Home >> Japan Attractions,Japan Travel >> Thomas Town Shinmisato (near Tokyo) Review

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Hands up if you have a son who loves Thomas.  I have two boys and both of them LOVE Thomas.  Thomas may not have originated in Japan,  but trust me, Japanese love Thomas. Don’t believe? Check out my post on Thomas Land & Thomas themed hotel rooms at Fuji Q Highland near Mount Fuji.

Thomas Land at Fuji Q Highland (Japan) - Bumble Bee Mum   Thomas Themed Hotel Rooms @ Highland Resort Hotel (Japan) - Bumble Bee Mum

The boys have been wanting to go Thomas Land again, but I wanted to try something different.  So when we were in Tokyo last December, I planned a side trip to Thomas Town at Shinmisato.

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There are three Thomas Towns in Japan:  One in Shinmisato (near Tokyo), one in Izumi (near Osaka) and one in Kurashiki (near Okayama).  Okay, technically there is only one Thomas Town at Shinmisato.  The latter two are called Thomas Station.  But let’s not get iffy here.

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Getting to Thomas Town Shinmisato

From Tokyo

Thomas Town Shinmisato was located in a huge shopping mall called Lalaport Shinmisato, right next to Shinmisato station.

It took me a long time to figure this out, but if you are searching for your train route on hyperdia, you will NOT find a station called Shinmisato.  Because on hyperdia, the station name is spelt as SHIM-MISATO. With an M and a dash.

You can use Hyperdia to search for a train route from the station nearest to you, but as an example, from Shinjuku where we were staying, it required one transfer and the fare was 640yen and the ride took approximately 1 hour.

Thomas-Town-Tokyo-Shinmisato-Shimmisato-Japan---getting-there

From Omiya

I actually DO NOT recommend making the trip to Shim-Misato specially to visit Thomas Town because, as I will talk about later, I didn’t think it was worth the trip to go all the way to Shin-Misato just to visit Thomas Town.  BUT, I assume if your kid likes Thomas, he (yes I am gender stereotyping here) probably likes trains in general? Yes? Hence, what I am going to propose is you do Thomas Town Shinmisato as a day trip together with Railway Museum in Saitama.  They are both located to the North of central Tokyo:

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Railway Museum is located next to Tetsudo-Hakubutsukan Station.   When using hyperdia, key in TETSUDOHAKUBUTSUKAN(ONARI).   To get from Tetsudo-Hakubutsukan to Shin-Misato requires two transfers, total fare of 660yen and takes approximately 1 hour.

Thomas-Town-Tokyo-Shinmisato-Shimmisato-Japan---getting-there-3

I recommend you visit Railway Museum in the morning, followed by Thomas Town and finish off the day with shopping at Lalaport Shin-Misato.

Thomas Town Shinmisato Review

Thomas Town Shinmisato was very different from Thomas Land.  While Thomas Land was like a theme park, Thomas Town Shinmisato was more like an indoor playground.

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Admission / Fees for Rides

Admission to Thomas Town is FREE.  However, you need to pay for the rides.  Thomas Town works using a token system.

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The price of the tokens was 2 tokens for 400yen or 8 tokens for 1200yen.

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Different rides required a different number of tokens.  But even the cheapest required 2 tokens which worked out to 300yen if you purchase the 8 tokens set.   I found it very expensive, considering the rides weren’t like the amusement park rides that we found at Thomas Land.  They were more like kiddy rides you find at shopping malls.

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Brendan Docks

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We started with Brendan Docks, which was essentially a mini Thomas themed indoor playground.   It cost 4 tokens per child for 20-minutes play time.  It is important to note that while Thomas Town was open till 9pm, Brendan Docks closed earlier and on weekdays, the last entry was at 6pm.

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I only checked the opening hours for Thomas Town and thought going there in the evening should be fine since they open till 9pm.  If you saw our itinerary, we only came here in the evening after visiting Tokyo Fire Museum, Shinjuku Gyoen and Meiji Jingu Gaien.  We barely made it in time for the last time slot! I couldn’t believe how lucky we were.  I would have been extremely upset if we had travelled all the way here to find that Brendan Docks had closed already.

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The kids spent much of the 20 minutes at the train table.  Which made me wonder why we came all the way here and they were playing with something that could easily be found in indoor playgrounds in Singapore.

