After the final book in the Harry Potter franchise—Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows—was published in 2007, fans around the world eagerly waited for the final installment of the films, released in 2010. Since then there have been multiple revisits to the wizarding world, with the most recent Fantastic Beasts series delving into sections of the magical universe that were only hinted at in the original series.
Author J.K. Rowling crafted an entire universe full of fantastic beasts, spells, magical disciplines, and a full historic backstory. Unsurprisingly, a lot of these elements were inspired by ancient mythology and the supernatural. Harry Potter: A History of Magic, an exhibition from the British Library in London, arrived in Tokyo back in December and contains artifacts that inspired Rowling’s endless imagination, as well as some original work and sketches.
The exhibition is divided into different sections, each of which is focused on the different subjects taught at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. You can learn more about the history of Hogwarts subjects—enchantment, divination and astronomy, which have been studied at length, and alchemy and herbology, which played crucial roles in the development of science—through materials supplied by the British Library. Rare books that contain detailed information about mythical creatures such as the phoenix and dragons will be on display.
The main attraction at this exhibition, however, are the sketches, notes and original manuscripts from J.K. Rowling herself. An illustration of the Hogwarts Express sitting at platform nine-and-three-quarters from Jim Kay, who worked on the original illustrated books, is a highlight of this exhibition, as well as a sketched diagram of the hidden entrance to Diagon Alley. This is the first time these items have been on display in Japan, so make sure you head down before the exhibition ends on March 27!
But don’t worry: the presence of the Harry Potter universe will not disappear when this exhibition ends, as the new Warner Brothers Studio Tour Tokyo—The Making of Harry Potter will be opening in Tokyo in 2023. This will be the second Harry Potter Studio Tour after the popular London one. The large-scale, immersive exhibition will allow for fans to explore sets and see props from both the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts series. Get excited and keep your eyes peeled for the official opening date!
The Harry Potter: A History of Magic exhibition is located at the JR Tokyo Station Marunouchi North Exit, and is open from 10am–6pm (closed on Mondays). Please visit your nearest Lawson to reserve a ticket for your preferred date and time.
General Admission: ¥2,500
High School and University Students: ¥1,500
Elementary and Junior High School Students: ¥500