Tokyo One Piece Tower
The famous pirates’ crew amusement park
Tokyo One Piece Tower, the only theme park dedicated to the manga One Piece in Japan, is located at the base of Tokyo Tower. This indoor amusement park offers interactive attractions, a live show and a restaurant. The welcoming main characters’ life-size representations will thrill One Piece lovers.
There are surprisingly very few permanent themed parks or attractions dedicated to One Piece, despite the manga’s extraordinary popularity in Japan for the past twenty years. An attraction with the crew’s boat in Huis Ten Bosch is worth mentioning, but it is remotely located in Western Kyushu and not easily accessible to foreign tourists (about one hour by car 🚙 from Nagasaki). The association of the ageing Tokyo Tower 🗼 and One Piece brand thus seems to fill a gap. Initially opened in March 2015, One Piece’s official theme park 🎡 first occupied three floors at the base of Tokyo Tower. It was refurbished the following year for extension to its current state.
One Piece Tower recreates Eiichiro Oda’s universe on a fictional island, named Tongari (literaly: "peak", in reference to Tokyo Tower). The Log Theater is the first step into this wonderland: a noisy short film, only in Japanese, appears on a 360° screen, while a Den Den Mushi (a communication snail) act as a narrator. Exiting the theater room, visitors are welcomed in the park by a beautiful diorama of the Straw Hat’s crew. Luffy, Zoro, Sanji, Usopp, Nami, Robin, Chopper, Franky and Brook are all represented as realistic life-size statues, with detailed ecchi characteristics for the female protagonists.
It is unfortunately, one of the best parts of the park, even for One Piece hard-core fans. The rest of the facility presents undetailed exhibitions and retrospectives, as well as a dozen of not so interesting themed attractions. Those are most of the time in the form of a simple video game, with varying degrees of interactivity, and offer "rewards" that are not really enticing. The only new approach is the live show, a theatrical representation with actors, performed four to six times a day.
The One Piece Tower zone doesn’t have window on the outside, but its indoor lighting is surprisingly poor, and some areas are quite dark. There is a restaurant and two cafés, but the official store is unexpectedly uninteresting, ridiculously small and expensive. Lastly, the entrance fee is quite expensive. There is of course a combined ticket with Tokyo Tower, but only for the lowest observatory, with no access to its more recent and more impressive upper floor.
In the end, One Piece Tower might prove interesting only to the biggest fans of the show.