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TripAdvisor's Top 10 Theme Parks in Japan

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Think of theme parks in Japan and there’s a good chance that the the local versions of those popular in western countries come to mind. While there are the three big ones—Universal Studios Japan, Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea—there are plenty that have flown under the radar, which this top 10 list from TripAdvisor aims to correct!

10. Edo Wonderland Nikko Edomura (Tochigi)

While the only rides at this theme park are limited to being pulled or carried by kimono-clad servants, the park allows visitors to step back 400 years into the past and experience the Edo Period (1603-1868). Dress up in kimono and wander the streets between the stunning buildings, and watch as ninja bound from roof to roof, or as a geisha strolls alongside the river, parasol in hand. The park is in Nikko, which isn't far from Tokyo, and is often used in scenes for historical dramas and other samurai-era videos. Plus you can roam around as the Edo-era character of your choice, though traditional chonmage haircuts are optional.

9. Amanohashidate View Land (Kyoto)

While this theme park may not match the jaw-dropping roller coasters or sheer scale of some of the other places on this list, it does have a view certified as one of Japan’s top three. Situated in Kyoto Prefecture, this little park overlooks the famous "Bridge to Heaven" sandbar. As well as the spectacular view, there are also a number of rides and a Ferris Wheel to take in when you’re not looking out across the sandbar in the traditional way, as in the photo above.

8. Mega Web (Tokyo)

Based on the name, it may sound like Spider-Man has finally got his own theme park, but no. Mega Web, on the island of Odaiba, is a theme park dedicated to Toyota and has many stunning examples from the history of the motorized carriage. It’s not all just about looking though, you can also take your favorite Toyota for a test drive, provided you have a Japanese driving licence or International Driving Permit. Even if you don’t have one, there are go-kart tracks too where you enjoy the thrill of driving.

7. Tokyo One Piece Tower (Tokyo)

The first on our list to be entirely indoors, the One Piece Tower can be found inside Tokyo Tower alongside the official One Piece Manga Café. As well as a number of attractions based on the hit manga and anime series, visitors can take "trick art" photos, meet the members of the Straw Hat Crew and watch One Piece adventures enacted onstage.

6. Fuji-Q Highland (Yamanashi)

With several roller coasters that, at the time of building, were record-breaking in terms of speed, height or length, Fuji-Q Highland also has other ways to terrify you, with haunted-house attractions like The Haunted Hospital and the Fortress of No Hope. As its name would imply, it's also quite close to everyone's favorite symbol of Japan, Mount Fuji!

5. Nagashima Spa Resort (Mie)

長島の真夏の夜の風景。 海からのショットです。 今日は昨日より風が強くシャッタースピードは6秒。花火も流れ気味。 途中で動画に切り替えましたがND8フィルターでは暗かったです。次回動画はND4フィルターを使用してみます。 MAVIC PRO PLATINUMで空撮。 F値2.2 ISO感度100 SS 6秒 ※夜間飛行許可済 注)許可無く飛行すると罰金等が課せられます。 #DJI #mavicproplatinum #DRONE #ドローン #三重県 #桑名市 #三重県ドローン #空撮 #DJI正規販売店 #DJIスペシャリスト #インスタ映え #真夏 #風景 #夜間飛行 #夜景 #dronestagram #dronephotography #写真 #photo #ナイトフライ #photooftheday #photogram #photogenic #aerialphotography #ダレカニミセタイケシキ #花火大会 #花火 #打上げ花火 #長島スパーランド @b_nuts1995

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After a hard day of screaming your lungs out on roller coasters and filling your belly with snacks, what could be better than a long soak in a hot bath when you get home? Or what if you didn’t have to wait until you got home? That's the premise behind Nagashima Spa Land in Mie Prefecture. With wooden and steel-made roller coasters aplenty, a massive water park, botanical gardens and Yuami no Shima (Japan’s biggest onsen hot spring park), Nagashima Spa Land has something for everyone! And if all the excitement and bathing tuckers you out, there are nap rooms too.

4. Adventure World (Wakayama)

In fourth place, we have Adventure World in Wakayama Prefecture. The wildlife and safari park’s most famous residents are the giant pandas, five of only nine in the whole of Japan. As well as the pandas, the park hosts a variety of live shows and even night-time safaris.

3. Tokyo Disneyland (Chiba)

3. Tokyo Disneyland (Chiba)

While Tokyo Disneyland’s crown may be slipping, there’s a reason why Disney theme parks have dominated the top ten lists for Japan, Asia and the world. With their magical mix of rides and live shows, it's easy to see why. With a third park rumored to be in the works, will Disneyland find itself bumped down another spot in the future, or will it reclaim its throne as the number one spot?

2. Tokyo DisneySea (Chiba)

2. Tokyo DisneySea (Chiba)

One of the two Disney theme parks in Chiba, just outside Tokyo, the aquatic-themed DisneySea is enough to win over the most-hardened nonbelievers to the magic of Disney. With rides based on the works of Jules Verne inside a volcano, and a plethora of delightful staff costumes, DisneySea managed to beat its older sibling to the second spot in this list.

1. Universal Studios Japan (Osaka)

1. Universal Studios Japan (Osaka)

Home to rides like The Flying Dinosaur, and what is purported to be Japan’s slowest roller coaster, the Osaka-based theme park has seen visitor numbers increase massively, due in part to the introduction of its Cool Japan limited-time attractions as well as the rising number of foreign visitors to the country.

That concludes the list of the top ten Japanese theme parks, according to TripAdvisor. Did they miss out on any of your favorites? While the Disney theme parks and USJ are well worth a visit, for those seeking something a little different, or a little more quintessentially Japanese, Japan has plenty to offer.

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