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Characters! New Attractions! Ten Popular Theme Parks in Kansai to Go As A Family

You want to enjoy your precious day off with your children! We've selected information on popular theme parks in the Kansai area that will help make your wish come true!

Universal Studios Japan

The entire area of Universal Wonderland in Universal Studios Japan is a kids' paradise where kids can run around to their hearts' content. There are cafes there as well, so you can take breaks in between enjoying the indoor and outdoor attractions.

Sesame Street™ Fun World has many indoor attractions

■Universal Studios Japan Address: 2-1-33 Sakurajima, Konohana-ku, Osaka-shi Phone: 0570-20-0606 Hours: Depends on the day *inquiries recommended Holidays: None <Rates: 7,600 JPY and up for adult>

Universal Studios Japan

2-1-33 Sakurajima, Konohana-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka

Himeji Central Park

Himeji Central Park is a popular spot that combines a safari park, where you can see wild animals from your own car or from a bus, and an amusement park. It is a large park of approximately 1.9 million square meters that is integrated into nature, where there are about 120 types of different animals and birds numbering 1,000. There are more than 30 rides at the amusement park.

【Character Battery Cars】Drive cars designed to look like popular cartoon characters including Hello Kitty, Anpanman, and Thomas the Tank Engine. There are no age or height restrictions (200 JPY). Not included in the free pass for attractions.

■Himeji Central Park Address: 1436-1 Toyotomi-cho Kodani, Himeji-shi, Hyogo Phone: 079-264-1611 Hours: 10:00~17:00 (last entry at 16:00) *Depends on the season Holidays: Unscheduled <Rates: 3,100 JPY/adult, 1900 JPY/elementary school, 1,200/ages 3 to pre-school; attraction free pass 2,800 JPY/adult, 2,600 JPY/elementary school, 1,200 JPY/ ages 3 to pre-school>

Himeji Central Park

1436-1 Toyotomi-cho Kodani, Himeji-shi, Hyogo

Adventure World

Adventure World is a theme park with approximately 1,400 animals, where visitors can enjoy performances by land animals, such as pandas, as well as by sea creatures such as dolphins. There is a Safari World, as well as an amusement park, Play Zone, with a variety of attractions, many of which are panda and other animal-themed rides.

【Little Adventure: An Adventure on a Bee Roller Coaster】This is a roller coaster in the shape of a bee. Although it is inside, the ride is relatively long and has thrilling features such as a tunnel right after a sharp turn. Height restrictions: Must be 110cm or taller, children between 90cm, and 110cm tall must be accompanied by an adult (500 JPY).

■AdventureWorld Address: 2399 Katata, Shirahama-cho, Nishimuro-gun, Wakayama Phone: 0570-06-4481 Hours: 9:30~17:00 *Depends on the day Holiday: Unscheduled <Rates: 4,100 JPY/adult, 3,300 JPY/middle and high school, 2,500 JPY/ages 4 to elementary school>


2399 Katata, Shirahama-cho, Nishimuro-gun, Wakayama

Wakayama Marina City Porto Europe

Wakayama Marina City Porto Europe is a theme park out in the sea of Wakanoura. The park that recreates the streets of France, Italy, and Spain is full of attractions such as thrilling roller coaster rides, a dolphin park, and limited-time character shows.

Pinestar is a mini roller coaster in the shape of a pineapple. It is a thrilling ride around a jungle with sudden speed changes and curves. Limited to school age children and older. Children ages pre-school to 4 years old may ride if accompanies by an adult (500 JPY).

■Wakayama Marina City Porto Europe Address: 1527 Kemi, Wakayama-shi, Wakayama Tel: 0570-064-358 Hours: 10:00~17:00, Weekends and holidays ~18:00 *Hours change by season Holidays: Unscheduled <Rates: No entrance fee>

Wakayama Marina City Porto Europe

1527 Kemi, Wakayama-shi, Wakayama

LEGOLAND(R) Discovery Center Osaka

New ride attractions are now on offer at this LEGO(R) brick themed entertainment center. The rides that run under the theme of "A World of Magic" seat two people so a parent and child can enjoy them together.

Merlin's Apprentice is a ride that goes round and round clockwise, with pedals with which the rider controls the height. Must be 90cm or taller to ride, and those under 120cm must be accompanied by an adult.

■LEGOLAND(R) Discovery Center Osaka Address: 3F Tempozan Marketplace, 1-1-10 Kaigan-dori, Minato-ku, Osaka Phone: 06-6573-6010 Hours: 10:00~20:00 (last entry 18:00) Holidays: Unscheduled *changed by day of the week and season <Rates: Entrance fee 2,300 JPY *online advance purchase discounts available>

LEGOLAND(R) Discovery Center Osaka

3F Tempozan Marketplace, 1-1-10 Kaigan-dori, Minato-ku, Osaka

Hirakata Park

Hirakata Park in Hirakata, Osaka, is a 160,000-square-meter amusement park - one of the largest in Osaka. The undulating park grounds are full of greenery and are filled with heartwarming attractions that are adorable to look at and suited for parents and children to enjoy together. There are more than 10 appropriate for babies and infants. It is also nice that there are 11 indoor attractions that can be enjoyed on a rainy day.

