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10 Unique Theme Parks in Japan You Should Add to Your Itinerary

Discover Sanrio Puroland, Ghibli Park Japan, and More!

“So I’ve done USJ and Tokyo Disney Resort – what’s next?” is what you’re probably asking yourself midway through your trip. Three of the most famous theme parks in Japan, you’re likely already planning a visit to Universal Studios Japan, Tokyo Disneyland, and Tokyo Disneysea. Combining thrilling rides, fun shows, and plenty of opportunities to see famous television and film characters up-close, they’re widely regarded as some of the best theme parks in Japan, making them must-visits for both first-timers and repeat visitors alike.

However, there are tons of other theme parks in Japan that are well worth a visit. With a diverse selection of themes that range from cartoon and anime-inspired parks (think Moomin and Hello Kitty) to cultural and even fruit-inspired parks, you’re bound to find something you’ll like, no matter how niche your interests may be!

If you’re currently in search of attractions and experiences to spice up your itinerary, then look no further! We’ve compiled a list of our favorite unique theme parks in Japan that are perfect for travelers who wish to experience other theme parks aside from USJ and Tokyo Disney Resort. Read on below to see our recommendations:

Brand New Adventures at These Theme Parks in Japan!

1. Sanrio Puroland – Tokyo

10 Unique Theme Parks in Japan You Should Add to Your Itinerary, Aichi Prefecture, Tokyo Prefecture, Okinawa Prefecture, Saitama Prefecture, Nagasaki Prefecture, Kanagawa Prefecture, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan

First up on our list of recommended theme parks in Japanis Tokyo’s Sanrio Puroland, where you can meet the always-adorable Hello Kitty and her equally-cute friends such as Gudetama and My Melody! An indoor theme park that’s open all year round (aside from designated maintenance days), Sanrio Puroland can be enjoyed by both kids and adults alike in all types of weather.

And though it may be smaller than most of the parks on this list, there’s still enough to do here to entertain you and your group for an entire day. With four separate floors that are each filled with fun activities, including themed rides, various shows and movies, and even parades, you won’t have to worry about running out of things to do while you’re here. Our favorite part of Sanrio Puroland is the Sanrio Character Boat Ride, a cruise where you’ll see the world of Sanrio and watch the park’s characters from inside your boat. There’s even a photo service at the end, so try to spot the camera and show your best smile if you want to bring home a cute souvenir.

Klook Tip: If you’re celebrating your birthday during your visit, drop by the information booth for a special card that you can carry around the park. The park’s staff will greet you and even give you stickers whenever they spot this sign, which can make you feel extra special on your birthday!

2. Nago Pineapple Park – Okinawa

10 Unique Theme Parks in Japan You Should Add to Your Itinerary, Aichi Prefecture, Tokyo Prefecture, Okinawa Prefecture, Saitama Prefecture, Nagasaki Prefecture, Kanagawa Prefecture, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan

Nago PinPineapple lovers will have a blast at Okinawa’s Nago Pineapple Park, a local attraction that is a pineapple farm and a theme park at the same time! Hop aboard the pineapple train to make your way to the park entrance, passing through the pineapple fields, before you arrive at the greenhouses that are filled with exotic plants. To explore the greenhouses, choose between walking around by yourself or taking the pineapple-shaped self-driving carts (we recommend taking the carts to get information about the history of pineapple farming in Okinawa, as well as about the different plant species in the park!)

Once you’re done exploring the greenhouses atNago Pineapple Park, head to the café to try out the many different pineapple-themed dishes, including both savory and sweet options. On a hot day, savor the pineapple shaved ice and pineapple soft-serve ice cream before you feast on the pineapple pizza. Remember to stop by the souvenir shop on your way out, where you’ll get to bring home some more pineapple-themed gifts like pineapple wine and various pineapple snacks.

A fair warning before you visit: the theme song of Nago Pineapple Parkis extremely catchy, and you’ll definitely be singing along to this earworm for days to come!

3. Moominvalley Park – Saitama

10 Unique Theme Parks in Japan You Should Add to Your Itinerary, Aichi Prefecture, Tokyo Prefecture, Okinawa Prefecture, Saitama Prefecture, Nagasaki Prefecture, Kanagawa Prefecture, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan

The first-ever Moomin-themed park outside of Finland, Moominvalley Parkushers you into the dreamy world of the Moomin family. On your way to the park, you’ll first pass through Metsä Village, where you can enjoy a relaxing stroll through the Nordic village and maybe even go for a meal at any of the restaurants there. Once you finally arrive, you can immerse yourself in the world of the Moomins: featuring four different outdoor zones and open spaces with tons of greenery, it’s a great place to visit if you’re looking to escape the crowded city.

Once you leave the Welcome Cove, where the entrance is located, you’re free to explore the remaining three park zones as you wish. Moominvalley is the main attraction, featuring the Moominhouse and an outdoor theater for performances, so expect that to be the busiest as well. If you can spare the time and the cash, pay extra for the house tour of the Moominhouse so you can enter the home of the Moomin family. Without the tour, you will not be able to enter the house and can only view it from the outside.

