There’s no reason that you can’t drag the kids along on a hike up Mount Fuji or down Nishizawa Ravine, but, especially for those toting under-12s, sometimes you need a place to let them burn off some energy. The foothills of Mount Fuji are full of child-friendly options, set up for the Tokyo daytrippers, ranging from roller coasters to dinosaur models. Here are five options that should satisfy even the choosiest kids.
Importing an idea from France, Forest Adventure provides a safe way to explore the forest canopy. The park occupies sprawling grounds with the impressive views of the surrounding countryside. After being fitted with a harness and receiving a safety briefing, visitors begin a course that includes ziplines and ropewalks. The main Adventure Course is spread over five sites and aimed at kids (and adults!) ten and over, but there are also two great options for adventurous younger kids: the shorter Canopy Course, and the Kids Course, perfect for those 9 and under. It’s advised to make a reservation beforehand to avoid disappointment!
Official Web Site: Forest Adventure
Fuji Q Highland
Not far from the base of Mount Fuji, the park has been for a half-century a destination for Tokyoites escaping to the hills. The park has kept pace with the times, though, and opens fresh attractions and roller coasters every couple years. A number of buses take the trip out to the park from central Tokyo stations, making it accessible for the car-free. There are plenty of attractions for the younger set, as well, including a Thomas the Tank Engine-themed area and, in the winter, a snow play area. This is the king of the Mount Fuji highlands parks.
Even if the kids won’t sit through hours of action on the track, the speedway is still worth checking out. If the kids are getting antsy and you’ve already cruised the parking lot to spot rare supercars, there is more! Fuji Speedway’s Jurassic Way opened a year ago in a forest beside the track. Realistic near-lifesize dinosaurs greet visitors in the primeval forest. It makes a great place to take a break from events at the circuit.
Fuji Subaru Land
North of Mount Fuji and west of Mount Fuji Station, in an area with plenty to distract the kids, Fuji Subaru Land is one of the better options, with a 3D forest maze, a nature experience zone, a dog-focused petting zoo, and a goat herd to feed and groom. Attractions here are aimed at kids under twelve, and there are options even if you’re coming with a toddler. After sinking a few hours, stop by the restaurant for their kids menu with a Mount Fuji curry.
Oshino Shinobi no Sato
Welcome to Yamanashi’s Ninja Village, an experiential theme park connected to the Oshino Hakkai area. The grounds of the village are beautiful in their own right, and feature great views of Mount Fuji from the gardens, but the kids will be straining at their reins to get to shuriken practice. Change into the costumes provided, get your photo taken, and try your hand at throwing stars and the escape rooms.