It is a fact that kids love theme parks. They are drawn to it because of the fun rides and entertaining acts that they get to watch and experience. In Japan, there are a number of theme parks that provide this type of fun but there is only one that provides this with interactive learning as well. This great place is none other than the LEGOLAND in Japan.
The Osaka and Odaiba LEGOLAND Discovery Centres Found in Japan
This might be unknown to many people because they might be used to how Disney and Universal are with their theme parks placement but unlike these two, LEGOLAND has more than one branch or establishment in Japan. There is the new one that recently opened up in April of this year and then there are the ones from Osaka and Odaiba that have been in business for years now.
The LEGOLANDs found in Odaiba and Osaka are known as “LEGOLAND Discovery Centers” but don’t let the name fool you because the fun you will have here will make you feel like you aren’t in a place referred to as a center. It has a lot of attractions to be enjoyed and there are some that are unique to a certain location. Because of this, you will know more about the LEGOLAND in Odaiba first.
This particular LEGOLAND establishment is located in Minato, Tokyo and is found on the 3rd floor of the Decks Mall found along Tokyo Beach and parallel to the Odaiba Seaside Park. It is usually open from 10 AM to 8 PM and holds about 12 main attractions that you will be able to experience on your trip here.
The first of these attractions is the Miniland. As its name suggests, it is a portion of the establishment that houses an interactive mini-city that is made up of over 1.5 million bricks of LEGOs. The people who constructed the Miniland made sure to leave surprises for the kids who go here and they did so by hiding Minifigures in certain areas of the mini-city. You can think of it as playing “Where’s Waldo” but instead of looking for him in a book, you get to search a city of LEGOs.
This place also has a 4D cinema where you can watch the “LEGO Movie 4D: A New Adventure” and this is very special because this movie is exclusively shown only in LEGO Discovery Centers. You can also find interactive rides here like “Kingdom Quest” wherein you use a laser gun to shoot down trolls you see as you going through the ride to save the Princess. There is, however, a height limit to this ride and to be allowed to ride it, the child must be at least 51” tall.
If your child doesn’t cut the height limit, don’t sweat it because there are so many more things that you can do here. You can go on the LEGO Factory Tour. This tour is enjoyable because it is where you can create unique LEGO bricks based on your liking. Over 100,000 special bricks are produced here every year and there is no height limit so children of all ages can let their creative juices flow on this tour.
If creating those unique bricks did not clean out your child’s or children’s creative juices, you can take them to the Duplo Village to further use their creativity to build structures from their imagination with the use of large soft play bricks. Considering the sizes of the LEGO bricks used here, children of any age are also safe to play here too. On the slight chance that your child has a passion for cars, there is an attraction that focuses on building cars and testing them via race and this attraction is called “LEGO Racers: Build and Test”. The older kids can also opt to build in the LEGO City Builders attraction because they provide a wider variety of more complex bricks that are more appropriate for their age. Note that the LEGO City Builders attraction is exclusive for the LEGO Odaiba branch.
Children might not always be in the building mood so if your kid isn’t so interested in building things, you can opt to take them to the “Merlin’s Apprentice Ride”. In this ride, you are taken around a certain area of the establishment as you learn different spells from Merlin himself. It is another interactive ride that you can go but if this doesn’t catch your attention too much, you can also see the LEGO Ninja Go City. In this city, children can train their ninja skills and reflexes by overcoming the obstacles found in the city like laser beams you need to avoid or various crags that you need to clear. The LEGO Ninja Go City is exclusive to the Odaiba LEGO Discovery Center as well.
Any theme park adventure has a period dedicated to rest and recharge and satisfy these needs of refreshments. This place is where you will find delicious and easy-to-eat meals to fill your stomachs so you can do more fun activities. After eating, doctors recommend that you give time for your body to digest whatever it is you ate so while doing this, you can visit the LEGO shops that are also found in both Odaiba and Osaka branches.
Moving on to the Osaka Discovery Center, it is located on the 3rd floor of the Tempozan Marketplace found in Minato, Osaka. It has all things mentioned above that was not labeled as exclusive to the Odaiba branch and a couple of exclusive attractions to this particular branch as well. An example of this is the City Play Zone. This attraction is a combination of slides and soft building bricks so it offers a more vigorous kind of fun. There is a height limit and this limit is to be 90cm to 149 cm tall. You should also know that shoes are removed here but socks are kept on.
Another exclusive attraction found in the Osaka branch is the “Dino Explorer” attraction. As its name suggests, this place is for all the dinosaur and LEGO enthusiasts that visit the Discovery Center. You get to explore and island where you can find hidden species and build a couple of new ones as well if you’d like. If your child is up for the challenge of more intricate building workshop, the Osaka branch would be the best place to go to because they also exclusively offer a “Master Builder Academy” attraction where kids are taught how massive creations found in the LEGO Discovery Center.
