Trip Report: Hanayashiki Amusement Park in Asakusa

This has become one of my favorite pictures. 

Who would have guessed that the amusement park closest to my apartment in Japan would also be the oldest? Hanayashiki is an old-style park with modern rides - everything is shoehorned into a tiny space in a corner of Tokyo.
 The park offers pay-one-price free passes and the park was pretty busy, but wait times were pretty short for most rides. This is Carnival, one of those little spin-in-a-circle rides. It didn't interest me. Nearby, a stage show was going on.
 Some kind of Caribbean show, it held the audience's attention well enough. I couldn't understand half of what they were saying, but I thought it was kind of fun.
 They did photos with kids afterwards. So I took a picture.
 Also next to the Carnival ride, this house was a "spinning room" attraction. You sit in a room and then the room spins upside down. Or you do. Who knows?! (Okay, yes, the room spins. And you rock back and forth.)
 Little Star was pretty fun. You climb into this, um, little star, and they strap you in with a wide waist belt. Then you go around in circles occasionally spinning upside down.
 Spin cycle: on.
 With so many rides packed into a small space, there are several photo opportunities. Tokyo SkyTree is visible from all over the park.
 Little Star is on the ground level. The park has a single coaster, a simple steel ride that circles the park.
 There's a building on one side of the park with several floors of small indoor attractions. On top, in the corner, is a small temple.
 There's a nice garden near the temple with potted plants and random odds and ends.
 I really like the giant sneaker planters.
 SkyTree isn't so big! The slowly-spinning flying candy house ride is taller!
 Reached from the second floor, two transport rides circle most of the park. There's a pedal bike on the pink track, and a pirate ship that hangs beneath the blue track.
 See, flying candy houses!
 The drop ride is taller than SkyTree!
 If you visit Hanayashiki, it's important to explore every corner of every floor of the park. You never know what you'll find. This is a little kid's car ride.
 Oh no! I'm going to be smashed by slowly-spinning flying candy houses!
 Hm, a unique shot of Carnival.
 From the pedal bike, this is looking back at the station for the bike and pirate ship attractions.
 In the middle of the park, there is an artifical mountain with a small cave/tunnel and some flower.
 Pretty, pretty flowers!
 A small lake is between the mountain and the drop ride.
 And the small lake (pond, really) is fed by this small waterfall.
 Cute little decorations are scattered around like someone's personal garden pond.
 DiskOs are fun rides, and I rode this one a couple times. It was pretty hot when I visited and I had other plans in the late afternoon, so I didn't stay long. Plus, how many times can one person ride DiskO in a row and not get bored?
While waiting for the flying candy houses, you stand right next to the coaster track. Check out this AWESOME shot. You could probably high-five riders who were prepared for it!
 Here's another picture of the DiskO, with one of the pirate ships going around.
 Once I finally got into a slowly-spinning flying candy house, I was able to get a better view of the park. The city of Asakusa is built up right around the park.
 It's easy to visit Hanayashiki, the Asakusa temple area, and SkyTree all in one day. Plan on staying at Hanayashiki just a couple hours.
 The coaster goes up the lift! It's really nothing special.
 More flowers!
 Anyway, the coaster doesn't have much room to do anything, and it's kind of painful. Being so close to everything else, the ride is pretty fun, but if it was retracked and/or better trains were installed, the ride would be much better.
 Slowly-rotating flying candy house.
 Slowly-rotating flying candy houses, flying. With Asakusa Temple and SkyTree in the background!
Once the sun sets, head across the river to Popeye in Ryogoku or the Asahi headquarters building for some great beers. Also to be found in the Asakusa area is a drum museum and Kappabashi Dori, a restaurant shopping district for serious chefs.

Hanayashiki opened in 1853 as a flower park, and as you've seen a small reminder of the gardens remains. Admission is 900 yen, and a free pass is an additional 2200 yen. The park is nearly open year-round with a closure for about a week in early December for maintenance. Several train lines reach Asakusa or the nearby area, and depending on the line you start in a different place. Note that JR trains don't go to Asakusa, though you can get there by Tokyo Metro or walking a bit further. Amusement park aficionados should plan to visit the park on a trip to Japan due to its history, and others looking for a few hours of fun with elementary school-level children will find it here.

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