Have you ever wanted to see full-scale models of famous anime brought to life? Well, at a brand new museum/amusement park that just opened in Tokyo, you can! A new attraction called Small Worlds has recently opened in Japan’s capital city, and it brings the world to life from a new perspective—to-scale miniatures!
So far, there are a few real-life locations that have been painstakingly recreated with incredible detail, but that’s not what we are here to talk about today. In addition to these real places, two of the most timeless and internationally beloved anime have been brought to life, too. Have you guessed which titles yet? It’s none other than Sailor Moon and Evangelion! That’s right, the Tokyo from these two anime has been replicated in miniature at Small Worlds, and you can go and check out all the awesome details. If that isn’t enough, you can even become part of the exhibition yourself. Keep reading to find out more!
Small Worlds, Ariake, Tokyo
|Location (Ikebukuro)|| Address |
AKIMOTO UNYU SOKO © Ariake Logistics, 1−3−33 B3 Koto City, Ariake, Tokyo 135-0063
Nearest train line(s)
“Ariake-tennis-no-mori Station” - Yurikamome Line
|Cost of Admission||￥2700 (adult one-day passport)|
|Hours of Operation|| Time and days|
10am-9pm (weekdays), 9am-9pm (weekends, holidays)
Check website for exact times because some days have special hours
All exhibitions at Small Words are a 1:80 scale of their real-life counterparts. There are three anime-themed areas of Small Worlds. The first is from Sailor Moon. It features the Tokyo neighbourhood of Azabujuban which is famous from the anime, with a lot of landmarks that have since disappeared from today’s Tokyo. It also has the Crystal Kingdom! And of course, your favourite Sailor Moon characters are all hidden around the exhibit for you to find.
The other two otaku areas are both from Evangelion. The first is a replica of the Evangelion Cage, which is inside the NERV hanger complete with all the EVA units. Some of them even move! The second is a model of Tokyo III, the future city from the anime. And again, you’ll have to keep your eyes open to find all your favourite characters.
If you’ve ever wanted to live in the world of Sailor Moon or Evangelion, now is your chance. Right now, Small Worlds is looking for new “residents” to live in their worlds and become permanent members of the exhibitions! For around $200 USD, you can buy “residency” for one year in your chosen world. That’s right; they’re going to make you into a miniature. Upon your first visit to Small Worlds, you will be scanned with a full-body 3D scanner. It then takes about two weeks for your 1:80 miniature to be completed. The best part is that you get to choose exactly where you want your miniature to be placed! Luckily the fee also comes with an annual pass to the park so you can drop by any time to see how your smaller self is faring. You also get a 1:35 miniature to take home and keep forever!
If you choose to be placed in the Evangelion Cage area, your miniature will even be given a NERV uniform to wear! The Small Worlds website promises a good life for your miniature self that your actual self might just be jealous of.
In addition to the otaku areas, Small Worlds also boasts miniature versions of Kansai International Airport, a space centre, and a “global village” with elements of Asia and Europe. There’s also and restaurant and bar, along with a souvenir store so you can buy something to remember your time at Small Worlds. There are some otaku-themed souvenirs available, too, so be sure to grab them as they’re very exclusive!
You can buy tickets at Lawson convenience stores if you’re in Japan already, or book them online to reserve your spot and pay at the entrance. Small Worlds does sell some walk-in tickets, but they are likely to sell out so be sure to check the availability on their website before you go to avoid disappointment.
If you really enjoy Small Worlds, you can also get an annual pass that lets you visit any time for a year! This is great if you are excited to see new additions to the exhibitions. Remember, this is also included in the price of residency if you choose to leave a bit of yourself behind so you can come back and check on your miniature any time you want.
If you’re a fan of Sailor Moon or Evangelion (and let’s face it, most otaku like at least one of these things), you should definitely add Small Worlds to your Tokyo itinerary. Even if you don’t want to spend the extra money on immortalising yourself in the exhibit, it’s really fun just to see the world brought to life in miniatures. You can easily spend a lot of time just finding all the tiny details that have been added, and trying to find your favourite characters in the displays. It’s worth spending an afternoon checking out the museum; and don’t forget to see the non-otaku displays while you’re there, too!
Would you like to visit Small Worlds? If you could insert yourself into one of the landscapes, which would you choose? Is there another anime you would love to see added in the future? Let us know in the comments!