Japan has not only the tourist attraction of its rich culture, history and tradition, but also has several theme parks. And Aichi prefecture has several of these parks. One of the recently opened theme parks is LEGOLAND® Japan Resort, which opened on April 1 2017 in Nagoya. The park, aimed at families with children from 2 to 12 years old, has more than 70 didactic games, live shows, workshops and attractions that offer adventure, education and fun for family vacations.
If you are planning a trip to LEGOLAND® Japan Resort with your family, don’t miss this guide that we have prepared.
A brief history
In the beginning, LEGO® was a carpentry factory called Billund Maskinsnedkeri, run by the carpenter Ole Kirk Christiansen, an artisan with an attitude towards the quality and finish of the product. The carpentry factory manufactured wooden furniture and collaborated in house construction projects. But with the great economic crisis of 1929, the carpentry factory decreased in clientele and had to focus on smaller projects. Ole Kirk Christiansen began producing miniature versions of his products as design aids. It was these miniature models that inspired him to start producing toys.
In 1932, the factory began to manufacture wooden toys, such as ducks, cars, trucks, houses and yo-yos. But the business was not very profitable due to the Great Depression. Farmers in the area sometimes exchanged food for their toys. This allowed him and his family to get through the depression. Later, the third of the four children of Ole Kirk Kristiansen, Godtfred Kirk Christiansen began working with his father, assuming from then an active and very important role within the company.
Two years later (1934), Ole promoted a contest among his employees to find a stronger and more suitable name for his company. A contest that he himself won. Thus was born the LEGO® brand, name created by the abbreviation of two Danish words: “Leg Godt” (whose meaning is “Play well”). In addition to establishing the brand, its corporate motto was also established: “Only the best is good enough” (Det bedste er ikke for godt), with the aim of emphasizing the development of the children’s game, and focusing on the quality of the product instead of mass production.
After the Second World War, beech wood was scarce and plastics began to be marketed in Denmark. During the Earls Court Toy Fair in 1947, Ole Kirk Christiansen and his son Godtfred came across what would be the predecessor of the LEGO® brick, The Self-Locking Building Bricks, created by the toy company Kiddicraft. After examining a sample, Ole realized his big potential and bought an injection molding machine for plastics. With it, they began to work on their own version of the brick created by Kiddicraft. In 1949 LEGO® marketed its own version called The Automatic Binding Bricks, becoming the LEGO® brick in 1953.
At first, the binding bricks were moderately received, and they also had some technical problems: their capacity to create blocks was limited and they were not very versatile. Although these problems were solved improving the original design. Finally in 1958 the company patented the new design, as well as several similar designs to avoid competition. Unfortunately Ole Kirk Christiansen died that same year. His son, Godtfred inherited the leadership of the company.
Years after, Godtfred incorporated the LEGO® System, a key system that became the core of the success of the LEGO bricks. With the introduction of the idea of a game system, it would enhance the unlimited brick play. These are the principles of the LEGO® system:
1. The toy must be compact, but without limiting the free expression of the imagination.
2. It has to have a reasonable price.
3. It has to be simple and durable and offer an unlimited variety.
4. It has to be suitable for children, boys and girls, of all ages.
5. It has to be classic in its presentation, that is, a classic among toys, which does not need renewal.
6. It has to be easily distributed.
The idea of creating a place to teach how to build with the LEGO® bricks came years later, thanks to the great demand of people who wanted to know how to play with those colored pieces. And the simplicity of the LEGO® bricks made it a unique element that offered unlimited construction possibilities. Simply let the imagination fly and allow multiple creative ideas to be born during the game.
Currently, LEGO® ranks third worldwide among toy manufacturers in terms of sales. And has been awarded several times as the best toy of the century. Currently its owner is Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, grandson of the founder.
The first LEGOLAND® park, and the oldest of them all, is the LEGOLAND® Billund Resort, which opened in Billund, Denmark in 1968. LEGOLAND® Billund Resort was built near the original LEGO® factory. This is the park with the most visitors per year, and the largest tourist attraction in Denmark outside of Copenhagen.
Take a look at the video animation about the history of LEGO®.
Exploring LEGOLAND® Japan Resort
LEGOLAND® Japan Resort is divided into 7 areas with different themes, and 40 attractions. More than 10,000 LEGO® structures are distributed throughout the park. LEGOLAND® Japan Resort also has one of the largest LEGO® stores in Asia.
