Ever wanted to join Harry Potter on the Hogwarts Express? Live just a little bit of that dream at these Tokyo train stations.
Japan’s love for all things Harry Potter runs as deep as the rest of the world, from the books to the movies and beyond. It only takes one look at the lines for the Hogsmeade-themed Harry Potter area at Universal Studios Japan to see it! But with the opening of a brand new Harry Potter destination in western Tokyo – the Warner Bros Studio Tour Tokyo: The Making of Harry Potter – it seems like the whole city is getting excited about this decades-old series, even the transportation companies. Because as of this spring, two Tokyo train stations on the Seibu Railway line are getting total Harry Potter makeovers!
With the Making of Harry Potter studio tour opening on the former site of Toshimaen amusement park, it only makes sense that the two Potter-fied train stations are Ikebukuro and Toshimaen – the easiest route for most visitors in Tokyo. As a stop on a number of major train lines, Ikebukuro Station is a convenient transfer point from just about anywhere in the city, but as soon as you pass the Seibu Railway turnstiles, things start to look a little more… magical. Unfortunately, while the train to the Making of Harry Potter doesn’t leave from track 9 3/4 (and we don’t recommend walking into any walls to find it), the stairs up to the platform are decorated with perching owls and swirls of magical stars. And although the Seibu Railway train might not look all that much like the steam engine stylings of the Hogwarts Express, the walls are decorated to look like the King’s Cross interiors from the movies, and there are tons of little magical easter eggs scattered around the platform. Don’t miss the “stained glass” elevator!
After admiring Tokyo’s very own Platform 9 3/4, passengers can recreate the Hogwarts Express experience by taking the train to Toshimaen Station, which is not only located next to the Making of Harry Potter studio tour, but also looks an awful lot like the Hogsmeade Station from the movies. The newly redesigned platform is painted a rustic red, with decorations like a classic British telephone booth, and even a model of the Hogwarts Express! Again, this station is big on little details, like the cute signs for the bathroom!
Tokyo’s two new Harry Potter train stations are now open to passengers and being used everyday, and with new trains fully wrapped in a Harry Potter design featuring Sorceror’s Stone-era Harry, Hermione, and Ron, there’s even more to look forward to. For travelers planning a trip to the Warner Bros Studio Tour Tokyo: The Making of Harry Potter when it opens this June, these new stations are going to be the cherry on top. (RIP Florean Fortescue.)
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