The coffee cup ride at the Hello Kitty land. (Photo: Sherilyn Siy)

Seibuen Yuuenchi

Retro amusement park in Saitama

The coffee cup ride at the Hello Kitty land. (Photo: Sherilyn Siy)
Sherilyn Siy   - 2 min read

If you're looking for an honest-to-goodness amusement park with all the fun, quintessential rides, Seibuen Yuuenchi might be for you. This retro fairground has none of the flashy snazziness you might expect from Disneyland, Universal Studios, or Legoland, but for families with small children who are happy enough with merry-go-rounds, classic car rides, rotating teacups, and gentle flying elephants, Seibuen Yuuenchi will surely keep them busy for a day.

Adults will delight in the 360 degree views that include the Tama Lake and Mt. Fuji in the distance from 80 meters up on the gyro tower, or 62 meters up on the very slow and very safe ferris wheel. The ferris wheel is particularly romantic. One cycle takes 20 minutes and braver parties may opt for the transparent carriages. Smaller kids will delight in the rides in Hello Kitty land while bigger kids will want the excitement of the viking ship and the wave swinger.

In the summer, the park's main attraction is the huge water park while in the winter, the water park area hosts attractions like bouncy castles, trampolines, snow land (how the snow stays frozen in 10 degrees celsius is incredible), and panel skating. At night, various areas in the park, most spectacularly, the rose garden, are illuminated.

Families on a budget will be happy to know that they can bring their own food into the park. Pets are welcome (for a fee). There are dog runs and mazes, and some of the rides can accommodate pets.

The one day free pass is the best value to fully enjoy all the park's attractions.

Getting there

While driving to the Seibuen Yuuenchi is pretty straightforward, parking costs ¥1,500. We found the train connections pretty straightforward and if using all Seibu lines, the cost reasonable. The amusement park is serviced by the Seibu-Yuenchi Station. From the Seibu-Kyujomae Station (Seibu baseball stadium), you will transfer to the Yamaguchi line, a 2.8 km manually-driven rubber-tyred small scale train, with tracks on the sides. This super cute people mover is nicknamed Leo Liner (inspired by the mascot of the Saitama Seibu Lions) and the ride was, for us, as interesting as one of the park's attractions.

Sherilyn Siy

Sherilyn Siy @sherilyn.siy

For Sherilyn Siy, Asia is home. Born in Hong Kong, Sherilyn spent time in the Philippines, China, and now lives in Japan. She speaks English, Filipino, Chinese (or putonghua), and Hokkien, her family's local dialect. Running is one of her favorite ways to explore Japan. She proudly finished the 2...