Growing up, Naruto was my childhood… so when I discovered that a Naruto theme park was being opened in Japan, I immediately put it on my bucket list for when I planned to visit later that year! If you’re not a hardcore Naruto fan though, I’m not sure if this would be worth going to. Here are my honest thoughts and experience:
The Naruto x Boruto theme park is located in Awaji Island, which is southwest of Osaka and nearby Kobe. It takes about 1.5 hours to get there by bus from Osaka, but it was seriously a mission because there was no English at the bus stops and Google Maps suddenly changed from English to all Japanese too. It was definitely a bit difficult to navigate, but we managed to make it through.
After a long bus ride, we were dropped off at essentially the middle of a highway where we had to find our way to the theme park. It took us a good half-hour hike (passing by random trails and spider webs) to finally reach our destination. Before that, we were honestly unsure if we were even at the right place because the surrounding area was dead. Eventually, we saw signs that led us to the entrance though and we made our way there!
Travel Tip: Maybe it’s better to search up a better travel route before visiting this park if you decide to go LOL. We just knew that it was nearby Osaka and followed the directions after typing the address into Google Maps. I’m sure there’s probably a better way to get to this park that we weren’t aware of at the time (example: shuttle bus station, etc.)
Once we arrived at the park, we were welcomed by the staff who were dressed up as shinobis. There were lots of cut-outs of Naruto characters at the entrance which got me excited (just fangirling inside haha). If I was honest though, I felt that the entire experience was pretty underwhelming considering how far we had traveled. I’m still happy that we were able to visit, but allow me to recap below and you can decide for yourself if this park is worth your visit!
To start things off, after purchasing our admission tickets at the gate, the staff handed us two scrolls that would serve as our “missions” for the theme park. From there, we walked into the park and realized that there actually weren’t many people there. It felt like a very empty field (which I guess was good in a way since there wasn’t much of a wait time), but the desertedness made it feel a little bleak. There was also construction going on too.
The first mission we were assigned was to venture through a wooden maze to find different Naruto characters and collect stamps from them. There were two different mazes (Naruto and Uchiha-themed). It was cool to see the Naruto designs that were inspired throughout this obstacle course, but in hindsight, it felt like they were just trying to throw Naruto elements into a maze. It didn’t really feel that interactive or real. Maybe I was expecting too much out of this park since it was my first time and I was super hyped for it haha. This park is probably designed more for families and kids to enjoy haha. So just keep your expectations low if you plan on visiting here LOL.
Travel Tip: I recommend wearing comfortable clothes and shoes since you’ll be moving quite a bit!
The second mission was to search for clues and find hidden symbols to mark on our scroll. I enjoyed this mission more because there were a lot of interesting attractions and amazing photo spots. My all-time favourite was with the Akatsuki clan and I pretended to do the summoning jutsu hehe.
DINNER AT ICHIRAKU RAMEN:
After we finished our missions, we stopped by the souvenir shop for a quick look and then grabbed dinner at Ichiraku Ramen nearby. We decided to order the Atasuki okonomoyaki, takoyaki egg scroll, and the shio tonkatsu ramen that included the classic Naruto fish cake right in the centre. Each order also came with a cute surprise coaster, and we got Sakura, Gaara, and Kankuro! Overall, the food was alright and didn’t taste like anything special/wasn’t mindblowing haha. We’ve definitely had better ramen in Japan, but we appreciated the food and the Naruto-inspired designs! I found that to be really creative and I enjoyed the experience.
We personally still had fun at the Naruto theme park and don’t regret visiting at all. It was really cool to see it in person, but the overall experience was just a little underwhelming because our expectations were much higher haha. Transportation was probably the biggest pain in the butt, but if you’re able to get through that part, I do think that being able to immerse yourself in the theme park and take pictures with the Naruto attractions is worth it! Feel free to comment below if you have any other questions, and I wish you all the best on your next trip to Japan! There is so much to see and do, and I’m so excited for all the places you’ll go and the experiences you’ll have!