If you brought kids with you or just fancy a walk through the forest, head to the treehouse-shaped Hemulen’s Playground at Lonely Mountain, passing through the wooded area on the way. Finally, make your way to Kokemus to see the interactive exhibits in the three-story building, where you’ll learn about the story of Moominvalley and its characters.

There are several shops in the park that sell Moomin-themed merchandise and food. On your way back to your accommodation, allot some time to shop and dine at Metsä Village.

Klook Tip: Same-day re-entry is allowed at Moominvalley Park as long as you get a re-entry stamp – just notify the staff at the entrance before you leave!

4. Huis Ten Bosch – Nagasaki

10 Unique Theme Parks in Japan You Should Add to Your Itinerary, Aichi Prefecture, Tokyo Prefecture, Okinawa Prefecture, Saitama Prefecture, Nagasaki Prefecture, Kanagawa Prefecture, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan

Recreating an authentic Dutch town, Huis Ten Boschin Nagasaki lets you experience the beauty of the Netherlands without stepping foot outside of Japan! Named after one of the three official residences of the Dutch royal family, you’ll get to witness stunning canals, windmills, and architectural wonders typical of Dutch culture.

With more than 50 different facilities included in your Huis Ten Boschticket, you’ll be spoilt for choice during your visit. Some of our favorite attractions include the City of Flowers, where seasonal flowers are grown year-round, and the Kingdom of Light, which illuminates the night sky with its twinkling lights. There are also tons of limited-time events throughout the year, so check them out when you can.

As much as you may try, Huis Ten Boschjust has too many attractions to be covered in one day, so you’ll need to map out your route through the park in advance or go back on another day. It’s also worth noting that some of the park’s facilities are not included in the ticket, so keep some extra cash on hand in case anything catches your fancy.

Klook Tip: You’ll be presenting your ticket to various staff members throughout the day, so keep it somewhere easily accessible!

5. Aqua Park Shinagawa – Tokyo

10 Unique Theme Parks in Japan You Should Add to Your Itinerary, Aichi Prefecture, Tokyo Prefecture, Okinawa Prefecture, Saitama Prefecture, Nagasaki Prefecture, Kanagawa Prefecture, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan

Discover the hidden world that lies beneath the ocean waters here at Aqua Park Shinagawa,a local aquarium that uses light and sound to enhance the viewing experience. Conveniently located in the heart of Tokyo, it’s an ideal place to visit for families with kids who want to experience some cool things to do nearby. Popular exhibitions inside the park include the Jellyfish Ramble, where huge circular tanks of jellyfish are lit up in rainbow lights, and Little Paradise, whose inhabitants change throughout the year, depending on the season.

And though the Aqua Park Shinagawa is primarily an aquarium, it is also home to some cool attractions that you wouldn’t expect from a traditional aquarium. Check out the Aqua Jungle, where jungles and the aquatic wildlife that can be found there are reproduced, as well as the Dolphin Party merry-go-round and the Port of Pirates pendulum ride for a thrilling experience you’ll never forget!

Try to visit on weekdays if you can – as it is a family-themed park, you can expect a big crowd on weekends and holidays. Multiple re-entries on the same day are also allowed at the park, so you can step in if it gets too busy and go back later on once the crowds have dispersed.

6. Legoland Discovery Center – Tokyo

10 Unique Theme Parks in Japan You Should Add to Your Itinerary, Aichi Prefecture, Tokyo Prefecture, Okinawa Prefecture, Saitama Prefecture, Nagasaki Prefecture, Kanagawa Prefecture, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan

Let your imagination run wild here at Legoland Discovery Center Tokyo, where millions of Lego blocks in varying shapes, colors, and sizes await! Start off your day with a visit to the Lego Factory to observe how each brick is made before you head off to Miniland to see the world’s capitals in miniature form. You can even craft Lego Racers before you test them out on a track and build your very own Lego city at Lego City Builder! Kids will also love Lego Ninja Go, where they can test their ninja skills through a series of challenging obstacle courses.

Aside from building your own world out of Lego blocks, you’ll also get to try out the three different rides inside. Hop aboard the Kingdom Quest and save the princess, or help Merlin conjure up his potions at Merlin’s Apprentice. There is also a 4D Cinema inside the park, where you’ll experience rain, wind, and even some snow under a roof. How cool is that?

Before you head home, drop by the Lego shop and bring home a kit for yourself or your friends and family!

7. Yokohama Cosmo World – Kanagawa

10 Unique Theme Parks in Japan You Should Add to Your Itinerary, Aichi Prefecture, Tokyo Prefecture, Okinawa Prefecture, Saitama Prefecture, Nagasaki Prefecture, Kanagawa Prefecture, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan
© BREAKIFY / Unsplash

Divided into three separate zones, each with its own charm and set of attractions, Yokohama Cosmo Worldis a local theme park suitable for travelers of all ages. Smaller children will love the Kids Carnival Zone and its kid-friendly attractions such as rideable panda cars, a merry-go-round, and even a mini shinkansen ride!

