Odaiba, Tokyo, Japan
Today, we bring you an update from another amusement park (I suppose that's the best category) from Tokyo in the form of Joyopolis. Once upon a time, this was Sega Joyopolis, one of a chain of indoor amusement parks throughout the country. That's still the case; they've just dropped the "Sega" sponsor name. What is still there, however, is combination arcade, fun zone, and coaster credit location. Lets take a quick jaunt, shall we?
Joyopolis is located in Odaiba, south of the main part of Tokyo, in a complex called DiverCity that also houses a Madame Tussauds' Wax Museum, an actual Takoyaki Museum, a giant ferris wheel, a towering Gundam figure, and other attractions. There is admission to enter, and then guests can buy tickets (or an unlimited attractions pass) to experience the offerings within.
The entire complex isn't that large. A few hours should be more than enough to look through everything, but it's got a fun and electric atmosphere that's appealing for families and youths. With simulator video games, arcade skill games, and plenty of remaining Sega influence, it's a modern version of the sprawling vertical arcade halls tourists can find in other parts of Tokyo, like Akihabra.
My visit was near the end of a rather rainy night, when most guests had left. But this bright and vibrant scene normally is abuzz with activity and energy. It's the type of ambiance that isn't quite found in the U.S., though family fun centers come close. It's just that, because it's Japan, everything is a bit more amped up.
For coaster junkies, the key of their visit will be the lone credit in Joypolis: Veil of Dark, a half-dark-ride spinning roller coaster that has seen its fair share of themes and names over the years. Currently, the attraction carries a sort of Resident Evil motif, with the first have providing an interactive adventure encountering gruesome monsters and zombies on projected screens. For those local to Southern California, an appropriate analogy might be a horror version of Knott's Berry Farm's Iron Reef ride. That transitions into the roller coaster portion at the back half of the ride. It's unique and fun, and worth a visit if you're a coaster nerd. And if you're reading this site, chances are that you are, right?
And that generally covers it. Those venturing to Joyopolis should either incorporate other nearby attractions to tour (I also checked out the Odaiba Takoyaki Museum) or expect a quick visit. It is a little out of the way of most other Tokyo points of interest, but it's a fun little area that is easily accessed with light rail and feels kitschy "Japanese." Which is fascinating and entertaining.
TOKYO JOYOPOLIS AT A GLANCE
- Name: Tokyo Joyopolis
Address: 〒135-0091 Tokyo, Minato, Daiba, 1 Chome−6−1, Japan
- Web Site: http://tokyo-joypolis.com/language/english/
- Admission: ¥800 (adults 18-59 yrs), ¥500 (children 17 & under), FREE (seniors 60+ yrs)
- Hours: 10:00am - 10:00pm daily (subject to change, last entry 9:15pm)
- Metro Stop(s): Odaiba-kaihinkoen Station & Daiba Station (serves Yurikamome Line)
Architect. Photographer. Disney nerd. Haunt enthusiast. Travel bugged. Concert fiend. Asian.