Theme park showcasing popular anime and manga to open on Awajishima island

An amusement facility under the theme of popular manga and anime will open in Awajishima Koen park on Awajishima island in Hyogo Prefecture in July.

The new theme park is called Nijigen No Mori, which means "two dimensional forest."

Operated by temp agency Pasona Group Inc., it will take advantage of the island's abundant nature and employ the latest visual media technology to create a world of fantasy, complete with an accommodation facility.

The featured works are "Hi no Tori" (The Phoenix) by Osamu Tezuka and "Crayon Shinchan" by Yoshito Usui.

There are hopes the park will become a new tourist hot spot.

The theme park's three attractions and the accommodation facility are scheduled to open in phases from July.

A section in the middle of Awajishima Koen park, called Mori no Zone (The Forest Zone), will be installed with a 1.2-kilometer-long walking trail tentatively named Night Walk Hi no Tori.

Along the trail, visitors will be able to enjoy a show based on Tezuka's "Hi no Tori" that uses projection mapping to beam images and sounds across the forest.

Two attractions themed on "Crayon Shinchan" will open near the Showa-ike pond in the park.

One is zip-line crossing. There will be two zip-lines with different lengths that stretch across the water.

Overnight accommodation will be offered at 23 cottages in the so-called glamping site being built in the park, with capacity for up to 80 guests, according to Pasona.

Fees for using the facilities are yet to be announced.

"We hope to attract young people from abroad, too, with the global appeal of anime and manga - two of Japan's strengths," said Pasona Group Chief Executive Officer Yasuyuki Nanbu.

"We'd like to attract 1 million visitors every year."

In 2013, the Hyogo prefectural government looked to the private sector for plans to revitalise the park and chose Pasona Group after it submitted a proposal for Nijigen No Mori.

Hyogo Gov. Toshizo Ido also has high hopes for the project.

"Awajishima is a trove of culinary delicacies and is rich in history, culture and romanticism," he said.

"I hope Awashijima Koen park will be an entertainment hub and help increase the number of people interacting with islanders."