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The Voice of Tokyo for over 50 Years

JAPAN’S NO.1 ENGLISH LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

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15 Amusement Parks in and Around Tokyo

Enjoy the distinct attractions, food and ambiences of these Tokyo-area theme parks

By Lisa Wallin

Need inspiration for fun spots in and around the city? Look no further: Here are some of the best amusement and theme parks around Tokyo.

Hanayashiki

1. Asakusa Hanayashiki

Hanayashiki lies just a stone’s throw away from the imposing Sensoji grounds and has the honor of being the oldest amusement park in Japan. Opened in 1853 as a flower park, these days it houses about 20 attractions and restaurants. While you won’t get wild rides like at Six Flags, it has a great nostalgic vibe that makes it fun to explore.

2. Edo Wonderland

Head back in time by visiting this Edo period-themed park in idyllic Nikko and experience what Japan was like when samurai ruled the nation. Divided into five distinct areas, you’ll meet samurai and ninja, and if you time it right — maybe you’ll even see an oiran courtesan procession. There are plenty of traditional Edo games and experiences to entertain the whole family: Try your hand at sword fighting, test your bravery at a haunted temple or enjoy one of the many stage performances throughout the park.

Kandu

3. Kandu

Kids spend a lot of time wishing they were grown-ups so they have the freedom to do whatever they want. Kandu lets them get a taste of adult life by offering job experiences — from dentistry to banking and even the illustrious job as a Youtuber — without the pay, but also without most of the stress. Kids can experience up to 30 different occupations Located inside one of the many Aeon Mall buildings in Makuhari, it’s convenient for running errands before or after your kids’ job-hopping experiences.

Kidzania

4. Kidzania

KidZania is similar to Kandu, but on a bigger scale and a little more English-friendly. Here your kids can fulfill their dreams of becoming an optician, a soap factory worker, or vending machine replenisher! Kids leave each experience with something to remember their mini-working life by. Parents with older kids can enjoy the parents’ lounge, which has a (non-alcoholic) drink bar, a charging station for phones, free Wi-Fi, and a mini-library.

Small Worlds Tokyo

5. Small Worlds Tokyo

Small Worlds Tokyo is the largest miniature theme park in the world, covering 8,000 square meters. You can imagine your life on a miniature scale while observing iconic scenes from Evangelion and Sailor Moon as well as shuttle launches at the space center and imaginary creatures in the Global Village. Since it’s indoors, you can also take the chance to escape the sweltering summer heat.

Legoland Discovery Center

6. Legoland Discovery Center

Build whole new worlds in Odaiba! Japan’s first Lego attraction (Nagoya boasts Japan’s largest) offers a surprising array of attractions and activities in a relatively small space. Watch a movie in the 4D cinema theater, go on a mission on the Kingdom Quest ride, or go on a factory tour. Naturally, there are several areas where you can build your own Lego and Duplo!) cities, cars, and more.

Photo by Lisa Wallin

7. Moomin Valley Park

Opened in March 2019, Metsa Village and Moomin Valley Park bring northern Europe to Japan. Metsa Village is a shopping and dining complex that lies next door to the park and is a great spot to pick up some Scandi souvenirs and snacks for friends, as well as fuel up on bug spray and bandaids for the kids. The park itself recreates Tove Jansson’s magical world of Moomin, including the family house and several scenes from the books and comics. There is an adventure play park for the kids as well as a zip line course for the more adventurous souls, and an immersive exhibition for those seeking succor from the elements.

8. Namja Town

Located right in the heart of Ikebukuro, this indoor amusement park is great for foodies. With over 100 types of gyoza in the park’s Gyoza Stadium and about 50 flavors of ice cream in Fukubukuro Dessert Yokocho, there are plenty of delicious treats to try. You’ll also find classic arcade games, escape rooms, and other activities in this three-story complex.

Sanrio Puroland

9. Sanrio Puroland

The most kawaii place in the world? Home to Hello Kitty and her friends, Sanrio Puroland is the place to get up close and personal with a whole host of Sanrio characters. There are daily parades and performances, as well as cute rides, carnival games, and more. Most of the park is indoors, so it’s perfect for a rainy day visit. You can also get discounted tickets via our website.

Tokyo Disneyland

10. Tokyo Disneyland

Often referred to as the happiest place on Earth, Disneyland almost needs no introduction. Meet your favorite Disney friends and go on all the classic rides like Thunder Mountain. One of Disneyland’s strong points is its special attention to holidays and seasons: Starting in October with Halloween, the haunted house sports a thrilling Nightmare Before Christmas theme that stays on for Christmas. Book your FastPass here — just make sure to remember what happens to couples who go to Disneyland together

11. Tokyo DisneySea

True to its name, this Disney park centers its theme around ocean legends and myths. Considered a little bit more mature than Disneyland, there is a better selection of restaurants, and many of them serve alcohol — something you won’t find next door at Disneyland. For those who want more thrilling rides and attractions that won’t be found anywhere else, this is a great place to go.

12. Tokyo Dome City

For a bit of a thrill in the middle of the city, Tokyo Dome City has a surprising amount of attractions on offer. Situated next to Tokyo Dome, this amusement park literally goes through the surrounding LaQua shopping center. Board the centerless Ferris wheel for fantastic views of Tokyo, and the Thunder Dolphin rollercoaster for breathtaking speeds reaching up to 130km/h for an adrenaline rush. Keep an eye out for the annual summer haunted house in classical Japanese style.

Tokyo Summerland

13. Tokyo Summerland

One of the biggest water parks in Japan, Tokyo Summerland is the perfect escape from the oppressing heat of summer in the city. There are pools and waterslides galore, with the largest outdoor waterslide boating a massive 40-meter freefall drop. There are non-water-related rides including a Ferris wheel, and a short hiking route that takes you around a vast area of beautiful hydrangea bushes in June. Note that tattoos — even covered — are strictly prohibited and patrons with ink will be barred from entry or sent out if found inside.

Tokyo Joypolis

14. Tokyo Joypolis

Head out to Odaiba for this virtual reality haven with rides, arcade games, and interactive adventures galore. To make the most of your trip out here, purchase a combo ticket, which also gives entry to Madame Tussaud’s, or Palette Town’s giant Ferris wheel.

15. Yomiuriland

Yomiuriland is Tokyo’s largest and boasts over 40 attractions. It has something for everyone, in all seasons: Catch a glimpse of a snowcapped Mount Fuji from the Ferris wheel in winter, or make a splash in the water park in summer, take a dive with a bungee jump ride in the fall, or spy one of Tokyo’s brightest illuminations in winter.

 

Last update by Melissa Ge.