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5 Foreign Culture Theme Parks In Japan You Must Visit

Take a trip to another country without ever leaving Japan.

By 5 min read

Japan loves theme parks. From Tokyo Disney Resort to Fuji-Q Highland, there are plenty of places to ride a roller coaster, hug a colorful mascot and spend an excessive amount of money on turkey legs and stale churros. However, there is another kind of theme park in Japan where being foreign is the theme. Japan, as an island country, can feel removed from the rest of the world. It’s not so easy to just pop over to the next country and have a look around places like Europe or South America.

It’s also staffed by robot dinosaurs because, well, it’s Japan.

Enter the foreign theme park. By visiting a theme park with a foreign culture flair, you can soak up the atmosphere from a different country without ever leaving Japan. But, of course, you haven’t left Japan, and that’s what makes these places so interesting.

Consider the meta: experiencing another culture through the lens of Japan. If that’s too deep for a day out, there’s still the rides and fried food.

Here are five Japanese theme parks centered around foreign cultures.

1. Huis Ten Bosch (Holland)

Huis Ten Bosch is the undisputed king of foreign theme parks in Japan, a massive wonderland of Holland-inspired tulips, lights and European architecture. Located in Sasebo, Nagasaki, it’s like Las Vegas with tea instead of comped drinks and lavish weddings instead of Elvis ones.

Although there’s historical precedent for the Dutch in Nagasaki (for example, Dejima), Huis Ten Bosch is less about reality and more about living out a lavish European fantasy. It’s also staffed by robot dinosaurs because, well, it’s Japan.

One stand-out attraction is a reproduction of a great flood that actually occurred in the Netherlands. The theater uses lights, fog, sound and 800 tons of water to replicate the experience. It’s also especially popular around winter for the park’s Christmas village and illumination.

  • Culture: Holland
  • Attractions: VR experiences, live performances, Christmas villages and illumination, robot dinosaurs and much more
  • Official website

2. Dreamton Village (England)

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Think they have an authentic British breakfast?

What’s the first thing that springs to mind when you think of Kyoto? You’re eerily in sync with this article if you said a meticulous recreation of a traditional British village—specifically Dreamton Village in Kameoka, Kyoto.

Suppose you’re looking for expensive illumination like Huis Ten Bosch. In that case, you’re bound to be disappointed, as this is a somewhat more traditionally-minded place. However, with old-style houses and other buildings, it looks positively lived-in.

There’s a tea room that serves fish and chips (I hope you like tartar sauce), an antique shop called Antique, and a few cottages where you can spend the night. Of course, you might not forget that you’re still in the land of the rising sun, but Anglophiles on a budget could be just what you need.

  • Culture: England
  • Attractions: English-style tea rooms, pubs, houses and gardens
  • Official website

3. Brazilian Park Washuzan Highland (Brazil)

After a stroll around The Hague and a calm night in a cottage in the British countryside, you might want to visit a country with a little more excitement. If so, then head on over to Kurashiki, Okayama and its Brazilian Park Washuzan Highland.

Located on a mountain overlooking the beautiful Seto Inland Sea, Brazilian Park has everything the country is famous for, like bungee jumping, a standing roller coaster and hamburgers. Wait. What?

Okay. Not exactly what we have in mind when we think “Brazil,” but they do have samba shows. Although only once a day on weekdays and twice on weekends and holidays, so plan accordingly. The park is a bit old and starting to show its age, but where else can you ride a self-powered bicycle roller coaster and take in a samba show on the same day?

  • Culture: Brazil
  • Attractions: Thrill rides, water parks and samba dancing
  • Official website

4. Fukuju No Sato Mongol Village (Mongolia)

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Experience one of the greatest empires in history, but with air conditioning.

It is less of a theme park and more of a cultural experience. Fukuju No Sato Mongol Village lets you experience what it’s like to stay in a ger, a nomadic Mongolian house. The park is in the city of Ena in the Gifu mountains. Although they look like traditional gers, they’re decked out with modern amenities like air conditioning and a mini-fridge (sadly, no fermented horse milk inside, though).

There are also barbecue pits, a place to try on traditional Mongolian clothes, and (it being Japan) an onsen. It might not be as exciting as some of the other locations listed here. Still, it does look like an enjoyable cultural experience. If you’re tired of the usual camp spots and are in the Chubu area, give it a look.

  • Culture: Mongolia
  • Attractions: Traditional Mongolian foods, huts and museum
  • Official website

5. The Little World Museum Of Man (Several)

The Little World Museum Of Man (or リトルワールド, Little World) is neither a museum nor a tiny museum. It’s actually a rather sizable open-air park in Inuyama, Aichi, with domiciles, beer and food imported worldwide. The beer, as you can see from the commercial above, is very important.

The German village is complete with a small church, a Micronesian yap house, a Taiwanese farmhouse and an entire village compound from Burkina Fasso. There’s food from around the world as well. However, some betray Japanese preferences (like Japanese-style chijimi, a savory pancake dish, rather than the more common Korean jeon). The grounds are bigger than you expect, so give yourself a whole day to experience it all.

  • Culture: Several
  • Attractions: Beer and food from around the world, various cultural performances
  • Official website

What’s your favorite culture park in Japan? What else should be on this list? Let us know in the comments.

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