Wednesday, September 27, 2023

[AICHI] Legoland Japan


I didn’t even know that there’s a Legoland in Japan, but now that we have visited the big three theme parks in the country, I guess it just makes sense. Disneyland is in Tokyo (technically in neighboring Chiba). Universal Studios is in Osaka. Legoland is in Nagoya, the country’s fourth largest city. Why not put Legoland in Yokohama, then, given how it’s the third largest city after Tokyo and Osaka? Well, Yokohama is just next to Tokyo. It’s probably better for the theme parks to be spread out this way.


Legoland came into the picture as I started running out of options. Nagoya Castle is popular alright but that’s the thing. Castle again! I was looking for something different so when I found out that Legoland is in Nagoya, how could I say no? After all, it’s been a while since my last theme park experience. To get to Legoland from Nagoya Station, just take the Aonami line for JPY360 (~PHP140). Legoland is connected to the terminus, Kinjofuto, by bridge. The admission fee for adults is JPY4,800 (~PHP1,825).


The admission fee for Sealife, the aquarium next door, is separate even though you can buy combo tickets for both. I went to Legoland at the end of September on a weekday. Since most of the kiddos are already back in school, I had the theme park to myself. Well, not really. There are other visitors of course but just a few. There were no crowds at all. There were no lines for the rides and I could have taken advantage of that, but I was just in the mood for photo-ops and sightseeing that afternoon.


This is the third Legoland I’ve visited after Legoland Malaysia in Johor Bahru and Legoland Billund in Denmark. The rides are probably the same but what distinguishes these Legoland parks from one another is their Miniland display where they show some jaw-dropping miniatures of major tourist attractions made entirely of Legos. Billund obviously had Europe on display; JB, Southeast Asia. Japan goes local and features the country’s major cities and tourist attractions. Everything. Is. Awesome!


The park itself is not that huge. If you jog around just taking photos, you’d probably end up covering everything in an hour or less. What will take much of your time are the rides, which are more appropriate for kiddos, really. The only rides I saw there that might give an adult a tingle are the rollercoaster in the medieval village and the dragon ride next door at the Ninjago compound. The rest are your typical spinning teacup varieties. Perfect if you have children. Boring if you don’t.


For collectors and fans, the park hosts several shops where you can buy Lego pieces or just their new collections. The biggest one is right next to the entrance. The others seem to be specialty shops of some sort but the product offerings seem the same to me. Aside from the rides, there are many venues there that focus on some specific aspect of Legos like a factory giving a glimpse of how the pieces are made, workshops for kids, theater shows, and the like.


There is also a giant spinning tower in the middle of the park. If you want a bird's-eye view of the entire premises, then this is the ride to hop on. I’ve observed that it also seemed to be the most popular of all the rides there. Anyway, Legoland was constructed at Nagoya’s port area so the view up there must be amazing and not just confined within the park. In fact, one of the city’s suspension bridges is always visible as a backdrop even from a low vantage point.


So, was it worth it? I’d say so. Since we are all getting old quickly and have reached our Tito/Tita/Mommy/Daddy era, this experience would probably be more worthwhile if you go as chaperone for your children or nieces/nephews. Otherwise, it will be another trip down memory lane, a nostalgia-fueled daytrip that might no longer appeal to you that much. For the thrill seekers out there, I’d suggest heading to Yamanashi instead for some legit rollercoaster exhilaration at Fuji-Q.

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