【Yattemiina】This is an attraction with obstacle courses participants must use their imagination to get through. Five new challenge courses have been added to the 15 standard courses (400 JPY).

■Hirakata Park Address: 1-1 Hirakatakoen-cho, Hirakata-shi, Osaka Phone: 072-844-3475 Hours: 10:00~17:00 (Varies by season and days of the week) Holidays: Unscheduled *Some attractions may be closed for inspections. <Rates: Entrance fee 1,400 JPY/adult, 800 JPY/ages 2 through elementary school; Entrance + free pass 4,400 JPY/adult, 3,800 JPY/elementary school, 2,600 JPY/ages 2 through pre-school>

Hirakata Park

1-1 Hirakatakoen-cho, Hirakata-shi, Osaka

Tojoko Toy Kingdom

Tojoko Toy Kingdom is a theme park where you can see, touch, and experience toys. The park, which is twice the size of Koshien Stadium, has nine "toy room" buildings and approximately 20 types of attractions. The toy rooms, which are indoors, have a wide selection of toys that children will go nuts for, from the latest toys to traditional ones! In addition to rooms with Plarail and Licca-chan dolls, there are rooms with building blocks and bricks, so there is something for everyone, regardless of age or gender.

【Thomas & Friends】Get aboard Thomas, Percy and James, and off you go. Ride over suspension bridges and through tunnels, and feel as if you are on a train trip. Infants ages 0 to 2 must be accompanied by an adult (300 JPY).

■Tojoko Toy Kingdom Address: 1216 Kurodani, Kato-shi, Hyogo Phone: 0795-47-0268 Hours: 10:00~17:00, weekends & holidays 9:30~17:00 *varies by season Holidays: Thursdays (open if it is a national holiday) <Rates: 1,100 JPY/adult, 700 JPY/child (ages 2 through elementary school)>

Tojoko Toy Kingdom

1216 Kurodani, Kato-shi, Hyogo

TOEI Kyoto Studio Park

An attraction that uses lasers has opened with a bang at TOEI Kyoto Studio Park, a popular place where you can play in Edo period Japan! Challenge the experiential attraction where you must get through eight traps to escape.

Laser Mission "Escape the Castle." The final mission is to slip through the laser trap beams running all across the room within the time limit.

■TOEI Kyoto Studio Park Address: 10 Uzumasa Higashihachioka-cho, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto-shi Phone: 0570-064-349 Hours: 9:00~17:00, weekends & holidays 9:00~18:00 *may vary depending on the day Holidays: None <Rates: Entrance fee 2,200 JPY/adult, 1,300 JPY/middle school and high school, 1,100 JPY ages 3 through elementary school>

TOEI Kyoto Studio Park

10 Uzumasa Higashihachioka-cho, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto-shi

Suzuka Circuit

Suzuka Circuit, in Suzuka, Mie, famous as the site of F1 races, also has an amusement park next to the circuit. There are 29 different types of attractions mainly in the Amusement Park MOTOPIA. Most popular is the Circuit Challenger, introduced in March 2016, where you can drive around a real international racing course!

【Circuit Challenger】Dash through approximately 2.2km of the F1 Japan Grand Prix course in an EV (electric vehicle). Data on the drive is analyzed as well. Children between ages 2 and the fourth grade must be accompanied by an adult (1,500 JPY/lap). Not included in the passport.

■Suzuka Circuit Address: 7992 Inou-cho, Suzuka-shi, Mie Phone: 059-378-1111 Hours: Depends on the day *Refer to the homepage for details Holidays: Unscheduled *subject to change <Rates: 1,700 JPY/adult, 800 JPY/elementary school, 600 JPY/ages 3 to pre-school; entrance + rides passport 4,300 JPY/adult, 3,300 JPY/elementary school, 2,100 JPY/ages 3 to pre-school>

Suzuka Circuit

7992 Inou-cho, Suzuka-shi, Mie

Nagashima Spa Land

Nagashima Spa Land is a leisure multiplex at the mouth of Kiso River and Nagara River, and has one of the largest areas of amusements parks in Japan. It is known for thrill rides such as Acrobat and Steel Dragon 2000, but also has many attractions for children.

【Children Coaster】This is a gentle ladybug-shaped roller coaster for kids. It is small, but still enough to enjoy a heart-pumping experience. One ride takes you around the course twice. Must be elementary school age or older. Young children between the ages of 2 and pre-school may ride if accompanied by an adult (300 JPY).

■Nagashima Spa Land Address: 333 Urayasu Nagashima-cho, Kuwana-shi, Mie Phone: 0594-45-1111 Hours: 9:30~17:00 (varies by season and day of the week) <Rates: 1,600/adult, 1,000 JPY/elemenatry school, 500 JPY/ages 2 and older; entrance fee + all-you-can-ride passport 4,500 JPY/adult, 3,400 JPY/elementary school, 2,100 JPY/ages 2 to pre-school>

Nagashima Spa Land

333 Nagashima-cho Urayasu, Kuwana-shi, Mie

[This article was originally published in Walkerplus on 03.04.2017]

*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.

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