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Japan's newest theme park to be Lego-shaped

travel Updated: Nov 21, 2011 13:43 IST
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Already home to some of the world's most popular theme parks, Japan will
be adding to its entertainment opportunities with the opening in 2015 of a
Legoland park. 

Merlin Entertainments Group Ltd. and GCDS Corp. are to move ahead with formal negotiations with the city of Nagoya, in central Japan, after identifying a venue on the city's Kinjo Pier for the nation's first theme park devoted to the much-loved plastic bricks.

The first Legoland park was completed in Denmark in 1968, followed by Legoland Windsor in Britain. That was soon followed by parks in California and Germany, while Legoland Florida opened in October of this year. The sixth park is scheduled to open in the Malaysian city of Iskandar in 2012, making it the first in Asia, but the company behind the brand clearly has major ambitions across the region.

"We are very pleased to be working with GCDS and to have reached this agreement in Japan, which illustrates the strength of the Legoland brand and of Merlin's business model across the globe," said John Ussher, general manager for the British-based company.

"The Asia-Pacific region provides a great opportunity for Merlin's continued development across our brands, particularly Legoland," he said. "This site, its potential as a catalyst to build a major tourist and leisure destination in Nagoya and Japan, and the support of the city of Nagoya all played a key role in our decision to take this project to the next stage."

The park will be aimed at children between the ages of 2 and 12 and will incorporate millions of the colorful bricks in its design. It will also add significantly to the entertainment opportunities in Japan's already crowded theme-park sector.

Chiba Prefecture, just to the east of Tokyo, hosts the mammoth DisneyLand and DisneySea parks, while Osaka is home to Universal Studios. Elsewhere, Mie Prefecture's Spanish Village has roller coasters and other attractions, Huis Ten Bosch is a huge recreation of an entire Dutch town, and British Hills offers visitors a taste of life in the United Kingdom.

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