15 Best Theme Parks to Visit in Japan
From Tokyo Disneyland to Universal Studios Japan, here are must-visit theme parks/amusement parks in Japan
Theme parks and amusement parks are one of top visited sites in Japan! There are numbers of world class theme parks in the country such as Tokyo Disney Resort and Universal Studios Japan, offering exclusive attractions as well as limited merchandise. Whether you are into adrenaline rushing thrilling rides or historical experiences, wide variety of theme parks can be found in Japan today.
In this article, we would like to introduce 15 most recommended amusement parks in Japan depending on your interests. So let’s start 🙂
*Please note that this article contains affiliate links.
1. Tokyo Disneyland
Tokyo Disneyland (東京ディズニーランド) was established in 1983 by Walt Disney Imagineering, and has hosted over 170 million visitors so far, which is the third most visited theme parks in the whole world. The park consists of 7 areas in different themes with attractions, shows, restaurants, cafes and shops. The park is often described as “the magical kingdom” where visitors would feel as if they are in a fairy tale world.
Together with Tokyo DisneySea, the Tokyo Disney Resort serves as the world’s greatest amusement park which also comprises shopping malls and resort hotels. FYI, TOKYO Disney Resort is actually not located in Tokyo.. it is in fact in Chiba Prefecture!
Related article: Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea Event Schedule
2. Tokyo DisneySea
Opened in 2001, the second Disney theme park in Japan, Tokyo DisneySea (東京ディズニーシー) is situated right next to Tokyo Disneyland as a part of Tokyo Disney Resort. The park is inspired by ocean tales and legends, and has 7 water themed areas such as port, lagoon, waterfront, delta and more.
Tokyo DisneySea was built with an idea to appeal more adults and couples while Tokyo Disneyland’s main target is younger generation and families. The park has several fancy dinings and guests can enjoy alcohol beverage as well as the romantic light-ups at night. Along with Tokyo Disneyland, the park offers limited official goods at shops and shopping is one of top activities in the park.
3. Universal Studios Japan
Universal Studios Japan or USJ (ユニバーサルスタジオジャパン) is one of four Universal Studios theme parks in the world. Opened in 2001, the park is situated in the waterfront of Osaka City, the second largest city in Japan. The park has numbers of attractions themed by famous films such as Harry Potter, Minions, Jaws, Spider-Man, Jurassic Park and more as well as dynamic live performance shows.
The park invited approx 8 million visitors every year, making it the fourth most visited theme parks in the world. The character goods sold at the park’s official stores are extremely popular among visitors.
Related article: Best Things to Do at Universal Studios Japan
4. Fuji Q Highland
If you are an adrenaline seeker who loves scary and thrilling rides, Fuji Q Highland (富士急ハイランド) is the perfect amusement park to visit. The park owns some of record breaking roller coasters and numbers of thrilling attractions and rides. It’s located at the foot of Mt Fuji, and the great scenery of the mountain can be viewed while enjoying the attractions. Along with crazy and thrilling rides, there are also numbers of attractions suitable for small kids and non-scary rides lovers. Thomas Land (Thomas the Tank Engine themed zone) is one of most popular areas in the park.
Since the park is located near Fuji Five Lakes area, there are many other attractions nearby such as lakes, hot springs, museums and etc.
Related article: Fuji-Q Highland Guide: Best Things to Do
5. Warner Bros. Studio Tour Tokyo — The Making of Harry Potter
Warner Bros. Studio Tour Tokyo — The Making of Harry Potter (ワーナー ブラザース スタジオツアー東京 – メイキング・オブ・ハリー・ポッター) has opened in Tokyo in 2023 summer at the former site of Tokyo’s long-loved amusement park, Toshimaen that closed its door in 2020. The indoor Harry Potter attraction features the large scale facility to recreate the world of Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts films in the approx 30,000 square-meter space. Visitors has a great opportunity to step behind-the-scenes of the films and discover secrets of the Wizarding World by exploring the iconic film sets, props, costumes and models that were actually used for the films. Themed restaurants, cafes and shops offering limited menu and merchandise are also situated inside the venue.
The new Harry Potter attraction in Tokyo is extremely popular right now, so make sure to book your tickets in advance!
Related article: Harry Potter Studio Tour to Open in Tokyo
6. Sanrio Puroland
Sanrio Puroland (サンリオピューロランド) is an indoor amusement park located in Tama City, Tokyo. The park is dedicated to cute and adorable Sanrio characters including the world’s beloved Hello Kitty. There are numbers of themed rides, attractions and live shows of popular Sanrio characters.
The park’s restaurant/cafe offers character themed dishes and desserts which are highly popular among visitors. There are also numbers of limited merchandise sold at the park. The park is located in Tama City, which is a suburb of Tokyo and can be accessed within 30 mins from the city central. Since the amusement park is indoor, it’s also recommendable on a rainy day.
Related article: Hello Kitty Them Park in Tokyo
7. Ghibli Park
The long-waited Studio Ghibli themed park, Ghibli Park has finally opened at Aichi Earth Expo Memorial Park (a.k.a. Moricoro Park) in late 2022. The park features attractions and represents the world based on the famous films produced by Studio Ghibli. The park is surrounded by forest the rich nature, and covers a space of 7.1 ha which is larger than any other theme parks in Japan.
The park is divided by 5 main areas: Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse, The Hill of Youth, Dondoko Forest, Mononoke Village and Valley of Witches, featuring various Studio Ghibli films such as Castle in the Sky, My Neighbor Totoro and Princess Mononoke. Although the park is now open, construction for additional facilities is scheduled to complete by 2024.
