Yomiuriland (よみうりランド) is one of the popular Japanese amusement parks in Tokyo. Located on the hillsides of Inagi City (稲城市), Yomiuriland has been welcoming and entertaining visitors since 1964.
Last 2015, the total number of visitors reachjed over 1.7 million. They also launched “GUJJOBA! (グッジョバ!!)” or the Good Job Park in March 2016 where you can experience Japanese craftsmanship through hands-on attractions from well-known Monozukuri (モノづくり – manufacturing) companies.
What makes this family-friendly amusement park special is that it does not only offer exciting attractions but also charming seasonal events such as Halloween, Winter Illumination, and New Year’s Celebration. Here are some events to take note of to make your visit to Yomiuriland more entertaining and economical this fall and winter 2016.
On weekends (Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays) from 14 October until 30 October and on 31 October, you can get inside Yomiuriland for free if you dress up for Halloween. You need at least 2 items that are related to Halloween and you should be wearing it or painted on you on the day of your visit.
For other passes other than the park admission, discounts will vary. There is a one-day pass which includes all attraction rides. Usually, this one-day pass costs 5,400 yen for adults, 4,300 yen for senior and junior high school students, 3,800 yen for 3-year-olds to elementary school students, and 4,500 yen for elders (aged 65 and above). However, with a Halloween costume, you can get a one-day pass for only 3,300 yen. There is also a night pass which is valid after 16:00 until the closing of the park in which you can ride all the attractions. The discount rate of the night pass for adults (18 to 64 years old) is 2,000 yen and 1,500 yen for those under 18 and above 65.
Extreme costumes such as full masks or paint that cover your entire face, revealing dresses, and items which are recognized dangerous or unpleasant to other visitors should be avoided. Come and get a discount at Yomiuriland with your Halloween costume!
This is the main winter event at Yomiuriland. Every day after 16:00, 5 million colorful LED lights start sparkling throughout the park. They are skillfully decorated in all attractions, shops, restaurants, trees, streets, and even in swimming pools. This “Jewellumination” is made possible by Motoko Ishii (石井幹子), a leading Japanese lighting designer whose works are highly received not only in Japan but also abroad. The lighting of Tokyo Tower (東京タワ−), Rainbow Bridge in Tokyo (東京港レインボ−ブリッジ), Yokohama Bay Bridge (横浜ベイブリッジ), as well as of historical Japanese castles are some of her well-known works.
For Jewellumination 2016, Yomiuriland will be covered in 7 new colors of LED lights inspired by diamond, ruby, amber, topaz, emerald, sapphire, and amethyst. It is breathtaking to see a lot of LED lights featured in one place like this. The Ferris Wheel is a recommended attraction to enjoy a great night view from a height. From there, you can see the lights of the modern buildings in Tokyo.
If you are going to Yomiuriland in the evening just to see Jewellumination, you will need a night entrance ticket which is valid from 16:00 until the closing. It is 1,200 yen for adults (18 to 64 years old), 600 yen for junior and senior high school students, 300 yen for primary school students, and 600 yen for seniors (65 and older). However, this does not include admission to the attractions. So if you want to ride the attractions, please purchase the night pass which costs 2,300 yen for adults (18 to 64 years old) and 1,700 yen for those under 18 and above 65.
The Jewellumination is available from 14 October of 2016 until 19 February of 2017. This is a hidden romantic spot for all ages and is the best place to spend time with your partner.
In the past few years, Yomiuriland had offered several fun events for Christmas and New Year’s Celebration. Last 2015, their staff started wearing Santa costumes from the month of November to bring the Christmas spirit into Yomiuriland.
Also, as a Christmas gift, there was a special Christmas lottery which visitors were able to join for free last 2015. It was only available on certain days around Christmas Day wherein visitors were given a lottery ticket as they entered the park. On weekends, there were also several street performances available to watch. Laughs and surprises are guaranteed!
In December 2015, the sea lion show also transformed into a Christmas version where smart sea lions sang Christmas songs and danced together with the audience. These small shows are usually accessible to all visitors without extra charge.
This previous New Year’s holiday (from 1 January to 3 January 2016), Yomiuriland offered free admission to people who were born in the same Chinese Zodiac sign of 2016. On New Year’s Day, there was also “mochi-tsuki (餅つき)” or rice cake pounding where visitors were able to experience the making of Japanese mochi by striking chunks of sticky rice with a pestle.
These activities were held around Christmas and New Year’s Day at Yomiuriland last 2015 and early 2016, so you can expect many events similar to these this winter 2016 as well. For more details about upcoming events, please check here.
Yomiuriland is reachable by train, car, and bus. By train, there are two railway stations which are convenient for the visitors. The first one is the Keio Yomiuriland Station (京王よみうりランド駅) on the Keio Line (京王線). It is a 21-minute ride from Shinjuku Station (新宿駅) by the Keio Rapid Train. From Keio Yomiuriland Station, you can take either the Gondola Sky Shuttle or the Odakyu bus (小田急バス). The gondola ride is 300 yen for one-way and 500 yen for a round-trip. From the big window of the gondola, you can catch a whole view of Yomiuriland so it is highly recommended to try it when you are coming from the Keio side.
The second station is the Odakyu Yomiuriland-mae Station (読売ランド前駅). It is about a 30-minute ride from Shinjuku Station via the Odakyu Odawara Line (小田急小田原線). From the station, you will have to take the Odakyu bus. Please follow the sign which leads you to the bus stop. The bus runs for every 15 to 20 minutes.
If you are coming by car, there is a parking lot with a parking fee of 1,500 yen a day per car. During weekends, the parking lot gets easily full so it is advisable to take public transport when you visit during the holiday season.
So how about spending your time with friends, family, and partner to celebrate Christmas and New Year at the spectacular Yomiuriland with illumination and lots of fun events this winter 2016?