Today's topic is the area around YOMIURILAND, an amusement park located on a hill stretching from Inagi city, Tokyo, to Kawasaki city, Kanagawa.
From Shinjuku station on Keio Line, about a 50-minute train ride will take you to the park.
Yomiuriland is commonly considered as an amusement park by Japanese people, too.
Skyscrapers of Shinjuku are seen in the middle at the back of Yomiuriland.
While its location on the hill allows the skyscrapers of Shinjuku to be seen in the east direction from the top of a Ferris wheel, the top of Mt. Fuji can be viewed in the west.
The roller coaster that runs down a long slope called Bandit is popular among thrill ride lovers, and photos of the illuminated winter view are often posted on Instagram by many people.
Although Yomiuriland is such a famous amusement park, there are other ways to enjoy this area.
１. Enjoy Watching Baseball Games
Right next to Yomiuriland is a baseball stadium called Yomiuri Giants Stadium.
This stadium is used by the farm team of Tokyo Yomiuri Giants as their home ground.
Tokyo Yomiuri Giants is the most popular professional baseball team in Japan and the reason for the location of the stadium is that the team is owned by Yomiuri Shimbun Holdings, the same company as Yomiuriland. About 70 games are held every year, and thanks to the relatively small facility unlike Tokyo Dome, fans can see the players close by. Giants is a team of super-talented players, therefore, star players often join the farm team when in a slump. So sometimes fans serge to see the stars up close on that kind of occasion. Above all, tickets are easily available on the day, so it is possible to drop in to watch a baseball game after spending time in Yomiuriland.
2. Appreciate a Castle Site
There used to be a castle on the hill of Yomiuriland. Though not a lot of Japanese people know about that, its name was Ozawa-jo (Ozawa Castle).
During the Kamakura era, the Kamakura area of Kanagawa was the center of politics, and the hill was the biggest defensive base in the north of Kamakura. The castle on the hill played a major role to keep watch on whether enemies were coming in from the current Tokyo and Saitama regions.
As the skyscrapers are seen from the park, a wide view of the Tokyo area can be seen from the hill. So, it is understandable that watchers could see if a corps were coming in and pass a message on to the headquarters of Kamakura.
It is also said that after the Kamakura era, there was a big battle when the Uesugi clan, which used to govern the area around Kawagoe, Saitama, attacked in the region of the current Kanagawa prefecture, Sagamino-kuni.
Unlike Osaka-jo and Himeji-jo, Ozawa-jo was a mountain castle built making use of natural features of terrains. While the north side, which was supposed to be an entrance point for enemies, is a narrow and steep slope, the north side has an open space that was designed for defense. The feature of the earthwork done to push back the enemies coming in still remains.
North Side Entrance (Enemies had to climb up the narrow and steep slope.)
South Side Zone (With a flat passage and open space, many samurai could get together easily. )
Now the route is used as a walking trail. So, walking to the station on the way back from Yomiuriland as a stroll would be one of the ways to enjoy.
We have shared the information about how to enjoy the Yomiuriland area.
In this area, there are attractions including:
An amusement park with a nice view
A stadium to enjoy watching baseball games
A castle site to appreciate a hidden history
Why not try and enjoy the Yomiuriland area in multiple ways for leisure on holiday?