go through BOTH doors/sides.
At the top, there is a slide to go down to the first floor or you can go to the other course from the top and make your way down (and collect stamps).
Thoughts: The maze is pretty much for kids and poses no challenge. The “maze” won’t lead you to get stuck anywhere but you’ll probably need to keep your eyes peeled in case you miss a stamping spot. The top floor is pretty nice and will be good for pictures with Naruto and Sasuke though.
Sorry not much pictures for the maze as it was quite cramped in there.
Naruto Villains Stamp Collection
The Mission: Stamp collecting through the village of Naruto villains. Solve clues and find decide which stamp to use for you Ninja scroll!
This is the 2nd part of the Naruto village and I feel that it’s much more enjoyable for adults. You’ll be able to take many pictures with several main villains and even the Kyuubi!
For your mission, its a little bit different as you’ll be given a pencil to shade imprints off metal stamps. See pic above~
The Akatsuki is the first thing you’ll see when you enter this part of Shinobi-Zato. You’ll be able to take pictures from below but you can’t go up close with them.
When I was living a few years back in Tokyo, there was a Naruto Exhibition in Roppongi Hills and these look like the exact ones from then. The difference here is that you won’t be able to go up close with each of them and take pictures. Pain fans, I’m sorry as he is right at the back as you can see 🙁
A Grand Finale
At the end of the villains area, you’ll see this entrance. You’ll be able to “complete” your Ninja mission when you go through here with your scroll. No worries if you did not do the stamps; you’ll be able to go in.
No photography is allowed in there but what I can say without spoiling your experience is that it is a short but cool part of the village. Make sure you don’t miss this part!
Bonus Content! Ichiraku Ramen!
I’ve always wanted to eat at Ichiraku Ramen with the Ramen-Ossan and I guess this is the closest you can get to it! A little bigger than the actual Ichiraku but it looks like this!
The souvenir shop is available near the entrance/exit and they have some exclusive goods available.
Overall, I felt that it was a small attraction that targets at kids below 14. I think it will be good for families that know the basic lore of the anime and that they’ll have about 3 hours worth of fun if they go through the Ninja missions seriously.
For hardcore anime/Naruto fans and adults though, this would not be enough with limited characters to interact with. Most fans would like to be able to see iconic skills being used but we don’t get none of that. Even Naruto’s Kage Bunshin is not shown and although you have Orochimaru’s white snake form, you don’t get any of the Kuchiyose shown.
A display of the 3 big summons would be epic and is a huge missed opportunity for the theme park.
However, I do appreciate the effort being put in and fans like me is happy for them creating this Shinobi-Zato.
If you come in from other parts of Japan, do make plans to do AFTER you finish the theme park because there are many interesting things to do on the island too! 🙂