Japan is home to some of the best attractions in the world and some of the weirdest, so when it comes to combining the fun and the weird, you know they do it best here. From sci-fi themed adult-only gaming arcades to cat-hosted gyoza stadiums, here are some of the nation’s weirdest and most fun attractions.
For the freaky and mysterious, look no further than Anata No Warehouse, a dystopian-themed arcade in Kawasaki. Designed to look like a futurist run-down version of Hong Kong, the theme park/arcade hybrid is haunting and enthralling all at once. Inside, you’ll find a selection of arcades games, dark and moody labyrinth-like passageways and pool tables and, for some reason, a Greek fountain. This hangout is a strictly over 18 establishment because of the age-restricted games inside, so keep that in mind if you’re travelling with kids.
Odaiba Takoyaki Museum
One of Japan’s best spots for the weird but undeniably fascinating is Odaiba, home to a mini Statue of Liberty, massive robot statue, cyborg info desk clerks and the Takoyaki Museum. Part restaurant, part amusement attraction, part museum, you can learn all about the history of takoyaki (octopus balls) before picking up a few serves of the piping hot stuff for lunch. If you forgot to pick up holiday gifts during your visit, don’t worry, the museum’s gift store offers a selection of 2,000 takoyaki themed souvenirs, what more could you really want?
Huis Ten Bosch
Huis Ten Bosch, because every country needs its own Dutch-themed amusement park, right? Located in Sasebo, Nagasaki, here you can experience the wondrous glory of the Netherlands through the eyes of Japanese theme park creators. Named after the residences of the Dutch Royal Family, the park is home to a rather beautiful flower garden, towering windmills, a harbor zone and a fireworks festival in summer. Although the reason behind it may be a little mysterious, it’s actually pretty cool and worth a visit if you do find yourself in Nagasaki.
If it’s Hello Kitty theme parks you’re after, don’t sweat it, Japan has a few, including Sanrio Puroland in Tokyo. However, if that’s not quite weird enough, for something truly unique, make your way over to Oita Prefecture to check out Harmony Land, a multi-coloured wonderland that combines Sanrio characters with basically whatever else the park creators wanted. Not much rhyme or reason behind this one, but it looks like a whole lot of nonsensical fun.
Namco Namja Town
A cat-hosted play park, home to a Gyoza Stadium and one of the biggest selections of ice-cream flavours in the city, Namco Namja Town is Tokyo’s home of the hodgepodge and all things fun and bizarre rolled into one. Created by video-game company Namco, the weird wonderland is home to a number of various attractions, but to say that they fall under any specific uniting theme would be a lie. At only around a few hundred yen to enter, it’s worth a visit even if you’re travelling on a budget, at least for the stories.
Tobu World Square
Want to see the world in a matter of hours? Then be sure to make your way to the Tobu World Square theme park in Kinugawa Onsen. You’ll find a selection of some of the world’s most iconic cultural treasures, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and monuments meticulously re-created to 1/25th of their original size. The park is divided into different cultural zones including the America Zone, Europe Zone, Egypt Zone, and the Modern Japan Zone, where you’ll find some of Japan’s most popular tourist sites, including Tokyo Dome, Tokyo Tower, and the Tokyo Skytree.
Amusement Park, Health Spa
As one of the largest cities in the world, Osaka can get stressful and exhausting. One great way to let off some steam is by soaking in a steamy bath at Spa World, a gigantic spa and water park. Spa World’s main attraction is the around-the-world-themed bathing experience. There is a European side and an Asian side, which alternate between admitting either men or women each month, each with seven unique and opulent baths.
Yoro Park, Gifu
If Disneyland, Fuji Q and Universal Studios are too typical for your tastes, then maybe what you’re after is Yoro Park, the self-described ‘experience park’ where visitors are told to simply ‘expect the unexpected’. This surrealist natural reserve is located in Gifu prefecture. The designers behind the park have crafted a very bizarre and unique way to explore the natural beauty of the area, while still managing to make you feel weirdly on edge at all times. If your travelling buddies don’t want to go a little weird, you can always leave them at the nearby golf courses, tennis courts, or kid’s park located just outside Yoro’s perimeter.