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Seibuen Yuenchi (西武園ゆうえんち)

Amusement parks are very popular in Japan, not only with the Japanese locals but also with foreign tourists. I really don’t understand the latter. For instance, why would an American going to Japan want to go to a more crowded, more expensive version of what they can already get at home (while in a country like Japan with so many things that are unique and foreign to normal experiences)?

I’ve never been to Tokyo Disneyland, and I hope it stays that way. I did go to Universal Studios Osaka and regretted it. However, when traveling with kids it can be difficult to avoid the amusement park trap; I mean trip. My suggestion is to avoid the ones everyone knows about and find something a little different.

Flashback to 1989… I was living in Tokorozawa, Japan. Nearly every night during the summer I was treated to a fireworks show from my apartment thanks to a nearby amusement park called Seibuenyuenchi (西武園ゆうえんち). I only went there once and my recollection was that there weren’t many rides. I remember animals there–especially a peacock. Either my memory is bad or things really changed at Seibuen Yuenchi between 1989 and 2007.

While surfing the net before going to Japan in 2007 I told my kids that I once went to an amusement park in Japan that now appears to have a Hello Kitty Marchen Town. They had to see it so we put it on the agenda. Plus, I wanted to check out my old Tokorozawa neighborhood which in my memory looked like scenes from Hayao Miyazaki’s My Neighbor Totoro (となりのトトロ). (Miyazaki lives in Tokorozawa.)

Given that the cost of Seibuen Yuenchi is a small fraction of what you’ll pay at Universal Studios Japan or Tokyo Disneyland I was happy that if we were going to do an amusement park it would be this one.

hello kitty angel coaster

Although most of the park consisted of your typical rides, this section of the park, for younger kids, is what I will share with you in pictures. Here my kids are heading off to the Hello Kitty Angel Coaster.

hello kitty

Hello Kitty and her friends were all over the place in this section of the park. I’m guessing that Sanrio Puroland (サンリオピューロランド) is like this on a much larger and much more expensive and crowded scale.

seibuen yuenchi hello kitty cups

The above ride was like the Mad Tea Party ride at Disneyland except that you get to spin in Hello Kitty and her friends.

The above video is of my kids on the Hello Kitty Angel Coaster. We were the only foreigners in the park that day and it wasn’t very crowded, even though it was a holiday week.

If you want an inexpensive amusement park experience in Japan then Seibuen Yuenchi isn’t bad. Nearby is an indoor skiing facility called Sayama Ski Slope. To get there take the applicable Seibu line from Ikebukuro or Shinjuku. Coupons are sometimes available on the website linked above.

3 Responses to “Seibuen Yuenchi (西武園ゆうえんち)”

  1. 1
    Brenda Valdez:

    Hello My name is Brenda Valdez. I am a journalist at a school in Salt Lake City, Utah. I am writing an article about the Hello Kitty Mania going on right now and was wondering if I could have your permission to using the Hello Kitty Teapot picture on our school newspaper. If you could comment back as soon as possible that would be great. Thank you!

  2. 2
    acase:

    Hi Brenda,

    You may use the photo for your school newspaper if you reference the source as traveljapanblog.com/wordpress

  3. 3
    Brenda Valdez:

    will do, thank you!

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