Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Japan: Food-themed theme parks!

A theme park centered around a certain type of food...Count me in!

The concept of developing a theme park around a certain food or dish is growing more popular in Japan.  Unlike the theme parks that you may be used to, these food theme parks are located indoors and usually decorated according to a specific epoch or fantasy theme.

The key to a successful food-themed park is to have the most well-prepared and largest variety of that particular dish available.  To accomplish that the dishes are not prepared by just anybody, but by top chefs and restaurants.  Accordingly these theme parks are not cheap and you can expect to pay 1000-2000 yen per person ($10-$20) just to enter and be sure to brush up on your Japanese as English descriptions are not always available.

Check out some of the fantastic food theme parks:

Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum- The Ramen Museum introduces the history of ramen and features about a dozen ramen stores with regional flavors from across Japan in a setting of Tokyo in the 1950s, the time when ramen gained popularity.

Ikebukuro Gyoza Stadium- Located inside the Namjatown in the Ikebukuro Sunshine City complex, the Ikebukuro Gyoza Stadium features various gyoza dishes by famous restaurants from across Japan. The theme is Tokyo of the 1950s.

Jiyugaoka Sweets Forest- Sweets Forest in the pleasant city district of Jiyugaoka specializes in various, mostly Western style sweets, such as cakes and ice cream. There are about half a dozen stands operated by famous patissiers.

And what I would imagine would be MY personal Favorite!

Ice Cream City- Also located inside the Namjatown in the Ikebukuro Sunshine City complex, the colorful Ice Cream City consists of about ten different ice cream stores, selling countless types of ice cream.

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