I had always wanted to see the Edo Village, (http://www.edowonderland.net), which is a recreation of the Japanese capital of Edo, around 1620 AD. Teresa and I took the base MWR trip to this place in the middle of June. Sadly, it was rainy season, and it was raining lightly pretty much all day. Here is a shot of the opening gate at 9am, to let the customers in.
Just inside the gate and down a wooded path is this water wheel. The Nikko Edo Wonderland is about a three hour bus ride away from Yokota Air Base. It was a very long day, getting up at 4am to catch the bus.
The mascot of the park is Miya Mage, a Samurai Cat figure. Here he is, under a building's eve, trying to stay out of the rain.
The rain paused for a moment to allow me to take this photo of part of the village, with the rock mountains behind it. You can have gondola rides down the water ways as well, but that was not available this day due to the rain.
This is the main merchant street, in the early morning just getting opened and ready for tourists.
Teresa and I got our pictures taken with the local town police chief and two of his deputies.
Because of the rain, the park was very empty pretty much the whole day.
Here is one of the actors wandering around the park in costume. There were probably two hundred actors, and probably the same amount of tourists that day...
One of the many theater buildings, each one having a different play. This building's play was about a vice-shogun visiting his courtesian geisha, and having an angry soldier confront him. I got to participate in the play as the vice-shogun!
Looking back at merchant street from around the corner, on top of a bridge.
Looking down this street is a re-enactment area of a magistrates court, prison, theater and museum.
The small water channels had quite a few coi fish in them, leading to and from the major streams.
Looking into the Magistrate Building
Here is the palanquin that the magistrate would be carried in, too and from different areas.
The law enforcement officers on patrol...
As you can see, the streets are very peaceful. Because they are pretty much empty!
This is the outside of one of the theaters where they do a play about a powerful Vice-Shogun (Warlord) and his Geisha. And about an unhappy warrior who comes crashing into their little party. I got to play the Daiymio! Check the video for my starring role...
Here is a picture of my "Geisha girlfriend", Teresa and me, the powerfull Vice-Shogun!
Me and the actor who fed me all my lines in japanese.
We then wandered down to the next theater and watched a play about a Magistrate (Judge) presiding over one of his cases. We did not understand most of it, but it was very entertaining.
A close up of the defendents...
The magistrate...
And the plaintiff and his lawyer...
The plaintiff and lawyer are the ones who get arrested at the end....fitting I think...
The cast takes a bow at the end of the show.
We then went to a 'Water Trick" show...this lady comes out and shows how sharp a samurai sword is..then puts it on a holder in the middle of her stage.
A cup she was drinking out of, as well as the sword sprout streams of water on que.
She can also get water to come from her fan and her pipe...
Her assistants also can conjur water, and at the end there is a strobe effect. Since Teresa and I were in the front row, we got a little wet...:)
Here I am posing on one of the many gates around the Edo Village.
This is the Ninja Theater..
Inside it was very dark, and the show started with a Tycho drum show...
Then for the next 10 minutes was a series of Ninja battles, showing two different clans of Ninja's fighting over a secret message.
In the end, the outnumbered Ninja's win...although lots on both sides perish in the fight.
The canals and streams around Edo Village are packed with large Coi.
When you throw some corn or food into the water, they literally crawl over each other to get to the food.
Later in the afternoon, the rain let up, and they had a parade thru town. This is the Shogun.
And this is the entourage of his Geisha..guards and ladies in waiting.
She greets the crowd warmly...
She gives them her blessings...
This is built on historical fact...and she was susposed to be the most beautiful Geisha of all...
Her ladies in waiting...
There is also a large movie set on the top of the hill overlooking Edo Village. Most movies and TV shows with Edo period action are filmed at this location.
Inside the replica prison, and also the museum, are alot of very brutal depictions on how law and order were kept during the Tokugawa Regiem, which went from 1600 AD on...
Prisoners inside form their own pecking order...
Warriors show proof of their victories to their leaders...severed heads...
Raids on castles and royal parties...
Here is a cool shot of the Japanese fighting the "Black Fleet" in the early 1800's. Guess who the Black Fleet belongs to? The United States of course...
It has been a looong day. Our feet were tired.
Here are some shots of the village in late afternoon...the rain has chased almost everyone away from the park. Susposedly this place is packed in the summer...but not on rainy days.
A shot of the gondola that you can take a trip on...when it's not raining...
One of the 50 or more shops you can browse...
There were also about 15 resturaunts. We had Dombori beef, Chicken Terriyaki and rice. It was all very good! Now for the 3 hour bus ride home...all in all, a very fun day!