Next up is Burano Street Zone, filled with attractions suitable for families and larger groups. Explore the haunted mansion if you’re feeling spooky, or take a quick spin on the Family Banana Coaster or the Galaxy for some lighthearted fun.

The last zone in the park is the Wonder Amuse Zone, which is the main attraction at Yokohama Cosmo World. The most thrilling rides can be found here, including the “Diving Coaster – Vanish!”, which seemingly looks like a regular coaster at first glance, up until you are plunged into a pool of water. Another must-try in the park is the “Cliff Drop”, a log flume river ride with a scoreboard for the loudest screams at the final drop. You’ll also find the food court here, as well as the arcade and a 3D theater.

Entrance to Yokohama Cosmo Worldis free of charge, but you’ll need to buy tickets for each attraction you want to try.

8. Edo Wonderland Nikko Edomura – Tochigi

10 Unique Theme Parks in Japan You Should Add to Your Itinerary, Aichi Prefecture, Tokyo Prefecture, Okinawa Prefecture, Saitama Prefecture, Nagasaki Prefecture, Kanagawa Prefecture, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan

Travel all the way back to 17th century Japan with a trip to Edo Wonderland Nikko Edomura,an authentic replica of a village built in the Edo Period. Relive Japan’s colorful history as you walk through the action-packed streets of Edo Village, where you’ll see everything from ninjas to water magic shows! You can even get into character and immerse yourself completely by renting out costumes and practicing your calligraphy skills at the local school.

Highlights at Edo Wonderland Nikko Edomurainclude the Road to Edo, a set of replica buildings from the Edo Period with explanations of what they were used for, and the Market District, host to the famous Oiran Courtesan Procession and other enchanting performances. If you’re short on time, make sure you drop by the Ninja Village to catch an exciting 30-minute ninja battle!

Klook Tip: There are several activities at Edo Wonderland Nikko Edomura, such as archery and shooting ninja stars, which are not included in your ticket. We recommend bringing some cash with you during your visit, just in case you’re curious about any of them.

9. Lagunasia – Aichi

10 Unique Theme Parks in Japan You Should Add to Your Itinerary, Aichi Prefecture, Tokyo Prefecture, Okinawa Prefecture, Saitama Prefecture, Nagasaki Prefecture, Kanagawa Prefecture, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan

Enjoy a day out by the sea with a trip to Lagunasia, a resort marine complex located in Aichi Prefecture. With its selection of thrill rides, performances, and attractions inside the theme park, it’s no surprise that it’s one of the most popular theme parks in Japan, drawing in 3+ million visitors yearly!

Three different types of tickets are available for Lagunasia, depending on what suits your needs. The basic ticket only includes the admission, the Entertainment Show, and the

Illumination & Projection Mapping Show, while the passport entitles you not only to all aforementioned inclusions in the basic ticket, but also unlimited access to the rides and attractions inside the park. Lastly, you can also purchase tickets to give you access to the pool area, perfect on hot summer days when you need the cool waters of the pool!

Regardless of which ticket you purchase, you’re sure to have a great time here at Lagunasia!

10. Ghibli Park – Aichi

10 Unique Theme Parks in Japan You Should Add to Your Itinerary, Aichi Prefecture, Tokyo Prefecture, Okinawa Prefecture, Saitama Prefecture, Nagasaki Prefecture, Kanagawa Prefecture, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan
© Samuel Berner / Unsplash

Though it’s not set to open until the tail end of 2022, many are already anticipating and planning a trip to Ghibli Park Japan! Representing the world of the famous Studio Ghibli and its colorful creations, fans of the animation studio are expected to come in droves as soon as the park opens. Here’s all that we know so far about Ghibli Park Japan:

Opening date: 1 November 2022

Location: Within the grounds of Aichi Earth Expo Memorial Park (Moricoro Park)

Park features: Unlike most theme parks, Ghibli Park Japanwill not be relying on thrill rides to draw in crowds. It will instead focus on building the world of Studio Ghibli using the park’s natural features and will have the following areas:

    Youth Hill, inspired by “Howl’s Moving Castle”

    Great Ghibli Warehouse, inspired by “My Neighbor Totoro”, “Laputa: Castle in the Sky”, and “Arrietty”

    Mononoke’s Village, based on “Princess Mononoke”

    Witch Valley, inspired by “Kiki’s Delivery Service” and “Howl’s Moving Castle”

    Dondoko Forest, based on “My Neighbor Totoro”

For a more immersive preview of Ghibli Park Japan, check out this video by the Aichi Tourism Bureau:

© Aichi Tourism Bureau / Youtube

Book It, Klook It

Now that we’ve given you plenty of ideas on what other theme parks in Japanyou should visit while you’re there, it’s finally time to start booking! If you need any more ideas on what to do in Japan, or if you simply need travel inspiration, don’t hesitate to check out the Klook Japan page. Have a great trip!