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If your tween or teen is crazy about roller coasters, then pack up the kids and head out to Yomiuriland. There are enough thrills and spills here to shake up even the most hardcore rollercoaster fanatic. (I should know, I have one!) Even at peak times, you rarely have to wait in line very long to ride the attractions.

Located about 25 minutes from Shinjuku by train, Yomiuriland is impossible to miss—the station is named after the park. In order to get there, you must buy a ticket for the gondola ride up the hill. As a penny-pinching parent, I wondered why they couldn’t make it a courtesy trip for park patrons! The kids, however, thought it was a great way to start the day’s fun. They had a good laugh over the ‘creative’ English translations on the safety signs inside the gondola, too.

The hardest thing is to decide is what to try first. There are five roller coasters, for starters, mostly with a 110 cm height restriction. Miss 7 liked the Bandit, a pleasantly scary coaster and the park’s most popular attraction. My friend’s six-year-old voted for the gentler SL coaster. Master 10, the self-styled roller coaster king, loved the Momonga. You can experience this ride two ways—sitting and standing. (Children must be 140 cm to ride in the standing section.) One such ride left me weak at the knees, but my son went back for seconds. Miss 4 voted for the Wandit, a doggy coaster featuring ‘Land Dog,’ Yomiuriland’s mascot. Nobody voted for the White Canyon, billed as the world’s biggest wooden coaster. One spin on this bone rattler was enough!

They also have a slew of other attractions, including ample preschool rides. There is even a performing seal show. My son and his friend spent the best part of an hour on the go-karts. In summer months, you can have fun in their pools, too. Standard theme park fare is available throughout the park, so nobody will starve.

Address: 3294 Yanoguchi, Inagi-shi, Tel. 044-966-1111

Open 10 to 7, closed on some Tuesdays.

Prices: Adult passport ¥3,900; Child passport ¥2,900.
A restricted ‘kid’s ride pass’ costs ¥1,800
and accompanying adults pay ¥2,600.

Directions: From Shinjuku, take the Keio line out towards Hashimoto. You may have to change at Chofu, as the line splits there. Only ‘keisoku’ and ‘kaku-eki’ trains will stop at Yomiuriland Station.
There is a parking lot.