The area is basically a highway parking rest area, however, this stop offers more than just toilet facilities and cheap snacks. It’s a full on amusement and shopping facility enjoyable all year round.
The giant 60m high Ferris Wheel is the focal point of Kariya Highway Oasis. It is illuminated at night and can be seen for miles around. Likewise, the 360-degree view from the comfortable air-conditioned gondolas is just as fine night and day, and a single 360-degree spin takes a leisurely 12 minutes to complete. Below it are the amusement rides, with go-carts, Merry-go-rounds, and other fun attractions. Most being very well priced too, ranging on average from 50 to 100 yen, and the lines are nowhere near as long as Kariya’s rival theme parks.
There are free field activity areas including an athletic and health playground equipment area. A fun water park operates in the summer months, while visitors in winter can warm their feet in the foot-baths, or soak away the driving aches and pains in the hot springs and sauna, or try yoga in the resort section.
The shopping arcades invite you to browse, and the food courts and restaurants invite you to indulge. Locally caught fresh seafood and freshly grown fruits, vegetables and market produce is also available in the Sanchoku Market Oasis Farm, with prices much cheaper than most supermarkets. For that reason, the highway stop is a popular shopping area amongst the locals too.
Kariya Highway Oasis also boasts the best bathroom facilities in toilet crazy Japan! In fact, some people visit just to see the women’s only Deluxe Toilet, decorated with flower arrangements, and featuring carpeted upholstery and even a sofa to relax on,…it truly is a rest room! (People have even taken their lunch into the toilet block to eat, that’s how clean and relaxing they are!)
Kariya Highway Oasis is an ideal leisure spot for couples and for families. Access is via the main highway, or from the back roads, used by the locals.
So when you’re tired of Mickey Mouse and Hollywood, head to Kariya and the nation’s third most popular amusement facility, Kariya Highway Oasis.