In the 1950s and ‘60s, department stores were a fun family attraction, and many built mini amusement parks with on their rooftops with Ferris wheels backdropped by the clouds. Sadly, the trend was not to last, and one by one the sky-high rides disappeared. Today there’s only one rooftop Ferris wheel left in the capital city, a cute little nine-carriage, candy-colored wheel on top of Tokyu Plaza Kamata.
Tokyu Plaza Kamata is a public space on the seventh floor of the commercial complex at Kamata train station. The plaza features a bouncy castle, an open-air seating area, and of course the nostalgic wheel, rotating in a rainbow of pink, yellow, teal, and purple. Although the Ferris wheel isn’t too tall—just 40 feet in diameter—it offers a good view of the surrounding streets of Tokyo below. On a clear day you can even see a view of Mount Fuji as you round the top of the ride.
The Tokyu Plaza Ferris wheel has been around since 1968, and it almost didn’t survive. Local residents fought to keep the colorful wheel, a longtime symbol of the Kamata district. Saved and newly renovated, the ride is still spinning, and these days it has a new nickname, the “Ferris wheel of fortune.”