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Legoland Japan finds its reputation for high prices hard to shake

JIJI

Legoland Japan is struggling to dispel the notion that its admission fees are too expensive.

Plenty of hype preceded its opening in April. Located in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, it is not only the first outdoor Lego theme park in the country but also the first major theme park in the Chubu region.

But Legoland Japan initially saw disappointingly few visitors, after it received negative feedback including many complaints about high fees. In May, it cut ticket prices by up to 25 percent.

Customer traffic was steady as of the end of June, said Torben Jensen, representative director of the theme park’s operator, Legoland Japan K.K.

But according to major travel agency JTB Corp., hotel reservations for August in Nagoya have more than doubled from a year before.

The park’s focus on summer-oriented features, including attractions with water sprays, has been well-received in the summer holiday season.

Currently, a family one-day pass for two adults and two children, which must be purchased in advance, is priced at ¥18,300 — which is ¥6,100 cheaper than buying tickets at the door.

In addition, holders of annual passes are allowed to bring up to two visitors for free in August.

But that hasn’t stopped some grumbling about high ticket prices.

“Everything is expensive, including the tickets and food,” said Yoshinobu Shimada, 50, who visited from the city of Tochigi with his wife and two children. “I don’t think I’m coming back to Nagoya for Legoland.”

Hidenao Oshiro, 37, who came from Iwata in Shizuoka Prefecture with his son, said that Legoland is too small for what he’s paying. “I think they should either expand the park’s area or cut prices,” he said.

The Legoland operator will listen to visitors and take the necessary measures, Jensen said.

To achieve its annual goal of 2 million visitors, the company is considering night-time operations and tickets available only for afternoon entry. It also plans to focus on events for every season, including Christmas.