J-Festa: Entertainment in Japan

I don’t know what has happened to October, but it’s almost over and that means the deadline for this month’s J-Festa has snuck up on me. October’s theme is: Entertainment in Japan, and here’s my entry!

There are so many forms of entertainment in Japan, and what you choose simply depends what you’re into. I think it’s entirely possible to keep up with forms of entertainment you might have enjoyed back home, while also experiencing forms of entertainment which are unique to Japan. Rather than try to cover everything here, I’ve decided to focus on one form of entertainment that my students used to talk about all the time: theme parks!

After a few months in Japan, I soon realised that going to theme parks, especially Tokyo Disney Resort, was quite a normal form of entertainment for a lot of people. I had never been to a Disney theme park before living in Japan, and had always thought of it as something you might only do once or twice in a lifetime. However, I soon discovered that, in Japan, going to Tokyo Disneyland was something people did more times than they could count on two hands.

I had the pleasure of going to Tokyo Disneyland only once during my stay in Japan and, sadly, I never had the chance to go to Tokyo DisneySea (I’ll go there one day though!).


Having never been to a Disney theme park in another country, I can’t really compare Tokyo Disneyland to any other country’s offering. However, I did feel that there was a certain “Japanese-ness” about Tokyo Disneyland that you wouldn’t find in, say, Disneyland Paris.


Even if you’re not into Disney – as I’m not in a big way – Tokyo Disneyland is still worth going to. I had such a good time there, and felt like a kid again! The attractions and great, and the shopping is amazing! There are just so many different items available – from sweets and cookies, to toys and gifts, to costumes and phone charms.

When I went, it was Christmas time. Although it was a bit mad there and overcrowded, it was one of the most Christmassy things I did in Japan. I imagine Halloween must be very good there, too.

Castle by night

If Disney really isn’t you thing, you might want to try Osaka’s Universal Studios Japan instead. It’s less popular than Disneyland, but I thought it was thoroughly enjoyable when I visited.

USJ is a little more grown-up than Disneyland, I thought, but still lots of fun.

Universal Studios Japan, Osaka

I also found it a lot quieter than Disneyland, which made it easier to enjoy the rides.

Hollywood Dream - Universal Studios Japan, Osaka

Most Japanese people I know would probably think of Disneyland, DisneySea or USJ when you say “theme park”, but I also found there were a number of much smaller theme parks scattered around Japan. They tend to be much more quirky and quaint, and I really liked the ones I visited.

Among the ones I visited were:

Meiji Mura

Uji-yamada Post Office

Showa Mura



Denpark, Anjo, 28th September 2008


Little World, Inuyama, 28th December 2009

I think, of those, Little World was probably my favourite. There must be loads of other small theme parks dotted around Japan – can you recommend any?


For more information about J-Festa please visit: http://japingu.com/j-festa.

8 thoughts on “J-Festa: Entertainment in Japan

  1. The big theme parks are really popular in Japan and people will visit Tokyo Disneyland/Sea or USJ several times a year. We live in Gifu and are lucky to be very close to three great small theme parks all located in Aichi Prefecture just across the border. They are:

    Little World in Inuyama, Aichi Prefecture, a themepark dedicated to the world.

    Nihon Monkey Park in Inuyama, Aichi Prefecture.

    Meiji Mura Museum in Inuyama, Achi Prefecture, where you can see more than 60 Meiji-era buildings brought together from all over Japan.


  2. Pingback: Entertainment in Japan | japingu

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