An Amusement Park Experience You Can Only Get in Japan

Mount Fuji and an amusement park

   From children to adults, everyone loves an amusement park. Of course, this goes for people in Japan too. With a history going back over 100 years, Japan's amusement parks have their own distinct appeal — ranging from exciting attractions that can be enjoyed alongside scenic views to haunted house attractions unique to Japan and movie-like live-action shows. Each amusement park has its own personality specific to that region, and they are a great place for discovering new aspects of Japan.

Amusement Parks Show Off Their Surroundings

   Japan's natural beauty is one of the things that makes the country attractive. In particular, Mount Fuji—a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the highest mountain in Japan—is a world-famous sightseeing spot. And at the foot of Mount Fuji, there is an amusement park where you can enjoy attractions with breathtaking views. Here you will find scream-inducing roller coasters that are famous for their rapid acceleration, sudden plummets and number of spins. Four roller coasters were developed with the focus on being the best in the world, and all of them are Guinness World Records certified. Our favorite among these is a 2 km long roller coaster that stretches against the backdrop of Mount Fuji. This top-class roller coaster offers a maximum speed of 130 km/h, sudden plummets, sharp climbs and rapid spins — all of which you can enjoy alongside the scenic views from its tallest point of 79 m above the ground. From the park's observation deck, you can also enjoy all the different expressions Mount Fuji has to offer throughout the year — fresh green leaves in spring, red leaves in fall, and a blanket of snow in winter.

A popular thrill ride with irregular movements, such as rotating seats while moving. (Photo courtesy of FUJIKYUKO CO.,LTD.&FUJIKYU HIGHLAND.)

The observation deck overlooks nearby Mount Fuji. (Photo courtesy of FUJIKYUKO CO.,LTD.&FUJIKYU HIGHLAND.)

   There is also an amusement park in Asakusa, a popular area in downtown Tokyo. The park's most popular attraction is the oldest existing roller coaster in Japan. It's not the fastest, with a maximum speed of 42 km/h, but its distinctive themes of traveling between buildings and passing through the inside of a building that resembles a traditional Japanese living room are what make it so appealing. Other than the roller coaster, Japanese-themed attractions that let visitors experience becoming a samurai and try out swordplay are also popular in the park. With spots overlooking the famous Senso-ji Temple and Tokyo Skytree nearby, it's an amusement park that lets you enjoy sightseeing in Tokyo at the same time as the attractions.

Visitors can enjoy the unique staging of a roller coaster passing through a traditional Japanese living room. (Photo courtesy of ASAKUSA HANAYASHIKI.)

An attraction where kids can become a samurai and try out swordplay. (Photo courtesy of ASAKUSA HANAYASHIKI.)

An amusement park where visitors can also enjoy views of the Tokyo Skytree and Senso-ji Temple. (Photo courtesy of ASAKUSA HANAYASHIKI.)

Experience the Spooky Side of Japan With Haunted House Attractions

   Haunted house attractions are something that many people picture when it comes to amusement parks in Japan. Actors or dolls are dressed as ghosts and spirits to surprise and frighten visitors in the dark. In Japan, ghost stories called kaidan have been passed down through generations, and the essence of kaidan is reflected in these modern haunted house attractions. In the haunted house attraction of one amusement park located in central Tokyo, visitors walk through a set resembling a traditional Japanese house while experiencing a horror story full of ghosts. The scary experiences that await and the actors' performances that even make adults afraid are the reasons for this attraction's popularity.

Ghosts giving a scary performance in a set that resembles a traditional Japanese house. (Photo courtesy of J-LIGHTS/Itamura Koichiro.)

The entrance to a haunted house attraction creates a chilling atmosphere even before you enter. (Photo courtesy of J-LIGHTS/Itamura Koichiro.)

Ghosts that greet visitors at the entrance. (Photo courtesy of J-LIGHTS/Itamura Koichiro.)

Come and Meet Popular Characters at the Show!

   TV programs and animations that feature superheroes are popular among all ages in Japan. These popular TV characters and superheroes also appear in shows that are held in some amusement parks. For example, one amusement park in the Kyushu region in southern Japan offers a variety of shows over the extended holidays of Obon in the summer and New Year, and the consecutive bank holidays in spring and fall. Staged fights between superheroes and villains are particularly popular at these shows. They are full of flashy stunts that use motorbikes and wires in wide open spaces and feature movie-like performances using explosives, attracting fans from afar. Many visitors will find themselves making repeated visits to the park to keep up with the storylines and performances that change with the seasons, and the variety of themes they cover that range from popular standards to trendy animations.

An audience gathered to watch an outdoor superhero show with flashy stunts. (Photo courtesy of Greenland.)

   Amusement parks in Japan are more than just attractions—they are places where you can simultaneously enjoy different elements like nature, sightseeing spots, and even pop culture. These are beloved places where everyone, no matter their age, can experience attractions unique to that place.