Nagashima Spaland: My Favorite Amusement Park in Japan
This Ferris wheel is huge. It doesn't look so big in the picture above, but when you see my photo below you can see how far away the Starship ride was from the Ferris wheel, to put its size into perspective.
I've never had serious problems with crowds on my two weekday visits, although one of them was on a smaller holiday and some of the lines were a bit long for the most popular rides. Steel Dragon and White Cyclone had decent lines most of the day on both of my visits, and you should ride the shuttle loop and Looping Star if they're open, because they didn't seem to be too reliable and you might not have a chance later.
It really is my favorite park because of its selection of flat rides. I wish they would get something new, though - for example, a motocoaster or 4D coaster, or a new-generation stand up coaster (all of Japan's stand up coasters are old and very similar). Or some more unique thrilling flat rides that aren't really found anywhere else, at least not in Japan.With a really super stand-out attraction, I'd be willing to travel to Nagoya monthly (or possibly even relocate) just to get some rides in!
Both times I visited, I took a bus from the Meitetsu Bus Center at Nagoya Station. It takes about 45 minutes and costs 1000 yen. A 500-yen bus from Kuwana Station departs every 20-30 minutes or so as well. The park generally opens at 9:30, staying open until 17:00 (19:30 during peak season). Admission with a free pass on rides is 4100 yen; adding in the water park, which I've never seen, adds 1200 yen.
Nagashima Spaland lives up to its name with a large hot spring complex as well (9:30-23:00, 2100 yen), plus an outlet mall and a somewhat-nearby flower park (9:00-21:00, 1000-2000 yen depending on the season).