In Kyushu, Japan, there’s a tiny little village that’s drawing in visitors from across the world. Part Ghibli fantasy, part English Cotswolds, the town houses an Alice in Wonderland store, a Peter Rabbit petting zoo, and a bread shop modelled on the bakery in Kiki’s Delivery Service. And if you can’t bear to tear yourself away from the gorgeous shop-fronts and blossoming gardens, there’s a hotel where you can stay and gaze out at the cluster of cottages from the comfort of your own room. We step into the fantasy world and take a closer look at the shops, restaurants and services on offer in this special little town.
Known as Yufuin Floral Village, there’s very little English information about the town on the Internet, which only adds to the intriguing atmosphere.
Opened by a local businessman in November 2012, the buildings were designed to look like those in the Cotswolds, an area of England renowned for its beauty. The Cotswolds is so magical that several fantasy scenes from the Harry Potter movies were filmed there.
The British theme is evident with the choice of vehicles on site.
The village lives up to its name with plenty of blooming floral displays and a variety of small, manicured English gardens.
The town is set against a mountain backdrop, with roofs so low you could reach out and touch them!
One of the popular attractions is the Peter Rabbit Animal Garden, with rabbits, hedgehogs and even a cockatoo. And yes, that’s a live owl staring at you from the window.
A duck named Jemima is on hand to take you into the world of Beatrix Potter.
And in amongst all this English-ness is a quaint bread shop called Kiki’s Bakery.
Step inside and you can meet Kiki!
Step out of the animated Japanese fantasy and into the Queen’s Soft, where you can try rose-flavoured ice cream.
The village is so small you could easily do a round in just under a minute. But where’s the fun in rushing? The beauty of the town will have you strolling at a slow pace without you even knowing it.
And if you’d like to stay a while longer, this is the view from one of the hotel rooms. Although the hotel has a more modern façade, you’ll be swept away by the warm lights of the miniature town outside.
Yufuin Floral Village
1503-3 Yufuincho, Kawakami
Yufu-shi, Oita-ken, Japan