The Best Amusement Parks to visit in Japan

Japan's impressive roster of world-beloved amusement parks are just another way of having fun when visiting the island nation!

No list of worthwhile amusement parks from anywhere in the world would be complete without a mention of Disney parks. In Japan, this is especially the case, as the sister parks of DisneyLand and DisneySea, both located in Chiba Prefecture near Tokyo, stand out even among the iconic company’s impressive roster.

DisneyLand is the more traditional location, sticking to the tried-and-true Disney theme park package with a Japanese flare. Some of the key attractions include the Monsters Inc: Ride & Go Seek ride that equips visitors with a flashlight to uncover spooky ghouls and fan favorite characters! Additionally, the iconic Splash Mountain cannot be missed, complete with a thrilling drop.

Tokyo DisneySea

Tokyo DisneySea

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Tokyo DisneyLand

Tokyo DisneyLand

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Get your tickets to Tokyo DisneySea!

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Cuteness overload is pretty much guaranteed at Puroland, the indoor amusement park centered around the varied and iconic cast of characters created by Sanrio. The media franchise includes such icons as Hello Kitty, Cinnamoroll, Pompompurin, and Gudetama.

The attractions within the facility are varied, ranging from a boat ride much akin to Disney’s “It’s a Small World,” character mascot meet-ups, and musical performances, including a remixed version of a traditional Kabuki performance featuring Hello Kitty with veteran Kabuki performers. It’s really something that must be seen to be believed! The park is located a bit further from central Tokyo but is easily accessible via train off of Tama Center Station, taking a little over an hour from the main part of the city. 

Sanrio Puroland

Sanrio Puroland

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A staple of tokyo since 1964, Yomiuriland is a true jack of all trades as far as amusement parks go. The park is distinct in how it adapts to the seasons in Japan, boasting beautiful cherry blossoms in spring, pool-centric activities and attractions in summer, gorgeous foliage in autumn, and then displaying one of the best illuminations in the country during winter. Of course, the staple attractions of the park are the main stars, including a number of well-established roller coasters, car-themed rides, and virtual experiences!

The park is a short trip from Shinjuku Station via the Keio Line (operated by the same company that runs the park). Keio Yomiura Land Station is the most convenient place of disembarkment, and from the station, a specialized “Sky Shuttle” gondola will take visitors out to the park directly. This is a great park for people of all ages and interests to enjoy a day out!

Yomiuriland, Tokyo

Yomiuriland, Tokyo

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Check out some of the best amusement parks in and around Tokyo!

  • Duration : 8 hour
  • Location : Tokyo
  • Duration : 8 hour
  • Location : Tokyo
  • Duration : 4 hour
  • Location : Tokyo

In fact, Donkey Kong is set to have his own special expansion of Super Nintendo World soon in the form of “Donkey Kong Country,” based off the famous gorilla namesake games originally released in the 90s. There are a number of official hotels associated with Universal Studios Osaka, including the Hotel Keihan Universal City and the Hotel Universal Port. A stay at these hotels ensures a convenient and luxurious stay for a fun-filled weekend. 

Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios in Osaka

Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios in Osaka

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For many visitors to Japan, history is a major draw, and Toei Kyoto Studio Park allows for first-hand interaction with a full film studio modeled after the Edo Period of Japan, located within the grounds of Toei Productions Studios. This is a fun and unique way of learning about Japanese history and culture, featuring activities such as a simulated sword-fighting experience and an opportunity to walk through the reconstructed streets of historic Japan, wearing traditional Japanese clothing. For anime lovers, the iconic series Neon Genesis Evangelion has a dedicated attraction at Teoi Kyoto Studio Park, allowing guests to “plug in” to the cockpit of an EVA unit and combat an angel attack, just like in the super-influential 90s anime.

Toei Kyoto Studio Park

Toei Kyoto Studio Park

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Himeji is a short ride away from Osaka and Kyoto and is largely noted for its well-recognized castle, which is one of the most historically relevant in Japan. However, Himeji can also be a great spot for a day filled with unique fun and excitement at Himeji Central Park. Himeji Central Park stands out among Japan’s lineup of theme parks by being centered around a safari experience! Indeed, at the core of Himeji Central Park are the drive-through and walk-through zones that feature a number of different exotic animals originating from the African plains, including cheetahs, lions, giraffes, and elephants! Other animals featured at the park include bears, monkeys, kangaroos, and tigers (including white tigers). There’s even an aviary cage featuring different birds.

Himeji Central Park

Himeji Central Park

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Check out the best amusement parks in and around Osaka!

  • Duration : 8 hour
  • Location : Osaka
  • Duration : 4 hour
  • Location : Kyoto

In Japan, Nagoya is home to one of these theme parks and is a favorite destination for families and Lego hobbyists throughout the country. At Legoland Nagoya, the spirit of Lego products runs through every nook and cranny, with even the most mundane of items reimagined via the small bricks. In fact, throughout the park, over 40 attractions can be seen, comprising over 17 million individual Lego bricks. See reconstructions of some of Japan’s famous cities, such as Kobe, Tokyo, Sapporo, and the hosting city of Nagoya. Three different roller coasters and a number of other amusement park rides are also great ways to mix up the fun. As a resort, the Legoland Japan Hotel allows guests to have an extended, all-encompassing experience and is even home to an aquarium on the second floor known as Sea Life Nagoya.

Legoland Japan, Nagoya

Legoland Japan, Nagoya

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As far as recognizability and nostalgia, very few theme parks in Japan compare to Fuji-Q in Yamanashi Prefecture. The theme park is named after the unmistakable Mount Fuji that the park sits at the foot of. This is one of the oldest parks in Japan as well, originally opened up in 1968 and has become a staple of the area up to the modern day. There are six different roller coasters on the grounds, two haunted house-style buildings (one of which is the world’s largest), and a number of anime-themed attractions as well, featuring franchises like Mobile Suit Gundam, Hamtaro, and Neon Genesis Evangelion.

Of course, the picturesque views of Mount Fuji in the distance on clear days are as much of a reason to come out to Fuji-Q as the rides, combining some of the best elements of Japanese travel all into one location that is sure to be memorable for the whole family. The park itself is a short drive from Kawaguchiko, a popular destination for nature lovers in Yamanashi.

FujiQ Highland

FujiQ Highland

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Nagashima Spa Land in Mie Prefecture boasts some of the most lauded roller coasters in all of Japan, making it an essential destination for thrill seekers from all over the globe. In fact, the amusement park’s main draw is the 12 different coasts with varying themes and degrees of intensity, the most famous likely being Hakugei, meaning white whale. Hakugei actually began as the White Cyclone in 1994, but after being refurbished and reimagined, it was renamed. Right by Hakugei is the theme park’s iconic ferris wheel, striking in its white coloration and looming above the rest of the park.

The “Spa Land” portion of the name refers to onsen hot springs that are also a key attraction for the amusement park, allowing visitors to get both their pump of adrenaline as well as time to relax. Nagashima Spa Land also operates as a resort, with three different hotels on the grounds.

Hakugei at Nagashima Spa Land

Hakugei at Nagashima Spa Land

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Check out some of the best amusement parks in and around Nagoya!

  • Duration : 6 hour
  • Location : Fujiyoshida

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