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  • Writer's pictureAdam German

New northern Okinawa theme park will be named JUNGLIA

KATANA and Japan Entertainment have announced on November 27th the name for their joint venture Northern Okinawa Theme Park Project, as "JUNGLIA," aiming for an opening in 2025. 


Overhead CG view of theme park courtesy of JUNGLIA 


Takeshi Morio, CEO of KATANA, known for his role in the turnaround of Universal Studios Japan (USJ), spearheads the JUNGLIA endeavor, which he initially conceived during his tenure at USJ.  


Takeshi Morio, courtesy of the Sankei Shimbun 


Despite Universal Studios abandoning the idea after the Comcast controlling-stake purchase of Universal’s parent company NBCUniversal, Morio persisted and, through KATANA, resumed efforts to realize JUNGLIA. 


The location in northern Okinawa, home to the Yanbaru forest, a UNESCO World Natural Heritage site, will see the development of JUNGLIA on 60 hectares of former 120-hectare golf course, marking a similar size to USJ near Osaka.   


The remaining Okinawan land will be set aside for future expansion. 


Construction site courtesy of Google Maps 


Additionally, since the land JUNGLIA will be developed on was a golf course, minimal further deforestation is needed for the new theme park. 


The concept revolves around offering an experience of excitement and luxury distinct from urban settings, leveraging the region's vast forests and nature. Morio emphasizes the aim to provide authentic experiences unique to Yanbaru and Japan's rich culture. 


JUNGLIA promotional video.  


JUNGLIA's purpose aims to extend beyond entertainment, hoping to contribute to Japan's tourism industry. Morio sees tourism as vital for Japan's continued prosperity, highlighting Okinawa's potential to attract tourists.  


Drawing parallels with Hawaii, strategically developed as a tourist destination, Morio believes Okinawa offers even greater potential, urging increased Japanese investment in the region through the JUNGLIA example. 


The primary target audience upon opening will be domestic tourists, with plans to develop inbound tourism stays after. The initiative aims to increase visits to Okinawa from across Japan, particularly to the less-traveled northern region of the main island.  


Collaboration with local communities and infrastructure is key, with agreements already in place and the establishment of investment funds to share profits locally. 


The funding for JUNGLIA, about 70 billion yen, is strategically kept below the 100-billion-yen mark, allowing for scalability and global expansion as only a few dozen areas worldwide can host theme parks of JUNGLIA's scale. 



Sankei Shimbun (Japanese only) 


Impress Watch (Japanese only) 


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