Can’t afford a trip to Japan? Another option just opened in Chiang Mai that might better suit limited budgets or allotted vacation times.
It’s called “Hinoki Land.”
Hinoki Land seeks to recreate vintage Japan on a plot of land in Chiang Mai. The property has props available for guests who want to do a bit of ancient Japanese cosplay for photo-taking time. Male and female guests can slip on rented kimonos for THB350 (US$11) each, and gaze coyly from behind a paper fan or parasol. Or, they can throw their hair into a samurai bun and run around with what we hope are fake — or at least unsharpened — Japanese swords.
The park opened in the last few weeks but has already made a splash in Thai media, with their Facebook page quickly collecting 15,000 fans and many people tagging their friends in promotional pictures and videos.
The attraction hopes to provide guests with the feeling of visiting Japan via a series of new, old-style buildings, tatami rooms, lanterns, and a long path covered by red torii gates, a Shinto tradition that usually marks the entry to a temple and signifies entering a sacred space from a worldly one. However, in the case of Hinoki Town, it leads to Hokkii Tower, a spot where you can shop for Japanese-inspired spa products, mattresses, and pillows, buy reproduction geisha outfits, and get a coffee.
In their promotional video, which makes stellar use of vaguely Asian ’80s typography, they show groups of friends taking selfies and having a tea ceremony while children play outside the buildings.
The video also implies that guests can view cherry blossoms year-round, which of course, means that they are not the real thing. After the requisite selfie sesh is finished, visitors can try their hand at activities such as Japanese calligraphy.
Unfortunately, this spot is enforcing a dual pricing admission scheme, charging THB180 (US$5.5) for Thais to enter but THB230 (US$7) for foreigners. This is enforced on youth as well, with entry for Thai kids setting parents back THB50 (US$1.5) while farang parents will have to fork over THB70 (US$2). Their pricing menu does not denote the entry fee for biracial Thais.
However, all admission fees are waived for everyone through the end of October as part of their grand opening.
73 Si Dong Yen
Chai Prakan District
Open daily, 8am-5pm