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att. Culture - Let's go to the Themeparks!
att. Culture - Let's go to the Themeparks!
att.JAPAN Issue 18, September 2004

Let's go to the Themeparks!

There are a number of amusement and theme parks in Japan, Where adults and children alike can enjpy themselves.

EDO WONDERLAND NIKKO is located in Tochigi Prefecture, to the north of Tokyo. Enter via an old-style checkpoint and walk along a tree-lined avenue to see an Edo-period town appear before your eyes. All of the structures contained within the village, and even people's clothes are in the old Edo-style, so you will feel as if you are really taking a step back in time. You can enjoy the world of the ninja at the Ninja Theatre and in the ninja experience area. There are regular shows on the streets of the park featuring old-time street performances and Oiran processions. Oiran were Edo-era prostitutes for the rich. Other versions of Edo Wonderland can also be found in Noboribetsu, Hokkaido; Kaga, Ishikawa; and Ise in Mie. Each of the parks show different aspects of old Edo.

 2. Kamogawa SEA WORLD
Kamogawa SEA WORLDThis aquatic park in Kamogawa City, Chiba, is full of excitement and surprises, with a variety of sea creatures on exhibit. Four kinds of performances can be seen daily, and feature creatures of the sea including dynamic performances by the killer whale and comical performances by sea lions. You can take pictures with the killer whale and the "smiling" sea lion, and can even touch the dolphins. At "Tropical Island," you can browse through a tropical coral reef as if you were actually scuba diving.

 3. Tokyo Disneyland / Tokyo DisneySea
The kingdom of dreams and magic, Tokyo Disneyland, and the ocean of adventure and imagination, Tokyo DisneySea, are located in Urayasu City, Chiba Prefecture to the immediate east of Tokyo. From September 15 to October 31, Disneyland is presenting "Disney Halloween," while DisneySea will commemorate its third anniversary from September 4 to October 24 with an event titled "Dramatic DisneySea 2004 at Tokyo DisneySea." Their original website and the parks provide English, Chinese and Korean information for the convenience of overseas visitors.

  4. Oedo-Onsen Monogatari
Located in the Odaiba area of Koto Ward, Tokyo, this is currently the hottest resort spa, in the metropolis, Oedo Onsen Monogatari is the place to be if you want to take a glimpse at the Edo of old. You can actually get a feel for being an old Edo towns-person by wearing the yukata provided for guests. The spa also offers the "Alternate Attendance" spa. alternate attendance is a system in place during the Edo period which obliged daimyo warlords from all over Japan to reside in the capital for a certain period every year or so. Here, hot spring waters from a variety of famous Japanese spas are provided. Admittance of tattoed people is refused there.

TOKYO DOME CITYThis urban-style resort in Bunkyo Ward, Tokyo, has many entertainment facilities within. One of them is "LaQua" which opened in May 2003 and is a resort in the middle of Tokyo, featuring a spa, rides and shopping mall with restaurants. The spa is the largest in the city of Tokyo and takes advantage of natural hot springs bubbling up from a level 1,700 meters underground. The Healing Baden has three low-temperature saunas for couples to go in together.

Located in Nerima Ward, Tokyo, and surrounded by luscious greenery, TOSHIMAEN is an extensive park for relaxation and play. The "Flying Pirates" is a thrilling machine with two ships; one shaped as a large pirate ship, the other a large commercial ship. They both swing 45 meters off the ground. The "Carousel El Dorado" is the world's oldest merry-go-round and was first used in 1907. TOSHIMAEN has 31 rides in all.

YOMIURI LANDLocated in Inagi City, Tokyo, the "Bandit" and bungee jump (usage not permitted under the one day pass system) as well as other "hair-raisers" are the main attractions of this park. The haunted house is quite spine-tingling, and is a must see. The giant Ferris wheel is also another " must try," with it's spectacular view of the capital's high-rises and famous Mount Fuji, the backdrop.

Located in the Tama City area of Tokyo, Puroland is an all-weather indoor park featuring characters such as Hello Kitty, cinamoroll, USAHANA and the rest of the Sanrio characters. There are seven attractions and three restaurants as well as the largest Sanrio shop in the world. It is an extensive entertainment space with daily live shows and ongoing seasonal events. On October 23, "Kitty's House" will open after being remodeled - just in time for her 30th birthday (November 1).

