Toei Movie Land (東映太秦映画村)

Toei Movie Land is a movie theme park located in Uzumasa Higashi Hachigaoka-cho, Ukyo Ward, Kyoto City. Part of Toei Movie Studios owned by Toei Company is named Toei Movie Land and is open to the public.

History

In the late 1960s, when the downturn of the movie industry was obvious and samurai movies were already losing popularity, Toei, with its yakuza movies (Japanese gang movies) barely drawing fans, attempted to preserve its outdoor studio sets in Kyoto by transferring part of them to the newly established affiliate company 'Toei Kyoto Studio Co., Ltd.,' which called itself Toei Movie Land and opened to the public on November 1, 1975.

Its attractions are: swordfight stunt shows; actors' talk shows, and photo and hand-shake opportunities; TV superhero drama shows such as "Super Sentai" (a superhero-transformation drama series with five masked heroes) or "Kamen Rider" (a superhero-transformation drama series with a masked motorbike rider); and swordfight simulations.

There is a dress-up studio (reservations are needed) where visitors can experience wearing the costumes of characters appearing in samurai dramas, such as maiko (teenaged geisha apprentices in Kyoto), hime (a princess living in a castle), tonosama (samurai lord), samurai, merchant, and a teenaged girl of the merchant class.

Since this park is affiliated to Toei, scenes from this site often appear in films such as "Ojamajo Doremi" (wicked Do-re-mi), which was produced by Toei Animation, an affiliate of Toei.

Some movies were filmed at this site using special effects, including some currently on sale.

Relationship with Toei Movie Studios

Neighboring Toei Movie Studios, the parent company of this park, is Toei's main body whose business is considered different from the park, even though part of their work is connected.

Access

By bus

Kyoto Bus
Routes: 61, 62, 63
Get off at 'Uzumasa Eigamura Mae' bus stop, from which it is very close.

Kyoto City Bus
Routes: 75, 91
Get off at 'Uzumasa Eigamura Michi' bus stop, and it is a few minutes on foot.

By train

Keifuku Electric Railroad
Keifuku Electric Railroad Arashiyama Line (Randen)
From 'Uzumasa Koryuji Station,' it is five minutes on foot.

JR
Sagano Line
From 'Hanazono Station' or 'Uzumasa Station,' thirteen minutes on foot.

Mascot characters
Kachinta
This mascot was created in commemoration of the fifth anniversary of Toei Movie Land. It is a "matatabi" crow (kimono-clad wanderer cartoon crow), and its name comes from the "kachinko" (clapperboard). You can see it on park posters or information signs, and also can enjoy shows by the drama group "Kachinta Company." Kachinta "went on a journey" in 2002 and stopped being a mascot, but he returned home in 2007 and his complete comeback is being planned.

Karasu Tengu Uju (literally, crow tengu Uzumasa)
It is an official character for 'Uzumasa Sengoku Matsuri' which is an event depicting the Sengoku period (period of warring states) held at this park. It is Kachinta's little sister, and Karasu Tengu (a mythical mountain creature having supernatural power) who lives in Mt. Kurama. She came to Kyoto to look for Kachinta when he disappeared. In contrast to Kachinta, she was designed to look like a moe-kyara (a particular type of girl character in video games or manga), and MOSAIC.WAV (a Japanese pop band from Akihabara) sings her theme song, to promote her in a different way from Kachinta.