8. Adventure World
Adventure World (アドベンチャーワールド) is a large theme park that combines a zoo, aquarium and amusement park. It’s located in Shirahama, Wakayama Prefecture. The park is home to approx 1400 animals of 140 species including a family of giant pandas. The park operates as the Japan branch of the Giant Panda Breeding Research Base in Chengdu, China, and 17 breeding records have been achieved by 2018.
There are many facilities in the park such as a safari zone, marine zone, breeding center, interactive zone, horse camp and many more. Guided tour inside the park is also available. The amusement park features various attractions that can be enjoyed by adults and kids. There are also animal-themed restaurants, cafes and shops in the park.
Official Website: https://www.aws-s.com/
9. Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise
Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise (横浜八景島シーパラダイス) is a large amusement park on Hakkeijima Island in Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture. The park consists of multiple entertainment facilities such as an aquarium, a variety of amusement rides and attractions, shops, restaurants and a hotel.
The park is roughly split into two zones, Aqua Resort and Pleasure Land. Aqua Resort consists of 4 sections: “Aqua Museum”, “UMI FARM”, “FUREAI Lagoon” and “Dolphin Fantasy” where visitors can meet about 120,000 sea creatures of 700 species, and interact with some of them. At Pleasure Land, there are a wide variety of rides from thrilling rollercoaster to merry-go-round which all generation from small kids to adults can enjoy.
Related article: Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise: Aqua Amusement Park in Yokohama!
10. Nagasaki Huis Ten Bosch
Huis Ten Bosch (ハウステンボス) is a popular amusement park in Sasebo City, Nagasaki. The park is themed and decorated as a charming old Dutch town with a canal, ships, windmills, gardens and traditional European buildings. The park consists of amusement rides, flower fields, theatres, museums, shops restaurants, hotels, and etc. The park’s most popular attraction is a spectacular illumination display at night, using 13 million light throughout the park.
Related article: Huis Ten Bosch: Kingdom of Lights
11. Legoland Japan
Legoland Japan (レゴランド ジャパン) is Japan’s first Lego themed park opened in 2017, which is located in Nagoya City, Aichi Prefecture. The theme park consist of 7 areas themed by different Lego world including several rides and attractions. Miniland is a miniature town made with 10,496,352 Lego blocks, displaying some of country’s most iconic landmarks such as as Tokyo Station, Kiyomizu Temple in Kyoto and Nagoya Castle. The park also offers a factory tour which presents the manufacture of Lego bricks. There are shops and restaurants that serve limited menu and merchandise.
12. Nagashima Spaland
Nagashima Spaland (ナガシマスパーランド) is a large amusement park located in Kuwana City, Mie Prefecture outside of Nagoya City. The park features several roller coasters, thrilling rides, kids friendly attractions and a water park. It’s the second largest amusement park in Japan after Tokyo Disneyland. Nagashima Spaland is a part of Nagashima Resort which is comprised of five amusement facilities including Nabana no Sato flower park hugely known for its winter illumination event from autumn to spring.
13. Tokyo Joypolis
Are you either a game lover or tech geek?? If yes, this is the amusement park that you may wanna check out the most. Tokyo Joypolis (東京ジョイポリス) is an indoor theme park located in Odaiba area, Tokyo, operated the famous game company SEGA. It features some of the latest and most cutting edge entertainment facilities such as Zero Latency VR, a VR attraction where attendees visit space with VR headsets, and several themed attractions of popular animes and films such as SONIC, Initial D, Transformers, Resident Evil and more.
The amusement park is situated at 3–5F of the popular shopping mall, Decks Tokyo Beach, and there are several other shopping spots and entertainment facilities in the area. Odaiba is one of most popular districts in Tokyo with a few landmarks such as the gigantic Gundam statue, the Ferris Wheel and the Rainbow Bridge.
14. Hakone Kowakien Yunessun
Do you want to visit one of Onsen baths in Japan, but feel shy to be naked around strangers? If you are not comfortable with this traditional custom of Japan, don’t worry, there is a solution. Hakone Kowakien Yunessun (箱根小涌園ユネッサン) is a hot spring theme park located in the famous Onsen resort, Hakone in Kanagawa Prefecture.
The water park features wide variety of swimwear-allowed hot spring baths such as the Coffee Bath, the Wine Bath, outdoor water attractions and the Open-air Scenic Bath as well as Mori No Yu area which swimwear is not allowed. Numbers of hotels and accommodations are available nearby as well as tourist attractions of Hakone area.
15. Edo Wonderland Nikko Edomura
Edo Wonderland Nikko Edomura (江戸ワンダーランド 日光江戸村) is a Japanese cultural theme park located near the popular Onsen town, Kinugawa in Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture. The park showcases the life of Edo Period as a small town from its golden era, Genroku. It has been used for the setting of historical TV dramas and films for a number of times. The park’s attractions include theatres featuring traditional themed shows, and cultural experiences. Guests can also dress up as an Edo Period character.
The history and culture is one of most attractive things about Japan, and if you are into it, this amusement park is an ideal place to visit as it’s not only for entertainment but also educational.
Did you enjoy the list? Which amusement park in Japan do you wish to visit most? Japan owns numbers of themed parks with wide varieties, so pick one depending on your interests 😉
For more information about travelling Japan, please check out below articles, too!