All About Japan

Top 5 Theme Parks in Kansai

| Theme Parks , Kansai

Japan is well known for its selection of thrilling theme parks, especially those around Tokyo. However, the Kansai region does not disappoint with some amazing places to bring your friends and family members for a day filled with fun. Read on to discover some of the best theme parks in the Kansai region.

5. Universal Studios Japan

Possibly the most famous theme park in the Kansai area, Universal Studios Japan (USJ) is also the busiest in the region. In the fiscal year of 2016, which also coincides with the 15th anniversary of the park, USJ hit a record of 14.6 million visitors. With the new additions of the Jurassic World roller coaster and the Minions Park, this is a park fit for all ages—but be prepared to queue for hours for the more popular rides and attractions.

One-day pass - Adults: ¥7,600 (US$69.50), children: ¥5,100 (US$46.62), seniors: ¥6,830 (US$62.44)
Two-day pass - Adults: ¥12,800 (US$117), children: ¥8,620 (US$78.83)
One-year pass - Adults: ¥34,800 (US$318), children: ¥20,800 (US$190)

4. Spa World

Japanese onsens and theme parks may not always go hand in hand, but there are a few that try to combine the two. In the heart of Osaka, right next to Shinsekai, is the Spa World. Strip down to your birthday suit and let your inhibitions go as you combine fun with hygiene. Visit the European zone or the Asian zone depending on what the schedule permits and bathe in different countries. There is also a water park nearby, but make sure you have a bathing suit over your birthday suit as the genders are mixed there.

Price (all inclusive Onsen + Water Park): Adults up to ¥3,000 (US$27.42), children up to ¥1,700 (US$15.54), exact prices depend on the season

3. Toei Kyoto Studio Park

Ever considered yourself an actor but never seemed to get yourself through the studio doors? Well, for a small price, you might finally be able to do so. The Toei Kyoto Studio Park (Eigamura) is a theme park based on a film studio focusing specifically on films set in the Edo Period (1603-1868). Grab yourself a costume and be a ninja or a samurai for the day as you browse through the attractions and sets.

Price: Adults: ¥2,200 (US$20), junior high and high school students: ¥1,300 (US$12), children 3 years and above: ¥1,100 (US$10)

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2. Central Park

Central Park, unlike what the name suggests, is located just outside of the city center in Himeji, Hyogo Prefecture. It's the only safari park located in the Kansai region and it has a sister park in Nairobi, Kenya. It's also combined with an amusement park and a water park to bring a range of entertaining options for the customers. This really is a theme park for all types of interests and one day might be insufficient to fit all of the attractions in.

Price: Adults: ¥3,000 (US$27.44), children: ¥2,700 (US$24.70), infants: ¥1,200 (US$11)
One-year pass - Adults: ¥16,250 (US$148), children ¥11,750 (US$107), infants: ¥6,000 (US$54.90)

1. Hirakata Park

Just a short train ride out of Osaka is Hirakata Park. This theme park is based on an old American theme park with all of the classic rides available. From the wooden roller coaster to the Crazy Mouse, this is the place to go to fulfill your nostalgic feels. The park can get busy during peak season, but there are plenty of rides for all the visitors to try. Chances are, you won't be waiting longer than 30 minutes for the most popular attractions. Please note that the ticket prices below include the price of admission and the "All Access Pass" needed to enjoy unlimited rides on all the attractions.

Price: Adults (junior high and above): ¥4,400 (US$40), children: ¥3,800 (US$35), infants: ¥2,600 (US$24)