Ashigara Service / Parking Area Outbound (Bound for Aichi)
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The Evangelion parking area with Mt Fuji, plush green, great facilities and services
If you are coming from Tokyo / Kanagawa on the Tomei expressway this is the first parking / service area you hit on entering Shizuoka. It is well known among Japanese in the area as the parking area with the giant Evangelion statue. I like it for the open space out back where the kids can run around. We have 4 young children and it is a great place for them to stretch their legs and expend some energy during a long road trip. They even have a small playground and a great tunnel with bumpy tracks for the kids to climb and run on. This parking area also caters to dogs with 2 dog runs.
It is one of the better rest stops in my humble opinion. It attracts crowds, but the flow of traffic and the crowd control is executed superbly. This service area has excellent facilities for families including a dedicated nursing room, high chairs, a rest room, a family toilet with a small toilet for young children, a diaper changing mat, a baby keep and a regular toilet, to name but a few. They have a good selection of food and most importantly a Starbucks coffee! It is quite common to have to queue for the Starbucks here though. Did I mention yet that it has a great view of Mt Fuji!? On a clear day of course.
The parking area is open 24 hours as is the convenience store and some of the eateries in it. Some of the restaurants do close over night. The Starbucks is open 7 am to 9 pm. There is a petrol station at this parking area. They have dedicated smoking areas. There are facilties for disabled and lower mobility patrons. They have an information area with very helpful staff that provide information not only for Ashigara Parking area, but for Nexco parking areas and roads in general, as well as local tourist information.