Monday, February 18, 2008

50. Park Review: Arakawa Amusement Park (Arakawa-ku)

The Arakawa Amusement Park is one of Tokyo's best buys and a great place to bring small children! Originally a villa for the feudal lord, Todo Takatora, it is the only city-run theme park in the city of Tokyo. The site became a brick factory in 1872, and later was changed into 'Arakawa Gardens', a private park with amusement facilities. It was shut down during WWII, but reopened in 1950 as the current 'Arakawa Amusement Park'.
The park is not very large, but there are a lot of things for children to do. First, there are some rides including a small ferris wheel, merry-go-round, mini-train, and pedal-powered 'sky' cars.
There is also a roller coaster that is known as 'the slowest roller coaster in Japan'. It was perfect for the 7 year old I took on my second visit. It was the only ride we did twice!Also in the park is an 'Animal Plaza'. In addition to some caged animals (monkeys, birds,...), there is a great petting zoo. Kids get a chance to get up close and personal with goats, deer, sheep, rabbits, and really cute guinea pigs! On a second visit to the park, the petting zoo was kept clean, but the waste in some of the other cages needed to be dealt with.
Many were enjoying a couple of small fishing ponds. This area was quite popular with older elementary school boys and their fathers. The park also contains some grassy picnic areas, some fast food outlets, and some great blow-up 'attractions'. There was also a live music performance the day I was there (traditional Japanese drumming, flutes,...).

If you just want to look around, the entrance fee is 200 yen for adults, 100 yen for children. For 1400 yen, and adult and child can enter together and they receive 12 tickets. Each ride 'costs' one ticket for a child, two tickets for an adult. Extra tickets can be purchased if necessary.

Hours of Operation: 9:00 - 17:00, closed on Tuesdays

Tel: 03-3893-6003

Address: Nishi-Ogu 6-35-11, Arakawa-ku. Arakawa Ward is located just outside the Yamanote Line, above Ueno.

Transportation: The coolest way to get to the park is by the Toden Arakawa Streetcar, the last remaining streetcar in Tokyo. The train starts at Waseda or Minowabashi. It is also accessible by bus, by water cruise boat, and by car. Reasonable parking is available nearby.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Could you give a geographical indication in Japanese? or a link to http://maps.yahoo.co.jp or something - now it is difficult to locate since we depend fully on public transportation,
thanks and best regards,
Fred

S said...

Fred, The closest major train station is Oji, on the Namboku Subway Line. From there, walk over to the Toden Arakawa Line (Ojiekimae Station). Go in the direction of Minowabashi; it is a 6 minute ride. Or, go from Otsuka Station on the Yamanote Line. Again, exit the station and walk to the Toden Arakawa Line (Otsukaekimae Station). Go in the direction of Minowabashi; it is a 20 minutes ride. Hope this helps. Thank you for your interest in my blog.

Fred said...

Hi S,
Thanks for your advise. We actually can recommend an alternative way using the Chiyoda-sen and change at Machiya-eki into the Arakawa-line. It was a hit for our family!
thanks and warmest regards,
Fred

Mark Warschauer said...

FYI, the stop on the Toden Arakawa line is:
Arakawa Yuenchimae

If you are traveling up fro Waseda in the direction of Minowabashi, the park is a couple of blocks to the left of the stop.