There are quite a few theme parks in Japan, the top ones in Tokyo being Disneyland and Disney Sea, but if you don’t have the time or want to try something different, we highly recommend Hanayashiki amusement park, smack in the middle of Asakusa.
It’s Japan’s oldest theme park, first opening its doors in 1853 as a flower park, transforming over the years into the little fun retro amusement that it is today. But don’t worry, the rides aren’t as old as the park, and they’re all very well maintained.
A lot of them reminded me of the stuff I used to ride as a child, and it brought back a lot of good memories.
There are two ways to enjoy the park – pay a 1,000 Yen admission fee and purchase ride tickets as you go, or get a free ride pass for 2,300 Yen. If you plan to go on 3-4 of the rides, the free pass is the way to go, plus you won’t have to fiddle around with the tickets.
Notable attractions include the Bee Tower, a cute candy-house merry-go-round 45 meters above the ground with fantastic views of Tokyo Sky Tree and the surrounding area, and Space Shot, the ride with the biggest adrenaline rush in the park, shooting you up 80 meters into the air before dropping you right down.
Hanayashiki is a perfect for the family with kids on a budget, but young couples will find lots to enjoy here too. It beats the multi-hour long lines at Disneyland or Sea, and being in Tokyo, you’ll have plenty of time left to spare afterwards to spend exploring other parts of the city.
“Want to learn the ways of the ninja? Check out the new Hanayashiki Ninja School, where you can pick up essential ninja skills such as stealth and shuriken throwing. Bonus points if you come dressed up as a turtle.”
Asakusa Station (Tokyo Metro Ginza, Tobu Skytree and Toei Asakusa lines), take exit no.1