Earlier this year I wrote about the Floral Oasis amusement park I visited in Aichi Prefecture, so today I’d like to highlight 3 of my other recommended day trips from Nagoya: Legoland, Nagashima Spa Land, and the Ninja Village in Iga.
Nagoya is a seriously underrated city because its central location makes it the ideal place to explore surrounding prefectures. You can easily access Mie and Gifu by using the JR lines and also can get to Kyoto and Osaka by bus or shinkansen. There is a lot of nature, hotsprings, and obscure amusement parks that can be found by venturing to the outskirts of Aichi and beyond. I’ve definitely had my fair share of adventures here.
Legoland Japan Resort
Legoland Japan is a relatively new theme park that opened in April 2017 making it only 3 years old of today. I’ve been to many Legolands in the US, but I had never been to a Legoland Amusement Park until August 2017 shortly after this park opened. Originally this park was criticized for its high admission fee (4600 yen), but from my experience it’s worth the money. A lot of work went into constructing this park and its intricate attractions. Unlike other amusement parks in Japan, it’s quite spacious and there was almost no waiting time even for the most popular rides even though we went on a weekend. As a kid who used to play with Legos and construct anime characters with them, being here in Japan was absolutely surreal.
My favorite attraction was the Submarine because you dive into an underwater ecosystem constructed of Legos and real fish and sharks! I was impressed to have such a thrilling experience here because it reminded me a lot of Disney Sea. There is also another attraction you can ride with boats equipped water guns! Even though this isn’t a water park, it had a lot of attractions that are well-suited for the hot days of summer. The Lego-shaped fries are also worth trying! There is also an awesome recreation of the major cities in Japan and Mt. Fuji built with (you guessed it) Legos. This is undoubtedly the biggest Lego display in Japan:
Though I would rank this as one of the top amusement parks in Japan, the main con of Legoland is that is it is mostly aimed at families—the roller coasters aren’t that thrilling and about half of the rides are designed for kids. However, after living in Japan longterm I’ve really come to appreciate this place. Maybe my childhood nostalgia is part of the factor, but I liked the creativity that was put into this park. The good news is that it has expanded once since I’ve visited, and has the potential to add new attractions in the future (much like a real Lego town). Coming here was worth it for the aesthetic experience.
455-8605 Aichi, Nagoya, Minato Ward, Kinjofuto, 2 Chome−2−1
Entrance Fee: 4600 yen
Nagashima Spa Land
Nagashima Spa Land is an amusement park combined with a hotspring—the Japanese dream. Unlike Legoland, it actually has some really thriller rides. The Steel Dragon 2000 is the longest roller coaster in the world so it’s worth visiting just for that factor! My biggest issue with amusement parks in Japan is that I feel like they are too small for the large amount of visitors and that the rides are not adrenaline-filled enough. However, Nagashima Spa Land and Fuji Q Highland impressed me with the intensity of their rides. There are non-thriller roller coasters and attractions for children here as well.
I spent a lot of time in the hotspring which explains the lack of pictures, but I did come back out for the fireworks show at night. The park has limited attractions but it’s definitely worth a day trip for the Steel Dragon 2000. If you combine the amusement portion with a trip to the hotspring, then you can definitely make this a full day experience. Like Legoland, the waiting times for rides are not so bad. The downside is a lot of surrounding schools take field trips here, so be sure to avoid Japanese holidays if you come.
333 Nagashimacho Urayasu, Kuwana, Mie 511-1192
Entrance Fee: 4100 yen for unlimited rides / 1600 yen pay per ride (100 yen-300 yen)*
*I honestly recommend paying per ride because likely you will just want to ride the roller coasters.
In my next article I will be talking about the Ninja Village in Iga I visited. Please see Part 2 next.