Reviews and Information about the LEGOLAND in Nagoya that Opened this 2017
If you haven’t had enough of LEGOLAND fun from the Discovery Centers found in Osaka and Odaiba, you are in luck because, in April of 2017, another LEGOLAND establishment officially opened up in the Aichi Prefecture, specifically in Nagoya. This might be considered by many to be the best LEGOLAND establishment to visit in Japan because it is the biggest one. If the two Discovery Centers were located inside malls, the LEGOLAND found in Nagoya is where many establishments are located. In other words, this LEGOLAND is the nearest thing to Disneyland or Universal.
The actual name of this establishment is “LEGOLAND Japan” and it is located beside the Kinjo Futo Station that is also near the Nagoya Port. Unlike the Discovery Centers in Osaka and Odaiba, LEGOLAND Japan operates on varying hours, depending on the day. On weekdays, they are open from 10 AM to 6 PM while on weekends, they are open from 10 AM and 7 PM. Since it is the nearest thing to theme parks like Disneyland and Universal Studios, you can already expect a bunch of rides and other attractions to be available here. The entire area is separated into 7 major parts which are namely the Factory, Bricktopia, Adventure, Knight’s Kingdom, Pirate Shores, Miniland, and LEGO City.
To give you a better idea of what to expect from these themed lands, here are some of the types of attractions you can find in one of the themed lands, specifically the Adventure themed land. It is here that you will find places like the “Artefact Shop” which is a place you can purchase LEGO NINJAGO and other LEGO products, “Beetle Bounce” which is a ride that catapults the riders 15 feet into the air while seeing sights and hearing sounds from ancient Egypt.
You can also find a ride called “Cargo Ace” in this particular themed land which is practically like a carousel with planes instead of horses. The “Lost Kingdom Adventure” is another ride that you will find in this area which makes use of interaction with the rider through the use of laser guns that riders use to shoot down “enemies” as they look for ancient treasures and artifacts during the ride. Adventure’s relationship to ancient Egypt does not end there because you can also find a play area called the “Pharaoh’s Revenge” which is where children and parents can have fun shooting and throwing foam balls at each other in a place which mimics the aesthetics of Egyptian tombs and such a like.
These themed lands are where you can find a total of over 40 rides, shows, and attractions as well as 17 million LEGO bricks and 10,000 LEGO models. Some attractions are similar to the ones you’d see in the Discovery Centers and then there are also some attractions that are unique and amazing like the Robotic Play Centre found in “Bricktopia” or the multiple driving courses to be enjoyed in the “LEGO City” area of the theme park.
How to get LEGOLAND Japan Tickets, Jobs and Hotels You Can Stay In
The tickets you can avail of for both Osaka and Odaiba Discovery Centers are pretty much the same. They both offer a “Parent and Toddler Ticket” package and an “Online Saver Ticket” package. The “Parent and Toddler” package would cost 3200 Yen while the “Online Saver” package would cost 1950 Yen on weekdays and 2100 Yen on weekends. It would be recommendable to buy this in advance and online because these discounted prices are only available when bought through their website in advance.
There are also some packages that are unique to the Osaka and Odaiba branch respectively. The Odaiba branch offers a package called “Combo Experience” which offers ticket prices for adults at 3000 Yen and for children at 2400 Yen. The Osaka branch, on the other hand, offers an “Annual Pass” package for 6000 Yen and also offers family passes good for 3 people at a price of 16500 Yen. It might be sold for lower on certain dates so be sure to keep an eye out for those opportunities. Nevertheless, this is a great deal considering that this package gives you unlimited access to the Discovery Center for a whole year and it also gives you the perk of gaining access to all attractions without reservation even during peak hours.
As for tickets to LEGOLAND Japan, they also offer the “Annual Pass” package for a price of 17300 Yen for adults and 13300 Yen for children. If you do not need year-round admission to this theme park, you can also opt to avail of their 1-day passes. Again, buying these tickets online can save you as much as 25%. A “Family 1Day Pass” that is good for 4 people is sold at 18300 Yen. A “Family 1Day Pass” that is good for 3 people is sold at 14700 Yen. A single 1Day pass is sold at 6200 Yen. All these prices are available only if you book it online and if you book it more than 7 days in advance. Failure to do so would increase the price a little bit but don’t worry because if you book 2-6 days in advance, you will also be given a slightly lower discount.
If you check their website, you will also be all their recommended hotels you can stay in for your trip and all these hotels are rated greatly by prior customers and are located in places that give you easy access to so many other things around Nagoya like museums and other beautiful tourist spots. Examples of such hotels are the Nagoya Marriott Associa, Hilton Nagoya, The Strings Hotel Nagoya, and Nagoya Kanko Hotel.
Considering all that has been mentioned, it is clear that LEGO is doing a great job at expanding the scope of their business. From being a toy producer, they now are getting into the theme park business and that is a great move for them because kids love their products so they already have a huge market for expansions like this. LEGOLAND Japan is fairly new but you shouldn’t be surprised if it rivals Disneyland and Universal Studios in the near future with all the great attractions and fun activities they offer here. All you need to do is plan ahead to minimize costs and have more money for the souvenirs for yourself and your children will surely want.