Sano Service Area Outbound
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Service area with lots of extras
On the Tohoku expressway the Sano Expressway is the first Service Area you meet as you come into Tochigi, i.e. as you are heading away from Tokyo. There is an inbound Sano Expressway also and they are actually right beside each other with a NEXCO lodge hotel between them.
The outbound (heading away from Tokyo) service area is a good place for a proper rest rather than just a quick bite to eat and toilet stop. It is particularly good for families with small children as they have a few basic extras to help entertain kids. On the South end there is a path on hill mounds that you often see kids running up and down. Near that is a small wooden hoop game that you can play for free and they have a play table with a few little toys. In the restaurant on that end you can request to use the seating area that has a play area. On the North end there is an enclosure with some rabbits. You can't see them very well though as they have not just one, but two fences enclosing them which blocks visibility. Still the kids enjoy trying to find the bunny rabbits. We only found two, but there are at least four hutches. Beside this bunny park there are stairs up to the NEXCO lodge hotel and beside that is the inbound service area. You are free to move between both.
The main building and facilities of this service area are open between 7 am and 7 pm everyday. They have parking for 198 cars and 56 large vehicles. There are 4 parking spots for wheelchair users and lower mobility patrons. There is one wide entrance toilet and one toilet for ostomates. There is a petrol station in this service area.