Amusement parks might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Japan. However, if there’s one thing the Japanese excel in, it’s the dedication to a certain theme and aesthetic. No wonder you see so many character cafes, where everything from the food and interior is designed to remind you of that specific character, or so many seasonal goods, like the infamous sakura drinks and snacks. Same applies to Japanese theme parks – everything about them is thought out with meticulous care, so as to immerse the visitors in the atmosphere and vibe of the park.
Japanese theme parks are great destination for one of the last days of your trip, when you just want to have some fun and let the impressions of your trip sink in. Here’s some that we recommend:
1. Tokyo Disneyland
We couldn’t not start this list with Tokyo Disneyland. One of the most famous entertainment companies all over the world, Disney, owes a huge chunk of their revenue to the Japanese market. Believe it or not, Disney is much more popular in Japan than the whole anime and manga industry, so you can just imagine how much effort was put into making the park a paradise for the fans. Tens of exciting rides, theme cafes, souvenir shops, live performers, fireworks – need we say more?
Name: Tokyo Disneyland
Address: 1-1 Maihama, Urayasu, Chiba Prefecture 279-0031, Japan
Business hour: Every day, 8am – 10pm
Phone number: +81 45-330-5211
Official website: http://www.tokyodisneyresort.jp/en/tdl/
2. Tokyo DisneySea
If you’ve been to the Disneyland in Florida or Paris, and you think there’s nothing new for you to see at the Tokyo one, try DisneySea instead! This theme park is unique to Japan, and features a huge human-made lake, with a number of water-related attractions around it. Naturally, the best time to visit it is mid-spring to mid-autumn, when the weather is hot enough to not care about a few water splashes. However, you can also have fun there during the cold season, especially with the superb illumination and live performances.
Name: Tokyo DisneySea
Address: 1-1 Maihama, Urayasu, Chiba Prefecture 279-0031, Japan
Business hour: Every day, 8:30 am – 10pm
Phone number: +81 570-008-632
Official website: http://www.tokyodisneyresort.jp/en/tds/
Address: 2 Chome-28-1 Asakusa, Taitō, Tokyo 111-0032, Japan
Business hour: Every day, 10am – 6pm
Phone number: +81 3-3842-8780
Official website: https://www.hanayashiki.net/en
4. Sanrio Puroland
Sanrio Puroland is the Mecca for the fans of all things ‘kawaii.’ Puroland is the in-house theme park of the brand Sanrio, which, if you don’t know, is behind such characters as Hello Kitty, My Melody, and Little Twin Stars. Sanrio Puroland is less of a fun and adventure type theme park, but more of a cutesy place for a day hang out with your friends or date. You can take pictures with the mascots, eat some Hello Kitty pancakes in one of the cafes, and purchase unique Sanrio merchandise sold exclusively at Puroland.
Name: Sanrio Puroland
Address: 1 Chome-31 Ochiai, Tama, Tokyo 206-8588, Japan
Business hour: Mon-Fri 10am – 5pm, Sat-Sun 10am – 8pm
Phone number: +81 42-339-1111
Official website: https://en.puroland.jp/homeen/
5. Yomiuri Land
Yomiuri Land is definitely underrated – probably because it’s pretty far off the beaten path, and rather hard to reach, even by train. However, Yomiuri Land is home to one of the biggest, and most spectacular Ferris wheels in all of Japan, as well as some breathtaking rollercoasters for those looking for some intense rides. On the other hand, to can also be a nice place to hang out with your date or friends, especially after the sun goes down – as the illumination is really beautiful.
Name: Yomiuri Land
Address:4015-1 Yanokuchi, Inagi, Tokyo 206-8725, Japan
Business hour: Mon-Fri 10:30 – 20:30, Sat 10:00 – 21:00, Sun 9:30 – 20:30
Phone number: +81 44-966-1111
Official website: http://www.yomiuriland.com/english/
6. Fuji Q Highland
If you’ve bought a JR Pass and plan to see more than just Tokyo on your trip to Japan, might be worth taking a detour at the Fuji Q highland. Located at the foot of Mt Fuji, this theme park hosts some unique rides, such as the Takabisha, which is the rollercoaster with the steepest drop in the world, at roughly 121°. There’s also a ‘fourth-dimension rollercoaster, a huge Ferris wheel, and a prison-themed escape room experience. Anime fans will also appreciate some of the most unique themed rides is all of Japan, such as the Mizuki Shigeru Haunted Mansion and a replica of the world from Neon Genesis Evangelion.
Name: Fuji-Q Highland
Address: 5 Chome-6-1 Shinnishihara, Fujiyoshida, Yamanashi Prefecture 403-0017, Japan
Business hour:Mon-Fri 9:30am – 5pm, Sat-Sun 9:30am – 6pm
Phone number: +81 555-23-2111
7. Tokyo Dome City
Last but not least, Tokyo Dome City is a huge amusement park located in central Tokyo, so it’s perfect for those who don’t want to venture too far out of the city. They have a huge Ferris wheel that offers an impressive panorama of the city, and a rollercoaster that passes through the Ferris wheel! How cool is that? If you’re not into wild rides, try the cutesy merry-go-round, the Lupin III Labyrinth Trap, or enjoy the water symphony fountain.
Name: Tokyo Dome City
Address: 1 Chome-3-61 Koraku, Bunkyō, Tokyo 112-0004, Japan
Business hour: Mon-Fri 11am – 9pm, Sat-Sun 10am-9pm
Phone number: +81 3-3817-6001
Although theme parks are not exactly the epitome of Japanese culture, you can definitely feel the Japanese attention to details in each of these seven parks. Whether you’re after extreme rollercoasters, beautiful panoramic views over the city, cutesy characters, or anime-related attractions, you’ll certainly find a Japanese theme park to give you the time of your life!
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