A developer on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa has announced plans to build a theme park that will take advantage of the local flora and fauna to compete with more established attractions in the region.
Entertainment company Katana intends to make the most of Okinawa’s sub-tropical climate to create “Junglia”, a forested park that will open in 2025.
Tsuyoshi Morioka, Katana’s chief executive, said: “When people think of theme parks, they probably come up with great parks such as Tokyo Disneyland, Universal Studios Japan and Huis Ten Bosch. But if our park provides similar experiences as them, there would be no reason for visitors to come all the way to Okinawa.”
So, the aim of the $470m Junglia is to offer visitors the experience of “overwhelming nature”.
The 60ha attraction will be built on a former golf course near the coastal village of Nakijin in the northwest of the island. This area of Okinawa is famous for the Yambaru subtropical forest, which was recognised as a Unesco Natural World Heritage site in 2021.
For instance, the park will offer balloon rides and an attraction in which visitors will be chased through the forest by dinosaurs while they ride in a vehicle.
The scheme is being developed by Japan Entertainment, a Katana subsidiary based in the Okinawan city of Nago. It is partnering with local municipalities and Meio University, which is also based in Nago.