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Huge park with range of attractions and activities
Price: 600 yen
Huge is not an over-statement; this park is sixty-five times bigger than Tokyo Dome, or 304 hectares to be precise. Set in rural Saitama it is still within manageable distance of Tokyo for a day trip. And there is plenty to enjoy in a day at Shinrin Park, for people of all ages. Shinrin Park is what locals and tourists alike call it, but its official name is Musashi Kyuryo National Government Park.
Due to the size of the park, there are a number of different gates. The most popular for families is the West Entrance. The West entrance is where the general playground, the adventure / athletic playground, the bike rental shop, the giant balls and the splash pond (in summer) are. The West entrance administration building at that entrance has a shop, seating area, nursing room, nappy changing area, microwave and toilets including a wheelchair accessible toilet. The shop sells basic food such as bread rolls and packet ramen. The “ponpoko mountain”, Japan’s largest trampoline, is at least a 20 minute walk away from this exit. That ponpoko mountain, the botanical gardens, restaurant, Halloween decorations and seasonal illumination are accessible from the Central Gate. The plum blossom and cherry blossom groves are closest to the South Entrance. The Dog Run is closest to the North Entrance.
There is an entrance fee for children over the age of 6 and parking is charged, but it is well worth the money. If you plan to visit a lot you can get an annual pass which covers access, but you still have to pay parking even with that pass. There are a huge number of special events during the year, most at weekends and during holidays, and a lot of them cost extra money. During January the park closes the 3rd and 4th Monday. Opening hours are 9.30-17.30.