Japan Day 7

Harry Potter Studio Tour

Man were the legs sore after walking so far yesterday. We still got up and decided to do some train hopping down to skytree to go to the Pokemon Shop and the Disney store. It was pretty easy and we had a good browse through the shopping centre. We checked out an aquarium shop that I just wish we had at home it had the best nature stuff to make beautiful aquariums. There was nothing I wanted at Disney so we went to the Pokemon Store and picked up a few things. I think everyone was at the Pokemon Store because it was packed.

We went back to the hotel to drop our shopping off and then took an hour train ride out to The Harry Potter studio tour in Tokyo. I have only heard really good things about this and tickets were extremely hard to get so we were pretty excited. The idea of this tour is it is a walkthrough of how the Harry Potter movies were made. They have full sets to walk through and explain the process of movie making.

When we stepped in to the entrance we were blown away at the scale. You can see the merch shops on the left and a restaurant on the right. The quality and decorations were crazy. We knew it would be a good tour.

You enter into a lined area with huge posters of all the movies and enter a room where the voice of Harry Potter in Japan comes on to explain the tour to you. You then enter a theatre and have a welcome from Emma, Daniel and Rupert talking about their time in Harry Potter. The screen then disappears and the entrance door to the great hall appears. Before you know it you are entering the full set of the Great Hall. The first thing I noticed is how many details are in the great hall that I have never noticed before. Like all the lanterns are the animals of each of the 4 houses. They had a few of the costumes around the great hall too.

The next section was the design department we looked at design models for the sets and how they were made and then stepped into a huge set for the moving staircase and paintings. These were huge. I have included Anthony for scale next to one of the paintings. The staircase also moves every so often. You can take a photo and put yourselves in the paintings but the lines were super long.

The next area had the common room sets and props. We saw the Fat Lady, the Griffindor common room, the Slytherin common room and the boys dormitory. The all had really cool detail in them.

Next we moved into props. We saw all the quidditch items and brooms. Triwizard tournament items. Did you know the Goblet of Fire was carved out of a huge Elm tree. We saw props from the Room of requirement too. The detail in all of these was crazy.

Hogwarts sets was the next area. The had full sets for Dumbledore’s office, the potions classroom, defence against the dark arts classroom and the library plus costumes and props. I cannot explain to you the amount of details that are in these props. For example all the jars in the potions labs are all labelled differently and have different collections of things in them.

The forbidden forest was next and it was huge! The trees and spider webs were super cool. They had dementors on screens, Hagrid and buckbeak and then the spider lair.

We had reached the halfway point of the tour and it had taken over 2 hours. We stopped at the cafe to get some lunch and butter beer. Anthony got a super cool Mauraders Pie which had the map on top and had Mischief Managed on the bottom which was really cool.

Outside at the halfway point the had the huge chess set, the knight bus, Hogwarts bridge and 4 Privet Drive. Which was super cool. You could walk through privet drive and see some scenes from the movies.

It was then onto the second half of the tour. We started off by going to platform 9 3/4 with the fully built Hogwarts Express. You can go inside the train and see different scenes from the movies.

Next we looked at making textures and set pieces and ended up in a full set of the ministry of magic after Voldemort returns. The even had it looking like the floor network working with smoke. I think this was the most impressive set of them all.

We explored the animatronics department and the sound effect department. We learnt that the dragon wing sound were just made with a large piece of leather. Then we walked through Diagon Alley. After Diagon Alley was more props including the Black Family tree and maps and news papers.

You finish off the tour in a huge model of Hogwarts which was amazing. The whole experience took us well over 5 hours and it took about an hour to get back to Tokyo. We spent too much at the gift shop but man this tour was one of the best things I have done and well worth the trip out. It has also taken me about 2 and a half hours to put this blog together so I think I will leave it here.