Kamata: The Last Rooftop Ferris Wheel

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  • In the past, department stores in Japan were a common place for families to hang out. Because of this, and to appeal to more and more families, some department stores had amusement parks on their rooftops; and the most popular ride that could be found was the Ferris wheel, which provided a majestic view of the city. Due to modern trends, however, rooftop Ferris wheels did not last long. As of now, there is only one rooftop Ferris wheel left in the Tokyo and it’s located on top of Tokyu Plaza Kamata.

    Ferris Wheels in Japan

    Ferris wheels have long been a traditional attraction at amusement parks around the world. Many people are drawn to these enclosed capsules because riders can enjoy very nice views as the wheel turns. Additionally, some people would be able to see other attractions they could be interested in from the sky, increasing their chances of heading there afterwards. Since they wanted to have more consumers, department stores installed Ferris wheels on their rooftops to ensure that families would want to go shopping. Even if people were going there just to ride the Ferris wheel, chances were they would end up buying something on their way out.

    Tokyu Plaza Kamata: the Last Rooftop Ferris Wheel

    Kamata’s candy-colored Ferris wheel has been a fixture of Tokyo Plaza, located adjacent to Kamata Station, since around 1968; and it gives riders a chance to see Mt. Fuji once they are on top. Once the trend died and all Ferris wheels on top on department stores began to be dismantled, Tokyu Plaza’s Ferris wheel was meant to have the same fate. However, it was spared due to the many requests of locals who wanted the Ferris wheel to continue operating. Although not the tallest Ferris wheel in the world (it’s in fact quite small), it offers beautiful views not matter the day.


    The ride was refurbished and reopened on October 11, 2013. When it was reopened, many people, young and old, were seen lining eagerly to ride the beloved Ferris wheel. The renovated wheel was given the name “Ferris Wheel of Fortune”. One ticket is 300 yen, and the Ferris wheel operates from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Besides this, you can also check out many things in the Kamata area such as its restaurants and cafes, entertainment scenes, shopping place,s and comfortable hotels.

    Love Kamata

    Through the desire to promote the neighborhood and show a sense of pride, the Love Kamata Project was born. One of the most important aspects of this project is the many awards that are given to creative projects that depict the neighborhood; and one of the most iconic short films created tells a romantic story where the Ferris wheel takes center stage as the most important location. The short film helps depict just how important this Ferris wheel is, and just how nostalgic it can be.

    As such , sometimes the Ferris wheel appears in other places around Kamata. Who wouldn’t like to by bread that looks like this?:

    The Ferris Wheel of Fortune is a nostalgic ride that brings many memories to local people. It still remains an interesting attraction for some families, and is considered a longtime symbol of Kamata. This is the only rooftop Ferris wheel in all Tokyo, and if you’re lucky enough, you’ll be able to catch a view of Mt. Fuji at the top.

    Tokyu Plaza Kamata Website

    *Featured Image by nyaamaa (なま) on Instagram