Apart from world-famous tourist attractions such as traditional temples and nature spots, Japan also boasts a number of unique theme parks. While popular ones such as Tokyo DisneyLand in Chiba and Universal Studio Japan in Osaka attract millions of people every year, there are also unique theme parks which mainly feature the townscape as well as cuisines of other countries around the world. Visiting these theme parks will allow you to travel around the world while you are in Japan, and visiting the theme parks which recreated your city or country would add an interesting taste to your trip!
- 1. Canadian World (Hokkaido)
- 2. Spa Resort Hawaiians(Fukushima)
- 3. Tokyo German Village(Chiba)
- 4. Tobu World Square (Tochigi)
- 5. Asian Old Bazaar (Tochigi)
- 6. Rock Heart Castle (Gunma)
- 7. Little World (Aichi)
- 8. Shima Spain Village (Mie)
- 9. Porto Europe (Wakayama)
- 10. Huis Ten Bosch (Nagasaki)
- 11. Arita porcelain park(Saga)
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1. Canadian World (Hokkaido)
Canadian World is an impressive tourist attraction in Hokkaido. It takes you to the world of “Anne of Green Gables”, one of the most best-selling novels in the world published in 1908. The peaceful town scape and natural surroundings are reminiscent of the countryside in Canada where the story is set in. Walking around the beautiful park in spring will allow you to relax while admiring a variety of seasonal plants and flowers. Symbolic structures include the reproduction of Anne’s house and Kensington Train Station which actually exists in Canada!
Opening hours April 28th – October 21nd (10am – 5:30pm)
Closed during winter season
2. Spa Resort Hawaiians(Fukushima)
Did you know that you can have a Hawaiian experience in Fukushima, a local region in the northeastern part of Japan? The Tohoku region is often known for its snow and cold weather in winter, but Iwaki City where Spa Resort Hawaiians is located is known for its comparably warmer climate. Spa Resort Hawaiians offers a range of activities and entertainments, visitors can swim in giant pools featuring exciting attractions such as a huge water slide. Since inside the facility is kept warm at comfortable temperature at all times, visitors can enjoy swimming and watching Hawaiian shows all year round! After enjoying swimming, take a relaxing bath at a hot spring. As you can guess from the name, it features a variety of onsen hot springs. If you are not comfortable to take a public bath with a bunch of strangers there are some onsen areas where you can take onsen in swimsuits as well.
Opening hours varies on each facilities
Admissions ¥3,570 (adult) ¥2,250 (elementary school student) ¥1,640 (aged 3+)
3. Tokyo German Village(Chiba)
If you are looking for some places to visit near Tokyo, Tokyo German Village is probably the perfect destination for you! It is a unique theme park which is visited by over 1million people every year. They feature a spacious lawn field, a variety of attractions for kids, restaurants offering German dishes, a petting zoo with adorable animals and much more! The scenic townscape is modeled after traditional houses in Germany, if you have already been to Germany before, you can compare how they recreated in Japan! During the spring season, a wide variety of beautiful flowers blooming across the park also fascinate visitors. You can easily spend hours, or even a whole day exploring the huge park! If you go there in winter, you will enjoy beautiful illumination at the park!
Opening hours 9:30am – 5pm (last entry is at 4pm)
Admissions ¥800 (adult) ¥400 (aged 4 – elementary school student)
4. Tobu World Square (Tochigi)
Tochigi prefecture is home to Tobu World Square, another unique theme park opened in 1993. They welcome visitors with hundreds of world-famous structures and buildings on a 1/25 scale. The stunning display contains Pyramids in Egypt, The Statue of Liberty in the U.S, The Eiffel Tower in France and other 46 UNESCO World Heritage Sites around the world! You will be surprised by the quality of details that look close to original structures. Walking around the park will take you to a world tour to visit these spots in a day. Spring is the best season to take memorable pictures with the impressive miniatures surrounded by beautiful flowers such as cherry blossom and plum.
Opening hours 9am – 5pm
Temporary shorten opening hours from 9:30am-4pm due to Covid-19
Admissions ¥2,800 (adult) ¥1,400 (aged 4 – elementary school student)
5. Asian Old Bazaar (Tochigi)
Asian Old Bazaar is another popular tourist attraction in Tochigi prefecture. It boasts unique shops specializing in imported items as well as delicious dishes from East Asian countries such as Indonesia, Thailand and India. Try genuine and traditional cuisines like Pho, white flat rice noodles from Vietnam and Nasi goreng which is loved as a traditional dish in Indonesia. Find your favorite items from a large collection of goods, including ethnic items and colorful souvenirs carefully selected by shop staff. Since most shops are pet-friendly, it is a perfect place to take your dogs for a refreshing walk!