We explore not only the theme park, but also the aquarium, SEA LIFE Nagoya and the LEGOLAND® Hotel.
Have you ever wondered how LEGO® bricks are made? What better way to see how the famous building bricks are fabricated by touring the factory. At the end of the tour you receive a new piece of LEGO® from the production line to take home as a souvenir.
In this area we must highlight the following stations:
The Big Shop: You can collect the photos taken in the park here. You can create an original photo album with the Legoland album limited edition.
The Corner Shop: Use the picking package service. The souvenirs that you buy in the park you can leave here to pick them up later when leaving the park. You also have the rental service for strollers and wheelchairs.
This area is unique as it does not exist in other LEGOLAND® parks. Here the most creative can build their own LEGO® creations in different stations. There are also robotic workshops in which children can learn to program and build their own robots.
Ah! and do not miss the observation tower that offers fantastic views of the entire park.
In this area you will find LEGO® divers, an underwater adventure with different water attractions. There is also an ancient Egypt area set in.
Don’t miss the famous LEGO® fries that you’ll find in the Oasis Snacks store.
This is a medieval land full of attractions such as the roller coasters The Dragon or Dragon’s Apprentice.
This is an area set in the pirates world, where you can ride a pirate ship and shoot mini water cannons.
Try the original hot dog LEGO® hotdog from the Walk the Plank Snacks store.
In the Miniland area you will find reproductions of the main touristic spots in Japan, using more than 10,496,352 LEGO® bricks.
At LEGO® City children can learn to drive an electric car at the Driving School (at the end of the ride they receive a driver’s license), either fly by plane, or drive a boat.
At the Fire Academy attraction families can compete with each other by moving their manual fire trucks down a lane, firing at a target with water pistols and returning to the finish line.
The park also has a 4D cinema where you can watch movies such as LEGO Movie, LEGO City 4D Movie and LEGO NINJAGO.
LEGOLAND® JAPAN HOTEL
LEGOLAND® JAPAN HOTEL is like an extension of the fun of the LEGOLAND® park, where you can spend the night in the thematic rooms. It has a breakfast buffet, a 24-hour reception service, a children’s play area and a swimming pool.
SEA LIFE Nagoya
This area is a mini aquarium that combines practical learning with educational talks and have direct contact with sea creatures. It is not worth making a special trip here just for this attraction, but it is a good option on a hot or rainy day.
If you can find and take three pictures of Shark Guys hidden in Sea Life Nagoya and in LEGOLAND® Japan Resort, you can receive a special block of LEGO® showing the photos at the entrance of SEA LIFE Nagoya.
Around the park there are numerous models made with pieces of LEGO®, such as the cherry tree in bloom built to celebrate the first anniversary of the park, which earned the title of Guinness World Records by building the tree with more than 800,000 LEGO® bricks.
Behind Miniland there is a daily performance called “Feel the Emotion”, in which the LEGO® characters appear (from 4:00 pm to 4:30 pm).
– Avoid queues buying the tickets online. Check the prices here.
– Download and print the park map the night before. Plan the day to better use your time.
– Check the height restrictions of each attraction.
– Download the free LEGOLAND® app. With this app you can check the waiting times of each attraction in real time. You can also check the schedules of the Palace Cinema films, and the performances, and plot the route to go to each attraction. You can download the app here.
– You can not take food or drink to the park. Bags are checked at the entrance.
– There are not many places with shade, so it is recommended that you bring a hat, sunscreen and moistened wipes to cool off.
– If you are going to go up to the water attractions, do not forget to bring a rain jacket with you.
– There is a nursing service with bottle warmer, changing tables and toilets available.
Take the train from the Aonami line and get off at the last stop, Kinjo Futo (金城 ふ 頭). From there 3 minutes walk to the park.
Close to the Aonami line train station, Sasashimaraibu (ささしまライブ) is the pier from where the waterbus leaves for LEGOLAND® Japan Resort.
Duration: Around 1 h 15 min.
Hours: 9:00, 10:00, 12:15, 13:20, 14:30
Prices: Adults 1,500 yen, Children under 12 years 750 yen
Check the web page
2-2-1 Kinjo-futo, Minato-ku, Nagoya, Aichi
You have several options:
– One-day pass for the Park only or the Aquarium only
– One day combo pass that includes Park and Aquarium
– One-day pass with accommodation that includes Park, Aquarium and one night at the LEGOLAND® Hotel.
– Annual passes
Check here the different prices.