New in Saitama in 2022: Crayon Shinchan play area in Lalaport, Fujimi.
Unfortunately, the very first “permanent” (the irony) indoor TeamLab Islands in Lalaport Fujimi, closed permanently on January 17th 2021. The space were it once held a place in the heart of Lalaport, was empty for a year and we all waited with bated breath to see what would replace it. The news that the very first Crayon Shinchan indoor play area would take its place, did take a bit of the edge off losing Teamlab, but…
First up, for those who might not be familiar with Crayon Shinchan, it is a cartoon about the eponymous character Shin-chan. Shin is short for Shinnosuke and chan is a term of endearment used in place of “san”, an honorific suffix used after names in Japan. He is a five year old boy whose trademark is wiggling his half naked butt in the air while cheekily, if you’ll pardon the pun, chanting “oshiri buriburi¹”! Shin-chan lives in Kasukabe City, SAITAMA, with his parents and little sister, and their little dog, Shiro. The manga and TV cartoon follow his adventures, with friends and / or family, at home, preschool and in his neighborhood as well as travels within Japan, abroad and even to the world of his imagination.
¹Oshiri buriburi is sometimes translated as “shaking my booty / butt / ass”. But I think of it more like “wiggle, wiggle, my ass” to resemble the onomatopoeia of buriburi in the Japanese version! Also, because I can kind of imagine a five year old child saying something like that with their ass half exposed!
The cartoon actually started out as a manga, first appearing in Weekly Manga Action in 1990. They adapted for TV in 1992 and this year it is celebrating 30 consecutive years on TV this year, 2022. Within Japan, Crayon Shinchan is one of the things that Saitama is most famous for! Supposedly, the cartoon is quite well known in Spain too. In total, it has been aired in 30 languages in 45 countries according to Wikipedia. I don’t think Ireland was one of them. I had never heard of or seen Crayon Shin-chan until I came to Japan. But, full disclosure, I am now a huge fan of Crayon Shinchan! I am not what you would call an anime fan by any means, but I am a fan of (most) Ghibli movies and Crayon Shinchan!
Crayon Shinchan Yume Park
Crayon Shinchan Yume Park opened in Lalaport Fujimi on February 25th 2022. It is in the exact space that the Teamlab used to be in. However, they only used half the space for the play area, and the other half is an arcade with UFO catchers, aka crane games, and “gachapon” capsule dispensers. Thus, the play area really is quite small. And, to be 100% truthful, not very engaging for a child older than six in my humble opinion. I visited with my 7 year old, who is quite young for her age, and 30 minutes was enough for her.
Officially, children up to 12 years old are allowed play, but I really don’t think they would be entertained. Unless, however, they are a huge Shinchan fan and enjoy getting their photo taken. My 7 year old is quite camera shy, so we didn’t take many photos. But she did enjoy putting on the kindergarten smocks and distinguishable yellow bags from the cartoon and posing beside her favorite characters. The statues of the characters were the highlight for me too. However, other than the large Shinchan buttocks air trampoline, there wasn’t really much for her to play with. So she ended up coloring and playing on a Shinchan tablet for most of the time.
The biggest complaints online about the new play area is the price relative to the size. I agree and disagree at the same time! It is small and there isn’t a lot in it, so it doesn’t really seem worth the 660 yen entry charge for adults. But, at the same time, it is a Crayon Shinchan themed play area, which is rare. You’re really paying for the brand name, I think. You are allowed take photos, so for me it was worth the 660 yen. So many of these trademarked type anime locations don’t allow you take photos these days. Children also cost 660 yen for 30 minutes. For a preschooler, toddler and even infant, it is probably worth it.
Roughly translated from the Japanese names!
- Wiggle wiggle Ass trampoline!
- Chocobi island adventure with ball pool, climbing and a tunnel slide
- Wide slide
- Action Beam Net
- A grass play area for everyone
- Shinchan’s play room
- Nene chan real Mammies and Daddies play
- Shinchan’s graffiti area
- Himawari and Shiro Chan’s baby play area
- Photo spot
Opened on February 25th 2022.
Name: Crayon Shinchan Ora Asoberu Yume Park クレヨンしんちゃんおらのあそべるゆめぱーくor Crayon Shinchan Yume Park for short. Yume means dream.
Location: 2nd floor of Lalaport Fujimi
Lalaport Address: 〒354-8560 Saitama, Fujimi, Yamamuro, 1 Chome−1313, Lalaport Fujimi
Opening hours : 10am to 6pm, last entry 5.30pm
Cost: It costs 660 yen for the first 30 minutes and 220 yen for every ten minutes over, for children. For adults, it also costs 660 yen for the first 30 minutes, but there is no charge for extra time.
Parking: Lalaport parking for 4600 carspaces. FREE. Parking lots 6 and 7 third floor are close.