Theme Parks In Japan
Japan is a major proponent of theme parks, such as Tokyo Disneyland. found all around the country, you can find theme parks that are inspired by popular Japanese culture and even theme parks that transport you back in time to the era of the samurai.
There is something about experiencing one of these parks in Japan that is unlike a park in any other country.
A lot of what Japanese theme parks have to offer is very similar to what you’d expect; rides, carnival games, theme park food, and immersive experiences.
Japan just has a way of transforming the expected into the unexpected with innovative technology and a full-on appreciation of a fantastic theme.
Anime And Manga Theme Parks In Japan
Anime and manga are two monumental aspects of Japanese entertainment culture. These imaginative and innovative worlds have expanded beyond the pages into various theme parks and attractions throughout Japan.
Not only do many locals enjoy riding the roller coasters and playing the games based on their favorite characters, but tourists often flock to these attractions to immerse themselves in their favorite anime and manga worlds.
Sadly, some of the most beloved theme parks have had to shutter their doors due to declines in profit during the pandemic and other reasons.
One such example is the J-World indoor theme park in Tokyo, which featured many manga and anime installations like Dragon Ball and One Piece. The same is true of the One Piece Tokyo Tower.
Fuji-Q Highlands has been home to numerous anime-themed festivities for a long time. As the name would suggest, the theme park is indeed located in the Mount Fuji area; more specifically, in Fuji Five Lakes.
The Fuji-Q Highlands is also home to some exciting rides, including two roller coasters that are known for their high speed and big drops.
One such rollercoaster is the Fujiyama, which held tight to the record of being the fastest and tallest coaster in the world for many years. It’s closely rivaled by the Dodonpa, also at Fuji-Q Highlands, which shoots forward at very high speeds. The Takabisha roller coaster is very steep, meaning the drop is quite exhilarating.
The park is always changing its attractions and sections of the park to feature prominent and popular anime or manga characters and shows.
Some examples include a Naruto themed area and a GeGeGe no Kitaro section. Themed activities include a series of mazes, games, and other rides based on many popular characters, and themes change from time to time as well.
Outside of your favorite anime or manga rides, you’ll find a lot of the typical family-friendly, universal rides beloved by theme park enthusiasts, like tea cup rides and a Ferris wheel. You can also enjoy some traditional carnival games, limited-time activities like skating, and of course, delicious Japanese theme park food.
After a long day at Fuji-Q Highlands, the Fujiyama Onsen is a short jaunt away, where you can soak in a reinvigorating hot spring bath to recover from all the fun.
Naruto x Boruto Shinobi-zato: Awaji Island Theme Park
The Naruto x Boruto Shinobi-zato theme park can be found within the Awaji Island Theme Park or Nijigen no Mori in the Kansai region of Hyogo Prefecture.
The park is easily accessible by a bridge from Kobe, another popular destination in Japan. Within this park, you can find a series of games, rides, and installations based on Naruto and Boruto, as well as other famous characters.
One of the coolest features of the latest Naruto x Bonito exhibition is the ramen restaurant, which can be found inside a large Ramen Ichiraku. Other Naruto-themed attractions include the Uzumaki and Uchiha mission-style courses; the former focuses on physical activity, while the latter exercises your brain.
You can also find a large Godzilla with an adjoining zipline that lets you defeat Godzilla or an adventure park based on the Crayon Shin-chan manga character.
All of the fun and thrills are uniquely juxtaposed against a background of lush green forestry that’s especially beautiful.
If you choose to stay overnight on Awaji Island, you can also experience some of the nighttime features of the theme park. For instance, you can stroll through an illuminated forest while actors take you through an immersive experience inspired by the beloved Hinotori.
Sanrio Harmonyland is likely the most adorable theme park in the world. As the name suggests, the whole park is decorated and designed to resemble Sanrio characters from Hello Kitty to Pom Pom Purin.
At Sanrio Harmonyland, found in Kyushu’s Oita Prefecture, you’ll find a mixture of rides, games, and treats, all of which remain on brand.
In the park, you’ll also find a grand castle decorated with pink and white accents and a bounty of Hello Kitty heads.
Guests are able to enter the castle, which is brilliantly decorated with an array of pink. It’s common to run into Hello Kitty herself as you make your way through her castle.
Beyond the castle, you’ll find Sanrio characters walking around, ready to say hello and take a picture with you.
When you’re hungry, you’ll find snacks and meals all centered around Sanrio characters you love as well.
Rides include a Hello Kitty roller coaster, a train ride, go-karting, and a sky jet. There are also smaller carnival game areas where you can play classics with a Sanrio twist.
Sanrio Puroland is often referred to as Hello Kitty World. However, one can find more Sanrio characters throughout this very kid-friendly indoor theme park in Tama City, which is a short train ride from Tokyo. Some of the characters that can be found strolling around the park grounds include Pekkle, My Melody, and Aggretsuko.
Within Sanrio Puroland, there are numerous houses that belong to some of the popular characters, and guests can go in and say hello.
Many of the characters will also put on shows for guests, including one of the most recent called Kawaii Kabuki. In this show, Hello Kitty wears a kimono and showcases traditional Japanese performance.
