Toshimaen rides, attractions continue in amusement parks nationwide

The historic Tokyo Toshimaen Amusement Park may have closed for good, but its rides and attractions endure in theme parks across Japan, which acquired them after they were sold.

Toshimaen, who pioneered large recreation facilities in Japan, completed his 94-year run in Tokyo’s Nerima district in August 2020.

In March of this year, Sendai’s Yagiyama Benyland hosted Toshimaen’s yellow-painted Corkscrew roller coaster, an American double-loop thrill ride.

Yagiyama Benyland had introduced a corkscrew in 1980. But the one from Toshimaen offers better safety and usability as it was updated in the early 1990s.

“It would be such a waste if he was eliminated. We also wanted to resume the legendary Toshimaen ride,” said the director of Yagiyama Benyland, Mitsuyuki Yagi, explaining why he decided to buy the attraction.

Benyland’s first corkscrew has since found a new home at an amusement park in Hokkaido.

Part of the great wooden maze of Toshimaen, used in the park for four years before it closed, was again in action at the Lina World amusement park in Kaminoyama, Yamagata prefecture on April 29.

The park is considering renaming it and said it will ask the public for suggestions.

Because the attraction is still new, it has been split into two parts, half of which moved to Lina World and the other half to Nasukogen Rindoko Family Bokujo Park in Tochigi Prefecture.

The labyrinth of Lina World is 12 meters wide, 14 meters deep and 9 meters high.

Getting out of it, said a park official, “requires intelligence and energy. Even adults should be prepared to spend 20 minutes to reach the goal at the top.”

The park has also transferred owned three attractions at the Hakkeijima Sea Paradise aquarium in Yokohama, according to Seibu Railway Co., a subsidiary of which ran Toshimaen.

The company added that it plans to find other park operators willing to take over Toshimaen’s iconic El Dorado carousel, one of the world’s oldest rides, and its most popular attraction, the Cyclone roller coaster and d ‘other facilities.

(This article was written by Hideaki Ishibashi, editor, and Norikazu Miyake.)

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