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Believe it -- Naruto theme park opening in Hyogo Pref.

Nijigen no Mori's recreation of Hokage Rock is seen in Awaji, Hyogo Prefecture, on April 16, 2019. Visitors can take photos of the rock featuring their face at the park's AR booth. (Mainichi/Katsuyuki Ijichi)

AWAJI, Hyogo -- The world of popular ninja-themed anime and manga series "Naruto" and "Boruto" leaps into new exhibits opening at an anime theme park in Awaji, Hyogo Prefecture, western Japan, on April 20.

Visitors will be able to experience the Naruto and Boruto Ninja Village at theme park Nijigen no Mori, which features attractions styled on famous anime series. The park is on the grounds of the Hyogo Prefectural Awajishima Park.

The theme park was established by Tokyo-based Pasona Inc. as part of its regional revitalization policies. Including the forthcoming Naruto world, the park also features exhibits from the manga "Phoenix" by Osamu Tezuka and Yoshito Usui's "Crayon Shin-chan." The park has become popular as a place of natural beauty where visitors can enjoy the worlds of anime and manga. To attract more people from home and abroad, the park opted for the internationally recognized Naruto as its latest addition.

In an 8,000-square-meter plot nestled in one of the tranquil park's forests, visitors can feel like they have really stepped into Naruto's world. Visitors to the park can see a recreation of the series' Hokage Rock, as well as life-size models of many of the characters. The park features a wide range of attractions for all ages, including a 3-story maze complete with quizzes and goals to complete. At a booth employing augmented reality (AR) technology, fans can take photos and videos that make them look like they're doing some of the series' trademark ninja moves.

Entry to Nijigen no Mori costs 3,300 yen for adults, 1,800 yen for junior high and high school age students and 500 yen for children aged 5 or above. Children under 4 years old can enter free of charge.

Naruto was originally published in Weekly Shonen Jump, one of Japan's most popular manga magazines, by Shueisha Inc. between 1999 and 2014. It follows the adventures of Uzumaki Naruto, a headstrong ninja who lives with the spirit of the monstrous Nine Tailed Demon Fox sealed inside him. A successful TV anime adaptation was originally broadcast by TV Tokyo.

(Japanese original by Katsuyuki Ijichi, Osaka Cultural News Department)

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