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After a while, I managed to convince MF to go check out the other side which had a table for sand play.

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The moulds they provided were Thomas-shaped no less.

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Before we knew it, 20 minutes was up.   So that was 600yen for 20 minutes of play.  I shall not complain that Singapore indoor playgrounds are expensive after this.

Kuru Kuru Carnival

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Next, the kids went on the Kurukuru Carnival which cost 3 tokens per child. It didn’t do much – just went round and round for a bit.  I thought it was freaking expensive.  But thankfully the staff was super enthusiastic and kept high fiving the kids as they came around, so I didn’t feel that bad about paying 450yen per child for a short spin knowing that part of that money goes to the staff’s salary.

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Harold’s Sky Patrol

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Then the kids decided to take a ride on Harold the helicopter which cost 2 tokens (300yen), making it the most expensive kiddy ride the kids have ever taken.  No, I don’t pay for those S$2 shopping centre kiddy rides we have here in Singapore because I always felt they were daylight robbery.  But I paid 300yen to let my kids play this.  It’s the I’m-on-vacation mentality.  You know how money suddenly loses its value when you go on vacation? Even knowing something is overpriced, you still pay anyway simply because you are on vacation? Yup, this was definitely one of those moments.

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Photo Location

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There was this photo location where the kids could dress up in the blue train conductor uniform and go up to take photo with Thomas.  It cost 3 tokens per child.  Considering the kids had taken photo with life-sized Thomas and Percy over at Thomas Land for free, we passed.  Instead MY just posed in front of the trains without going in –  Free.  #Cheapo

Thomas Train

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The most decent ride at Thomas Town Shinmisato was this Thomas Train with like proper tracks.  It was a 10-minute ride that included riding the Thomas train to watch a 5-minutes animation.  It cost 4 tokens per child – which I thought was more value-for-money compared to the previous two rides that the kids went on.

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BUT.. big big BUT.. They said that our kids were too young to go on the ride on their own.  So an adult must accompany them.  And the adult needed to pay 4 tokens too!! RAWR!!! So we skipped it, convincing the kids that the animation was going to be in Japanese and they weren’t going to understand a thing anyway.

Others

Besides rides, there were also some carnival-style games which cost 3 tokens per play.

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And there were also gashapon machines filled with Thomas collectibles.

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Snack Kiosk

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If you know me, my favourite spot at any themed attraction would be the cafe or equivalence.  I love checking out what themed food was available.

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At the seating area, there was a gallery with many pictures of Thomas and his friends.

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Souvenir Shop

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And of course, you can find a Thomas souvenir shop at the end.  The souvenir shop here paled in comparison to the one at Thomas Land, but it had a table nevertheless where the kids could play.  For FREE.

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In Summary…

I was a tad disappointed with Thomas Town Shinmisato, mostly because I had high expectations after visiting Thomas Land where the rides were bigger and cheaper.  I didn’t think it was worth coming here all the way from central Tokyo just to let the kids play with overpriced Thomas-themed kiddy rides.  However, I do think Brendan Docks (the indoor playground area) was pretty cool.

Hence, as I mentioned at the start of the post, I wouldn’t recommend taking the train all the way here just to visit Thomas Town.  If I were to re-plan the trip, I would have gone to Railway Museum in the morning then came to Lalaport Shin-misato to let the kids play at Brendan Docks for 20 min and continued on with shopping and eating at the rest of the mall.  Can I also mention that Butahage has a branch at Lalaport Shin-Misato? Yup, plan that in.

Information:

Address: Lalaport Shin-Misato Level 2.
埼玉県三郷市新三郷ららシティ3丁目1番1号 ららぽーと新三郷2階

Map: Click here for Google map location

Map Code (what is this?): 3 389 758

Opening Hours: 10am to 9pm

  • Thomas Train last boarding at 8.45pm
  • Brendan Docks last admission at 6pm on weekdays / 7.10pm pm weekends

Official Website: Homepage

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the author

Supposed to be a stay-home mom, but hates staying home. Definition of parenting is bringing the boys out for 'experiential learning' in Singapore, Japan and wherever else in the world her husband can afford to pay for.

43Comments

  1. Lydia C. Lee says:

    What fun for little ones!!

  2. mmlittlee says:

    The setup reminds me a little of Kidzania! The Japanese are such interesting people to think of so many fun stuff to build for kids. Even that hotel! The locals have so much to play in their own country.

