Tokyo Dome City
Photo: Darkhriss/DreamstimeTokyo Dome City

4 best theme parks and amusement parks in central Tokyo

These four amusement parks are right here in the city, with a whole lot of thrills, rides and attractions for a fun day out

Youka Nagase

Japan is home to some of the best theme parks in the world, a few of which are close enough to central Tokyo that you can make a day trip out of it. Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea are popular among Tokyoites as it takes barely an hour to get there from the city centre. Even the amusement parks in neighbouring prefectures like Fuji-Q Highland are easy to get to, with multiple public transport options on offer.

However, if you’re looking for something a little closer to home, there are several amusement parks just a few train stops away. Here are four within Tokyo that have everything from classic merry-go-rounds and Ferris wheels to thrilling roller coasters and haunted houses.

Looking for something fun to do while hiding from the rain? These are Tokyo's top indoor theme parks.

  • Attractions
  • Suidobashi

What is it: Formerly known as Korakuen, this amusement park reopened in 2003 as a part of a multi-facility lifestyle and entertainment complex, with the famous baseball and concert stadium Tokyo Dome at its centre. It has something for everyone, including families with kids, from thrilling rides and horror houses to shooting games and leisurely trolly rides.

How much: The park is free to enter but each ride costs between ¥500 and ¥1,500. However, there’s a one-day pass for ¥4,500 (elementary school students ¥3,100, younger children ¥2,200), which gets you unlimited rides. The ¥3,500 night discount passport (elementary school students ¥2,500, younger children ¥1,700) gives you unlimited rides after 5pm.

Why go: For the world’s first spokeless Ferris wheel, which is also the world’s very first Ferris wheel with karaoke. Hop into one of its eight karaoke cabins and sing your heart out whilst enjoying a 15-minute view of Tokyo from 80-metres high. But save the best for last: the Thunder Dolphin is a stunning urban rollercoaster that starts off higher than the Dome, then leaps to the roof of the main LaQua building before plunging 80m through the centre of the Ferris wheel.

  • Attractions
  • Theme parks
  • Asakusa

What is it: Asakusa Hanayashiki has been drawing in the crowds since 1883 with its 20 or so rides. There’s a palpable sense of nostalgia in the air and it’s easy to picture what it must have been like in its heyday. If you’re looking for something exciting to do, then this is a good alternative to Asakusa's otherwise austere attractions.

How much: Pay ¥1,200 for entry (primary school students ¥600) and again separately for each ride. Otherwise, get a one-day pass for ¥2,800 (primary school students ¥2,400) and enjoy unlimited rides.

Why go: While most rides have been upgraded over the years, many still have an old-school feel to them. The roller coaster was built in 1953, making it Japan’s oldest one by far.

  • Attractions
  • Odaiba

What is it: Joypolis is an indoor amusement park in Odaiba, where you'll find 22 thrilling rides spread out across three floors, including several virtual reality attractions from Sega.

How much: The passport ticket, which offers admission plus rides, will set you back ¥5,000 (¥4,000 for kids aged 7 to 17). Night passes, which are available for entry after 4pm, are slightly cheaper at ¥4,000 (¥3,000). Otherwise, opt for the ¥2,400 pass that gets you two rides after 6pm.

Why go: Thrill seekers should make a beeline for Joypolis’s most popular attraction, the Halfpipe Tokyo. This massive skateboard-like game requires teams to compete in a spin battle, making it a great choice for groups who want to play together.

The Zero Latency VR attraction is perfect for gamers who have always dreamt of turning into one of their video game heroes. Armed to the hilt with laser guns plus all the latest equipment in VR technology, teams of six are pitted in battle against hordes of zombies. (Note that an additional fee applies and reservations are essential; click here for more information.)

  • Attractions
  • Theme parks
  • Arakawa

What is it: Arakawa Amusement Park has been around for more than 100 years. The park was renovated in 2017 and reopened in April 2022. It mostly offers kid-friendly attractions, including a petting zoo, a fishing area and a children’s playhouse equipped with indoor slides and jungle gyms.

How much: Entry is ¥800 (middle school students ¥400, primary school students ¥200, free for younger children) and you’ll also have to pay separately for each ride. A one-day pass with unlimited rides costs ¥1,800 (middle school students ¥1,000, primary school students ¥700, younger children ¥500). If you’re there after 4pm, get the discounted pass for ¥1,000 (middle school students ¥500, primary school students ¥300, younger children ¥200).

Why go: It's the best amusement park to visit if you’re not a thrill-seeking adrenaline junkie. Arakawa Amusement Park is equipped with attractions for all ages, including a merry-go-round, a petting zoo and a Ferris wheel where, on a clear day, you can catch sight of the iconic Tokyo Skytree and Mt Fuji. The roller coaster, crowned Japan’s slowest, is safe for younger children.

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