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What big popular amusement parks are there in the Tokyo area? I am looking for anything with fun rides, a bit of history if possible and nice surroundings. If the locality is close to other interesting spots (museums, sights, shopping) it is even better.

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I think your question is a little bit too general and open-ended. Could you be a bit more specific about what you are looking for? At least, the geographical region you are interested in? – mindcorrosive Dec 1 '11 at 20:32
Actually it will be one of the parameters that decide where we will go. We will probably travel southwest from tokyo but with enough good reasons we may just as well head for hokkaido. Should I post one question per metropolitan area? – froderik Dec 1 '11 at 20:35
That would probably be too much. Then list the areas you are interested in inside the question. That will help, I guess. – mindcorrosive Dec 1 '11 at 20:40
'Japan'...isn't the name of a HUGE amusement park?! o.O – Ankur Banerjee Dec 2 '11 at 0:37
up vote 9 down vote accepted

Here's a site with reviews of many amusement parks in Japan, that can probably give you more information than is possible here.

The biggest one is probably Tokyo Disneyland. However, most amusements parks in Japan seem to be relatively small (at least the two I visited were) and cram lots of attractions into very little space - sometimes literally intertwining different rides. Yokohama Cosmo World is an example for that (yes, that's the entire park):

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If you're an amusement park connaisseur, I'd say you should also visit Hanayashiki, Japan's oldest one.

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Fuji-Q Highland is also rather excellent, wooden rollercoasters and more.

Update - I went again last month. It's absolutely fantastic and strongly recommended, though only go on a good day as they're very safety-conscious and everything pretty much shuts down on the first sign of rain. Eejainaika is a particular highlight (an absolutely terrifying 4D rollercoaster).

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