Opening hours 10am – 4pm
Souvenir shops are temporary closed on Wednesday due to Covid-19
Restaurants are temporary closed on weekdays due to Covid-19
6. Rock Heart Castle (Gunma)
Nestled in a deep mountainous area in Gunma prefecture, Rock Heart Castle offers an extraordinary experience with stunning scenery created by a beautiful Scottish castle back in the middle ages! The Rock Heart Castle, an iconic landmark was originally built in 1829 in the U.K., and later relocated to Japan. Along with other classic buildings such as stone-built churches, it creates a fascinating townscape of Medieval Europe. It is also often used as a filming location for movies and TV series.
Just walking around the gorgeous buildings will bring you a memorable experience. You can also try unique options, including a princess experience which allows you to take pictures in a beautiful dress. They also organize some craft experiences such as making your original stone bracelet.
Opening hours 9am – 5pm (last entry is at 4:30pm)
Admissions ¥1,100 (adult) ¥600 (aged 4 – elementary school student)
7. Little World (Aichi)
Little World is an open-air museum located in Inuyama City in Aichi prefecture. They offer visitors great opportunities to learn the culture and lifestyle of several countries around the world as well as minor ethnic groups. Walking around the vast park enables you to take a glimpse of traditional structures from 23 countries. It is divided into 8 areas, each of which features unique buildings and exhibits representing each region from Europe to Asia. At the main building, visitors are welcomed by around 6,000 numbers of intriguing exhibits displayed based on different themes. It includes unique cultural properties exclusively used at rituals. Visitors can also learn the processes that human evolution has taken since the beginning of civilization. You can also try traditional costumes for each country, enjoy delicious food and get memorable souvenirs!
Opening hours 10am – 4pm
Admissions ¥1,800 (adult) ¥1,100 (high school/ junior high school student)
¥700 (elementary school student) ¥300 (aged 3+)
8. Shima Spain Village (Mie)
Shima Spain Village has served as one of the most popular theme parks in Japan since its opening in 1994. They attract over 1million visitors every year, and offer a range of experiences that can be found only here across Japan! As you might be able to infer from the name, their basic concept is mainly based on Spain, and they feature Spanish-style facilities and buildings. Let your kids enjoy exciting rides and attractions, or share a special moment by watching parades as well as entertaining shows by professional dancers. Food options include genuine Spanish dishes, fast food, low-allergen menu and kids’ menu. If you need to find convenient accommodation nearby, Hotel Shima Spain Village offers a perfect stay, and if you can drive, Fiore Shima would be a good option too!
Opening hours 9:30am – 5pm
Admissions ¥5,400 (adult) ¥4,400 (high school/ junior high school student)
¥3,600 (elementary school student and under)
9. Porto Europe (Wakayama)
Porto Europe is a popular theme park located in Wakayama prefecture. The townscape is modeled after a scenic port town back in Medieval Europe, which offers an exotic atmosphere with traditional Western-style buildings. Since the admission to the park is free, it serves as a popular spot where visitors can enjoy a refreshing stroll, or take memorable pictures with beautiful buildings. You can also get one-day tickets which allow your kids to enjoy thrilling rides and amusement attractions such as a roller coaster for the whole day! If you get hungry, head to Kuroshio Market (黒潮市場) which offers a range of meal options, including fresh seafood.
Opening hours 10am – 5pm
Admissions (One-day tickets for rides) ¥3,800 (adult) ¥3,200 (child)
10. Huis Ten Bosch (Nagasaki)
If you have a chance to travel to the Kyushu region during your stay in Japan, Huis Ten Bosch is definitely a must-visit that you should add to your bucket list! Widely known as the largest theme park in Japan, it welcomes over 2.5 million people every year. Their scenic townscape recreates the scenery of the Netherlands back in the 17th century, and visitors can enjoy exploring the area full of traditional style buildings and a range of experiences.
Trying exciting rides, shopping and enjoying great Dutch dishes are always popular ways to make the most of your time there. In April, beautiful flowers such as tulips start to bloom around the entire park to enjoy the arrival of spring. Winter illumination also draws a number of crowds with the stunning light world created by thousands of LEDs! A range of accommodation such as European-style hotels is also conveniently available within the park.
Opening hours 9am – 9pm or 10pm (varies depending on the day)
Admissions (One-day Passport) ¥7,000 (adult) ¥6,000 (junior high/high school student)
¥4,600 (elementary school student) ¥3,500 (aged 4 – under elementary school student)
11. Arita porcelain park(Saga)
Arita Porcelain Park is a unique theme park featuring Arita-yaki, which is recognized as one of the traditional Japanese porcelain brands made in the area around Arita in Fukuoka prefecture. The main building is modeled after Zwinger Palace, which actually exists in Germany. It showcases a large collection of Arita-yaki, which were made during the Edo through Meiji period.
They also offer a range of hands-on experiences and workshops such as pottery lessons for beginners. You can also join a painting lesson which allows you to paint your own Arita-yaki. Don’t forget to stop by Kura (蔵), a cozy gift shop selling lovely, beautiful Arita-yaki plates and mugs for affordable prices. They also sell a large selection of local sake brands with tasting services!
Opening hours 9am – 5pm
Admissions ¥600 (adult) ¥300 (junior high/high school student)
Admission free for elementary school student and under
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