 9. Fujikyu Highland
Located in Fuji-Yoshida City, Yamanashi, this amusement park is situated at the foot of Mount Fuji. Its main attractions are "Super Shiver Maze" (the park's pass is not usable with this attraction), boasting the longest haunted house course in the world, and the two popular roller coasters "Dodompa" and "Fujiyama." A new attraction, "Tondemina," opened this July.

 10. Sea Paradise - Yokohama Hakkeijima
This park is located in Yokohama City, Kanagawa. "Dolphin Fantasy" is a brand new attraction. Opened just this July, it is an aquarium featuring dolphins swimming in the clear blue water and playing along the white beach. All the action can be viewed from every angle. There are daily performances by the animals at Japan's largest aquarium, Aquamuseum.

Located in Inuyama City, Aichi Prefecture, this museum preserves and exhibits aesthetically pleasing and historically valuable structures from the Meiji period (1868-1912). Sixty-seven buildings are currently on display, including Sapporo Telephone Exchange Office and Kyoto Saint John's Church. The museum offers several sightseeing routes, such as the "Important Cultural Property" course, or Cultural Heritage Course, the Full-Tour, the steam locomotive, Kyoto tram rides and the village bus ride. All explanation panels for the buildings are written in Japanese, English, Chinese and Korean.

This park is in Kuwana County, Mie Prefecture. Two new rides, "Bobcart" and "Giant Frisbee," opened this year. The first of their kind in Japan, they have become the most popular rides at this park. Visitors are welcomed and seen off by the park's official character, Peter Rabbit, who will gladly shake hands and pose for photos. The park also sells cute items featuring the star - Peter Rabbit.

PARQUE ESPANAParque Espana in Shima County, Mie Prefecture is a theme park focussing on Spain. It celebrated its tenth anniversary this spring and opened several new attractions, including "Matador," a roller coaster ride through a bullfight stage, "Palace of Light" and "Ice Castle". Brand-new shows such as the dance performance "Viva! Paella" and the flamenco revue "Bright Angel 2004" are performed daily. You can enjoy yourself for an entire day here if you stay at Hotel Shima Spain Village. You can even take a dip at the nearby natural hot spring, "Himawari-no-yu," on the premesis.

Toei Movie Land
KYOTO STUDIO PARK Located in Ukyo Ward, Kyoto City, Uzumasa is often called the Hollywood of Japan, an apt name with it being the home of Japanese cinema. You can watch Edo-period dramas being filmed on the grand outdoor set and see various shows on Japanese cinema in general at the Cinema Cultural Hall. Visitors can also dress up as Edo-era princesses and lords.

 15. Universal Studios Japan
This Hollywood movie theme park is in Osaka City. The latest, most popular attraction for people of all ages is "The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man - the Ride" which opened in January 2004. From September 9 to October 31, an event titled "Hollywood Halloween" will be held for children and adults alike to enjoy. The park is conveniently located just 10 minutes on train from JR Osaka Station, making access incredibly easy.

OSAKA AQUARIUM KAIYUKANOne of the largest aquariums in the world, KAIYUKAN located in Minato Ward, Osaka City, sets its theme on the Ring of Fire, and replicates and displays ten aquatic regions in fourteen large glass tanks. The largest fish in the world, the whale shark, swims leisurely in the Pacific Ocean tank. Other features are "Aqua Gate," a tunnel-type tank, and the "Floating Jellyfish Pavilion" where the transparent jellyfishes drift about at their own pace in several tanks. The aquarium exhibits twenty-nine thousand specimens representing some 470 species. Naniwa Groumand Alley TEMPOZAN MARKETPLACE reproduces famous 1960s' restaurants in the Kansai district and traditional streets in Osaka city.

 17. New Reoma Animal Park
Located in Kagawa Prefecture, this animal park exhibits lions, tigers, a Tibetan bear, penguins and many more in environments adjusted to fit each different specie they play home to. The Bird Park shows rare avian creatures from all over the world. Befriend dogs from every corner of the globe as well as the other small animals at Bow-wow Park.

 18. Harmonyland
HarmonylandHarmonyland is in Oita Prefecture. It offers daily parades and live shows featuring "Hello Kitty" and other famous characters by the toy maker, Sanrio. Here too, an event for Kitty's 30th birthday is being planned to take place at her remodeled home "Kitty Castle."

Located in Sasebo City, Nagasaki Prefecture, this theme park features the look of a 17th century European town. There are hotels, museums and an amusement park , so visitors can stay overnight and enjoy the endless fun. Events are held daily. Seasonal events and the colorful flowers seen throughout the resort are also worth the visit.

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