Amusement Parks

Fuji-Q Highland – ©JNTO

Amusement parks and theme parks have always been among the top attractions of Japan. They receive thousands of visitors on a daily basis, thanks to their fun and exciting rides and attractions, such as rollercoasters, ferris wheels, water rides, train rides and carnival game booths. Here are some of the best:

Universal Studios

Launched in 2001, Universal Studios Japan in Osaka was the first Universal Studios park in Asia. It covers a total area of 1 hectare adjacent to the Osaka Bay Area.

Made up of eight differently-themed sections — Amity Village, Hollywood, Jurassic Park, New York, San Francisco, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Universal Wonderland, and Waterworld — the park has rides suitable for children, adults or both.

Tokyo Disneyland

Tokyo Disneyland was the first theme park under the Disney brand built outside of the United States. Its layout is similar to that of the California Disneyland and is composed of seven themed sections — Adventureland, Critter Country, Fantasyland, Tomorrowland, Toon Town, Westernland, and World Bazaar.

Around the park there are various thrilling and electrifying rides, such as Space Mountain, but also kid-friendly attractions such as It’s a Small World and Buzz Lightyear’s Astroblasters. There are also many souvenir shops and restaurants all over.

Tokyo DisneySea

Next to Tokyo Disneyland is another Disney theme park called DisneySea. Its seven themed sections — American Waterfront, Arabian Coast, Lost River Delta, Mediterranean Harbor, Mermaid Lagoon, Mysterious Island, and Port Discovery — are home to many rides, shops, and restaurants that appeal to visitors of all ages. It tends to attract the older demographic because it serves alcohol in its restaurants and cafes.

There are also Disney hotels you can stay in.

Edo Wonderland

Unlike the typical amusement parks that have all those heart-pumping rides, games and facilities, Edo Wonderland is a history theme park that depicts the life of a small Japanese town during the years of the Edo Period, from 1603 to 1868.

With houses, buildings and streets that feature Edo Period styles and designs, Edo Wonderland welcomes visitors to an old town feel, with staff dressed in costumes, and live shows and performances of sword fights, martial arts and magic.

Edo Wonderland – ©JNTO

Edo Wonderland – ©JNTO

Tobu World Square

A theme park that showcases miniature versions of some of the world’s best historical and cultural landmarks, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and other attractions, the Tobu World Square in Kinugawa Onsen is a highly recommended park to visit.

Tobu World Square Entry – ©JNTO

Tobu World Square – ©JNTO

Fuji-Q Highland

Situated in the Fuji Five Lakes area, the Fuji-Q Highland is a top-rated amusement park in Japan due to its adrenaline-rushing roller coaster and anime-themed rides. Its four largest roller coasters are:

  • Takabisha – the world’s steepest roller coaster with a 121-degree angle drop, constructed in 2011
  • Eejanaika – built in 2006 and consists of rotating seats within its car
  • Dodonpa – the record holder for fastest acceleration in the world, built in 2001
  • Fujiyama – the main attraction and used to be the speediest and tallest roller coaster in the world back when it was launched in 1996

The park also has rides suited to children, such as the Hamutaro, Loony Toons, Kaiketsu Zorori, and GeGeGe no Kitaro-themed areas.

Fuji-Q Highland – ©JNTO

Fuji-Q Highland – ©JNTO

Nagashima Resort

Considered to be one of Japan’s top holiday destinations, Nagashima Resort is a large entertainment complex built on an elongated island. It houses a water park, a shopping mall and a flower park, in addition to its amusement park.

The Steel Dragon 2000, which is a huge rollercoaster that extends throughout the length of the theme park, is its most popular attraction. The resort also has numerous outdoor and indoor baths, saunas, Jacuzzis, massage services, shops and restaurants.

Nagashima Resort – ©JNTO

Nagashima Resort – ©JNTO