  3. Dee says:

    Wow, very detailed sharing, as always! And 3 Thomas towns? Haha looks like the Japanese are indeed great fans! Or maybe they know tourists like Thomas enough for them to build them :p Am sure the kids won’t be complaining!

  4. 3wheelingtots says:

    Thank you so much for the detailed sharing!
    I just got myself into trouble by showing my boy your post!
    He is now asking me when are we going!!
    Wonder if there is a minimum age to enter?

  5. Madeline says:

    Looks fun leh, too bad it was disappointing. Ok I will chiong for thomas town in msia hahaha. Cheaper too 😛

  6. Mummy Ed says:

    I love how you are so objective in your reviews, good advice as always!

  7. I had no idea the Japanese were such great Thomas fans.
    Great advice here for any other families considering a visit.
    #citytripping

  8. Katrina says:

    I know quite a few little boys who would love that place! And yes, it is funny how we spend money differently when on vacation. It suddenly becomes like Monopoly money and we can’t spend it fast enough…. Ha! Thanks for linking up with our #TravelTuesday!

  9. Meeningfully says:

    Oh wow! The Japs seem to have a thing for Thomas the Train. I remembered I was at a resort in Hokkaido that had a full fledge thomas train track and bouncy castle for the kiddies and this was a hot spring resort!

    • bumblebeemum says:

      Which hot spring resort was that? Was it Toya Sunpalace? I remembered Toya Sunpalace at Hokkaido had a Thomas event but it ended about a month before we were there. I was SO upset!

  10. swapna says:

    My son would ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS !!!

  11. pc says:

    As always, nice sharing, stunning pictures. I’ve just visited the place, virtually!

    Though it is not recommended, but looks like the kids had fun! I reckon, we all have fair share of doubtful moment during traveling.

  12. Angie.S says:

    This looks like such a fun place for little boys (and girls). I am sure my Alexander will grow up being a Thomas fan, he’s already into cars, trains and trucks! If there are opportunities in future, I will follow your travel guides and bring him to these Thomas play-lands!

    • bumblebeemum says:

      I am secretly glad both my kids are boys and they have common interest. If I had a boy and a girl, I’m not sure what I would do.. One day Sanrio Land, one day Thomas Land? Lol… But then again, Dana seems pretty gungho (I mean it in a good way!) and would probably be game for anything.

  13. Your travel post for Japan surely will make us visit the place. My son loves Thomas and would love to visit this place but I feel more than him I am liking it.

  14. Ling says:

    I’m always amazed by the details of your post, I really love reading it. My girls used to be Thomas’ fans when they were toddlers.. Kids grow up too fast le..

  15. Great, honest advice for families. It does sound a pretty pricey outing…and having to pay for your picture and for an adult to go in too is a bit much. Thanks for linking to #citytripping

    • bumblebeemum says:

      Previously when I went to Thomas Land, my child wasn’t old enough to take the rides on his own so I had to accompany him. I paid for my ticket but my child rode for free. That seemed like a fairer practice. But oh well.. I am used to having to pay for myself to accompany my kids at kids attractions. As much as I don’t like it, I usually end up paying anyway so that my kids can have fun.

  16. Oh wow, my niece was big into Thomas a little while ago and would have absolutely LOVED this. She probably still would to be honest. And my nephew is nearly old enough to appreciate it now, so I’m going to suggest this to my sister. I know she wants a holiday to Japan anyway!

  17. Susan says:

    How fun is this. We went to the Thomas Town in Little Big Club and that pales so much in comparison.

  18. Irene Soh says:

    OMG!! So much fun!! My boys would die to go for this Thomas park!!!

  19. MummyTravels says:

    Ouch, that sounds like it would start to get pricy pretty quickly. I bet the boys enjoyed it though but a great objective review for anyone else with Thomas fans. #citytripping

  20. Boy, I gotta say, you do so many fun things with your little guys I almost feel like I was neglected as a kid. What a cool playground. Those Japanese sure know how to design things for enjoyment.

  21. What a child-friendly town. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such places in Switzerland #TravelTuesday

    • bumblebeemum says:

      Who needs such artificial entertainment when they can be surrounded by nature! I would swap the Swiss Alps for this anytime. (The kids may beg to differ though.)

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