Tokyo Dome City is a massive open concept mixed-use shopping mall and theme park located in the heart of busy Tokyo city. In addition to an attached amusement theme park, it comprises of an events space housing the world’s largest roofed baseball stadium, a shopping mall, spa and fitness center. It is easily accessible it by travelling to Suidobashi subway station on the Toei Mita Line.
The theme park is split into 2 main sectors comprising of 4 zones spanning over 4 different floors with various small flat rides littered all around the compound.
The bulk of the rides are located on the ground level (Viking Zone) with an open fairground concept, making it very inviting to visitors, particularly young families who are can bring their children for rides while shopping at the mall.
Aerial view of Tokyo Dome City and LaQua Luna park from the Big O Ferris wheel.
Viking and Geopolis Zone
The Viking Zone is home to a few mini-car rides, children locomotive rides, a flying carpet ride (Bun bun bae) and of course a viking ship- a staple ride which the Japanese adores. The Geopolis Zone comprise of an assortment of indoor rides such as a 3D-movie ride as well as a kiddy “Kyuran land” playland.
The ground floor is also where you can purchase tickets for the rides. A full 1 day pass valid for the day of purchase allowing for unlimited rides within the park will set you back 3,900 yen. Due to a limited number of good rides here, I personally recommend a ride 5 pass for 2,600 yen, giving you a choice to go on any five attractions.
As you have the option to pay as you ride in the open-concept theme park, you won’t need to be committed to a typically excessively high one-off theme park entrance fee (though you have such an option if you plan to stay at the park an entire day).
The log flume pool is also where the malls water symphony fountains are situated too, offering almost-hourly choreographed musical fountain shows from 11am to 9.30pm.
Given the close proximity of the theme park in the shopping mall, it is not unusual to see a ride entrance, or ride path situated right beside a restaurant or shop. As such you have the flexibility to do shopping in the area and hop on one or two rides during your visit. One such ride will be the Log Flume (Wonder drop) and Venus Lagoon Carousel.
The LaQua zone located on the upper mall floors are where all the thrill rides reside, with key attraction being the Thunder Dolphin roller coaster at the top few floors.
Thunder Dolphin mega roller coaster
You can frequently hear the coaster thundering through the mall compound with their screaming riders in-tow. The coaster the ride station is located on the upper levels of the mall, the Intamin coaster train begins the through a cable-weighed silent hill lift dominating much of the mall’s skyline.
The coaster runs right through the attraction building roof, the external façade of the shopping mall and at times even going through parts of the building walls.
There are some unique elements such as a “slow wave roll” track segment on one of the roof top segments of the coaster course. The coaster layout runs around the perimeter of the mall two times going up and down, tracing the roof-line of the connecting buildings. After the second loop, and final drop, the coaster runs into a final brake run before entering the station for disembarkation.
There are free ride storage lockers in the station, one for each riding seat on the opposite end of the ride-loading area for riders to deposit loose items before riding. The coaster station staff are very cheerful and friendly, always hyping the riders up on their journey before departure and welcoming them back when the train returns back to the station post-ride. The ride station is also decorated with several dolphin plush toys to go with the ride theme.
Go for a ride on Thunder dolphin on an on-ride video here!
Big O Ferris Wheel
The Big O Ferris wheel, an icon of the theme park, is a modern external hub Ferris wheel with the gondolas facing outwards, allowing for unobstructed views a clear center giving it’s trademarked “O” center which the Thunder dolphin coaster runs through too.
The wheel offers panoramic views of not only the park but the Tokyo skyline all round and even an over view of the behemoth of a structure the adjacent Tokyo Dome stadium is. I will strongly recommend riding it during your visit as it provides a slow ride overlooking the city scape with the comforts and shielded by winds.
The Parachute zone is the next biggest sector of the theme park and is home to the park’s haunted house and a parachute drop ride, which is not bad for a small park. This sector sits on an elevated plateau on the second floor overlooking the Viking zone. It comprises of an assortment of family-orientated rides suitable for children of all ages.
The ghost house is decent for a small park, it uses a variety of “shock and scare” tactics through motion-activated ghost figures, though totally not scary at all in my opinion. You are given a piece of paper (containing some Japanese text about the ghost house story) which the ride operator tell you to only read at the end of the ride.
There are even human-controlled prank elements outside the attraction where members of the public remotely activate blasts of air via CCTV using an air-gun to scare guests in the ghost house. Hilarious!
The parachute drop is a slow vertical cable ride offering nice views of the surrounding city scape. It is a much shorted ride than the Big-O ferris wheel but gives riders a more exposed feel sitting in a basket overlooking the Tokyo skyline from above.
I found the park open concept atmosphere to be rather pleasant, with rides catered to all ages. You can often see young families accompanying their kids on the rides, with the more thrill-seeking teenagers and adults on the upper floors for the roller coaster.
You will be good at LaQua for 1-2 hours typically, particularly if you are only going for the few most highly-rated thrill rides in the park. It’s one of the few areas where you can go on a roller coaster and have the stomach to go for a buffet dinner at one of the mall’s many restaurants.
View more photos of Tokyo Dome City LaQua theme park here.