While there aren’t big rides and games at Sanrio Puroland, there are some smaller rides, as well as interactive shows and parades that feature Sanrio characters. In addition, you can stop in some of the cute shops that feature exclusive items you won’t find anywhere else.
You’ll also have to indulge in some very on-theme Japanese snacks and desserts inspired by the very kawaii Sanrio universe.
If you’re in Japan when it’s cold or rainy outside, you can have some fun indoors at the Joypolis indoor theme park in Odaiba. Joypolis recently introduced some Attack on Titan festivities, including a new ride inspired by the manga.
One of the cool aspects of Joypolis is its integration of technology and virtual reality, which is no surprise since the park is owned by SEGA.
You’ll find many more exclusive rides that you won’t see in any other theme park, lots of which are based on multiple manga and anime. As you go through the park, you’ll also see multiple life-size statues of more of your favorite characters, like Sonic or your favorite manga Initial D.
The very scenic Ghibli Museum can be found nestled within Inokashira Park in Tokyo. While the museum doesn’t have rides and the games like a typical theme park and is considered an indoor amusement park, it’s worth mentioning as a must-see for manga lovers.
The museum pays homage to many of the brilliant characters Studio Ghibli has created for the world to love and admire, including Spirited Away and My Neighbor Totoro among others.
Ghibli Museum Official Website
The museum itself not only offers knowledge and insights into the main characters of Ghibli productions, but the layout makes it feel as though you’re transported into different worlds. When you walk into the park, you’ll be greeted by a large Castle In The Sky soldier statue.
One of the newest features is an exhibition featuring Future Boy Conan.
Theme Parks With Anime/Manga Themed Areas
The above-mentioned theme parks are centered around anime and manga, but you can also find hints of some of your favorite series within even more theme parks in Japan.
A theme park in Japan, no matter who it was built by, always add elements of what Japan knows and loves in the anime and manga department.
Universal Studios: Japan
Universal Studios Japan in Osaka had closed down some of its attractions for some time, but they appear to have opened up again with limited capacity restrictions.
The Japanese Universal Studios has so many elements of popular characters and series, not only from a couple of manga and anime, but Nintendo, popular films like Jaws, and major series like Harry Potter.
Universal Studios Japan Official Website
Once you get your fill of the incredible new Super Nintendo World, you can make your way over to the Hello Kitty Fashion Avenue within Universal Wonderland to see some cutesy rides and other fares.
In the food department, you can find a plethora of snacks inspired by some of your favorite characters, like Hello Kitty and Sailor Moon.
Many of the anime or manga themed rides are limited-time rides, so themes can change intermittently. The Demon Slayer ride was a recent success that ended earlier this year, and there has also been an Attack on Titans ride, a futuristic 4D Sailor Moon ride, and even a Detective Conan ride.
You’ll also be able to watch various shows throughout the day at Universal Studios Japan. If you stay there when the sun goes down, you’ll also be able to watch a spectacular night parade with a series of floats decorated with bright lights.
Mazaria In Sunshine City Mall, Tokyo
For those who want to experience a non-traditional theme park experience, Mazaria in the Sunshine City Mall has a virtual reality theme park with interactive games based on numerous anime and manga.
Mazaria Sunshine City Mall Via Tripadvisor
You can strap on a VR headset and enter games based on Gundam and Evangelion or play some Taiko Drum Master.
Coming Soon: Studio Ghibli Theme Park
Studio Ghibli Park will be opening in Aichi, Japan, in November 2022. This very exciting park is going to feature some of the most beloved Studio Ghibli films, from Princess Mononoke to Witch Valley.
There will be various areas of the theme park modeled after some of the world created by the studio as well.
Ghibli Theme Park Official Website
The park will be built on a whole seven acres of land to transport you right into the Studio Ghibli universe for those who are true anime fans and want to experience the art of Ghibli firsthand.
Pro Tips for visiting Japans loved theme parks
Tokyo is well known for its Tokyo Disneysea and Disneyland. If you are planning on venturing beyond Tokyo, Then Tokyo Station is the perfect place to begin your adventure.
The station is located in central Tokyo and can easily be accessed by its many fast-moving trains. If your wanting to see Mount Fuji, then visiting fuji q highland park is a must to add to your itinerary.
The fuji-q highland amusement park is one of the best parks and has some anime-themed attractions and is well known as one of the best theme parks near Tokyo.
Fuji Q Highland Via Tripadvisor
Tokyo Disney resort has many different areas and different themes to keep young and old entertained with rides and live shows. Sadly some of the best anime and manga theme parks have permanently closed, such as j-world Tokyo, which was related to all things Naruto.
The new park opening this year (2022-2023) by Ghibli will feature exclusive attractions by Studio Ghibli. It’s one of the only anime-theme parks directly related to one studio. Its gift shop will have an endless selection of items from its well-known anime series.
Anime theme park ideas will continue to grow and offer some of the best amusement parks in the country.
Check their official website online often, as new attractions will open from time to time. Video games will also generate new attractions and make for great photo spots for families.
Whether looking for a new attraction, thrilling rides, or the steepest roller coaster, you find it all within a minute’s walk from most stations and bus stops.