Amusement park aficionados are often thrilled to discover that there are dozens of amusement parks in Japan to enjoy, no matter what type of attractions and entertainment are most appealing. Japan has more than 200 roller coasters and is home to one third of the total coasters in Asia. Despite being a small and heavily populated country, Japan is the perfect place for theme park getaways.
About Japanese Parks
Many Japanese cities are home to small and medium sized amusement parks that focus on family attractions and entertainment. Unlike many North American parks, however, the larger amusement parks in Japan often offer a complete resort experience, including such attractions as:
- Exquisite gardens
- Zoos and aquariums
- Spa facilities
- Luxury hotels
- Golf courses
In addition to these resort features, the amusement park portions of Japanese theme parks are home to thrilling roller coasters, classic carnival rides, and a range of fun attractions for the whole family.
Popular Amusement Parks in Japan
There are dozens of Japanese amusement parks to choose from. Some of the most well known and most popular parks include:
- Hirakata Park: This popular park has a fun elves and fairies theme with bright colors and sprightly characters. Attractions include five roller coasters, a drop tower, river raft ride, train ride, giant wheel, and more.
- Fuji-Q Highland: This park is home to seven roller coasters, including the 80 miles per hour Fujiyama, the "king of coasters," and the 107 miles per hour Dodonpa, one of the top five fastest roller coasters in the world. The park also features a large flume ride, classic carousel, wave swinger, spinning tea cups, bumper cars, go karts, and other rides, including a Thomas Land starring Thomas the Train for younger guests.
- Mitsui Greenland: This park is a coaster lover's dream, with 10 widely varied scream machines to enjoy. The Megaton pipeline coaster is a unique and disorienting design, while the inverted Nio, suspended Grampus Jet, and stand up Milky Way coasters also dominate the skyline. As a resort park, Mitsui Greenland is also home to outstanding flower gardens and a challenging golf course.
- Nagashima Spa Land: Nagashima Spa Land is one of the country's largest amusement parks with 10 roller coasters and more than 40 other types of rides. The Steel Dragon 2000 coaster is the park's most famous, rising 318 feet tall and reaching speeds up to 95 miles per hour along its 8,100 foot track - the longest roller coaster track in the world. In addition to great coasters, however, Nagashima Spa Land and its sister properties are also home to an outlet mall, water park, fine dining restaurants, and a luxurious spa.
- Nasu Highland Park: This medium sized park features nine roller coasters in widely varied designs, as well as a Legoland area, giant wheel, log flume ride, and other attractions for the whole family to enjoy.
- Rusutsu Resort Rusutsu Resort: This is one of the most popular resorts in Japan, and the amusement park section of the resort is outstanding. Eight roller coasters are available, including the pipeline roller coaster design Ultra Twister and the inverted coaster Hurricane. Other popular choices among the more than 60 attractions include a space shot tower, train, car rides, 4D theater, shooting gallery, petting zoo, and water park. The resort is also home to fine skiing in the winter and golf in the summer, giving it year round appeal, though the amusement park is only open in the summer.
- Space World Space World: Guests can find their inner astronaut as they reach for the stars at this heavily themed amusement park. An IMAX theater regularly presents space-themed films, and guests can also enjoy roller coasters, log flumes, a giant wheel, arcade games, family rides, and water playground areas.
- Tokyo Disney Resort Tokyo Disney Resort: One of the most famous of Japan's amusement parks, this magical vacation destination brings Disney to life with chic Asian flair and influence. Familiar attractions such as Space Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain are present, as well as assorted shopping and dining options. This resort covers two distinct theme parks, Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea, each of which is unique and well worth a visit. From the classic castles and magic of Disneyland to the aquatic attractions of Mermaid Lagoon, the Arabian Coast, and Port Discovery in Tokyo DisneySea, this park is a fantasy for every guest.
- Universal Studios Japan Universal Studios Japan: Since this park opened in 2001, it has been giving visitors the chance to "ride the movies" in new and innovative ways. Heavily themed rides and immersive experiences allow guests to be part of the action in Jaws, E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial, Back to the Future, Jurassic Park, and other movies. Young guests will also enjoy their favorite characters, including Hello Kitty and Snoopy.
Visiting Japanese Amusement Parks
When visiting amusement parks in the land of the rising sun, guests should…
- Observe all safety warnings, guidelines, and guest restrictions.
- Plan for heavy crowds and be prepared for busy parks.
- Be polite and recognize that not only are they guests at the park, but they are guests in a foreign country as well.
There are many outstanding resorts and amusement parks in Japan to choose from, whether you are interested in innovative rides, thrilling roller coasters, family friendly attractions, or everything at once.