Just today, the official One Piece site posted an article regarding the future of the One Piece Tokyo Tower. For the unaware, the One Piece Tokyo Tower was a small amusement park located at the bottom of the Tokyo Tower in Minato, Tokyo, themed after our beloved series, One Piece. Due to the recent circumstances, the park was closed for a temporary amount of time, but a long decline and cost of maintenance have taken its toll combined with the current short closure have added over time. Here is the official statement from the site translated:
“Thank you for supporting Tokyo One Piece Tower.
“Tokyo One Piece Tower”, which opened on March 13th 2015, will put a close on its five-year history on July 31st 2020 (Friday).
After the state of emergency was lifted (in Japan) and various measures were taken to prevent the spread of new coronavirus infections within the Tokyo area, we have carefully discussed and re-examined how to resume business. We have determined that it will be difficult to continue maintaining services that uphold the same level of quality and satisfaction as before, not to mention the risk of having indoor amusement facilities.
However, so that you can enjoy Tongari Island (Tokyo One Piece Tower) for one last memory, we will take appropriate measures in accordance with the “guideline for preventing the spread of coronavirus infection within amusement parks and theme parks” by limiting the number of people who enter at the same time, and are planning to reopen the park [note: for a limited amount of time it implies] all free of charge.
We will inform you later about this reopening date and to access the park.
Please understand that we cannot answer any questions at the moment.
*The contents could be changed or canceled upon request from the Japanese government or local government. Thank you for your understanding.
The Straw Hat Crew will soon be setting sail from Tongari Island.
With the safety and security of our customers and employees as our top priority, we will work to prevent the spread of new coronavirus infectious diseases during this remaining period, and provide our customers with even more fond memories than ever before. We are awaiting you to offer our services.
May Tokyo One Piece Tower remain in your heart forever.
We look forward to your visit.”
To summarize, they are claiming they intend to shut down the park permanently, but they will reopen their doors in the near future to allow visitors to have one last chance to experience the island, though the details are still vague and yet to be specified (I’ll keep an eye on it, so follow me for an update on the details). That said, I’m not sure how this will work for foreign visitors, so we’ll have to see how the situation pans out.
UPDATE: Reopening dates have been confirmed, being from July 18th to July 31st
As for my personal feelings, it’s a real shame the tower has to close down, as it’s essentially a sacred destination for all One Piece fans to which we have to make a sacred pilgrimage to one day, so the fact that many One Piece fans won’t be able to do it anymore is a shame. This was a long time coming, it was clear this park would not remain open forever, but it’s still a tough pill to swallow.
If it’s any relief, while it is an incredible occasion to go there, the park itself is, by all means, just a generic theme park with a One Piece skin. There’s not much that makes it stand out as a One Piece park aside from the theming as you might imagine, but it’s still a special experience as a one-time journey and as I said, a pilgrimage that any One Piece fan should do in their lives. I had the chance to go there last year during my first trip to Japan and I was pleasantly surprised that despite how much of a generic park with a OP skin it is, I was still having a lot of fun there.
Regardless, I hope none of you lose heart, as there are still other fun One Piece-related activities to do in Japan and especially so so many more not related to the series that make the country so incredibly fun to explore. If any of you are planning trips to Japan in the future, I hope you can still look forward to them, as Japan really is a treasure box full of experiences far beyond just that of this park.
Below I’ll leave some of my own personal experiences with the One Piece Tokyo Tower: