Situated deep in a forest in Hyogo’s Prefectural Awajishima Park, the “Nijigen no Mori” in the northern hills of Awaji Island, visitors can immerse themselves in the story of “Phoenix” (Hinotori), a popular manga by Osamu Tezuka, the same man who created Astro Boy. Get your walking shoes ready after sunset and join the tour for a mystical yet adventurous night walk in the forest.
Based on Osamu Tezuka’s “Phoenix”, the park created a mystical yet adventurous and somewhat frightening forest where everything seemed alive by using light projections and animation on its surroundings, as well as sound effects. It's hard to distinguish whether the voices and noises heard from the surrounding dark forest are real or fake. The explorers will be equipped with a map and a flashlight to guide you through around 1.2km trail in the forest. As nearly there are no street lights during this trail, this flashlight given at the beginning of the tour is very important to help guide you walk through the dark forest safely. Plus, when this special flashlight lit up the map, a location of the traces of the phoenix will appear. Explorers will then need to follow the traces until they meet the phoenix.
The trail begins by going down the dark eerie stairs then cross over the bridge to enter the forest. At the bottom of the stair, explorers will encounter phoenix for their first time through a huge book that is glowing in the dark. This is where the story of Phoenix begins and explorers will traverse through a fantasy world looking for it. The point of no return has reached and explorers will now then set off into the another world.
Chirping sounds of the birds, the rustling of the leaves and snapping sticks, making full use of the outdoor environment, the enchanted dark forest gives the explorers a new sensational adventure as if they got lost in the world of “Phoenix”.
The tears of the Phoenix are said to bring some powers over the forest and explorers will need to pick it up at some point on the trail. Along the way, Aman tribe or also called the “locals” will explain the story and ask you to interact to make you feel like you are part of the story.
Tears of the Phoenix©TEZUKA PRODUCTIONS.
Stop by here for storytelling time by the Aman tribe©TEZUKA PRODUCTIONS.
Traces of the phoenix is found here and there and explorers will need to be alert. Follow its shadows and it will guide you to a hilltop with a mystery stone. Once reaching the hilltop, the tears of the Phoenix will awaken the Aman tribe. They will then greet the explorers with dances and fireworks.
Release your power with the tears of Phoenix to awaken the Aman tribe©TEZUKA PRODUCTIONS.
Once the greeting is done, the final voyage will begin. Explorers will then need to do a bit of hike up the hill into the thundering battle area with beams of lights flickering. The powerful flash of light will lit up the dark forest while the roaring sound of the thunder is heart-pounding. This will be followed by a peaceful yet magical forest with talking trees and echoes of voices of an unknown that will take you to the village of the Aman tribe.
Into and walking past the village of the Aman people, the voyage ends with an epic summoning of the long lost phoenix. This requires teamwork as you would need several drops of phoenix’s tears. Even a solo explorer can team up with any member of the tour group as the “locals” (Aman tribe) will help you complete your adventure.
Let the ritual to summon the phoenix begin!©TEZUKA PRODUCTIONS.
The mythical bird phoenix will appear and lead the explorers to one final road to return to the “other” world. A woosh into the night, its bright colorful feathers will illuminate the magical flowers on the sides as it sweeps through the road leaving its reflection.
Directed by a creative director, Ryotaro Matsumoto, representative of Naked Inc., a creative company famous for its digital art, the Night Walk is a new type of outdoor attraction that can be enjoyed all year round. As the forest changes its appearance depending on the season, seasonal flowers and trees will be lit up creating a different look to this enchanted forest.
Phoenix Night Walk
First tour will start from 19:00 and the last tour will depart at 20:30
Tickets are availble online or on spot, however, during holidays, online booking is highly recommended. You must arrive 15minutes prior to the tour.
Adult regular price 3,300 yen
Children 1,200 yen
60 to 90 minutes
Kusumoto, Awaji City, Hyogo Prefecture 656-2301 (Nijigen No Mori)
It is highly recommended to go by rental car, however, it is possible to go via bus and train from Akashi Station on Sanyō Main Line (JR Kobe Line) . For details, check here.