Tokyo may be a cosmopolitan city, but it’s also more than just skyscrapers and shopping districts.
If you’re looking for an urban adventure in this bustling region, be ready to set aside a full day or two to travel to the city’s outskirts.
With convenient access to trains in the city centre, getting to the suburbs can easily be achieved under two hours.
Fuji Safari Park
Trekking trails in Mount Fuji may only open in mid-July, but the region surrounding Japan’s highest snow-capped mountain is accessible throughout the year.
Fuji Safari Park is one attraction families and animal lovers shouldn’t miss. Like Japan's famous Nara Deer Park, wildlife like lions, tigers and giraffes are allowed to roam freely here, among the scenic backdrop of Japan's highest mountain.
Visitors can choose to explore the safari on a rented 4WD sports vehicle for 5,000 yen (S$61), a ticketed bus tour, or in their private vehicle. If you're planning to save cost, opt to go in your private car as you would only need to purchase the park admission fees.
Do take note that only the guided tours allow visitors to feed animals from behind the safety of caged vehicles.
The park also includes the Fureai Zone, which visitors can explore on foot and interact with smaller animals like meerkats, red kangaroos and capybaras.
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Adults: 2,700 yen
Child: 1,500 yen
Senior citizens (65 and above): 2,000 yen
Japan, 〒410-1231 Shizuoka-ken, Susono-shi, 須山字藤原2255?27
Mar 16 to Sept 30: 9am to 5pm
Oct 1 to Oct 31: 9am to 4.30pm
Nov 1 to Mar 15: 10am to 3.30pm
Best way to get there
If you’re starting from Tokyo Station or Shinjuku Station, take the Odakyu Hakone Highway Bus to Gotemba Station. The journey costs 1,650 yen and takes around 1 hour and 40 mins. Once at Gotemba, take the Fujikyu, a fixed route bus. The journey is 35 minutes and costs 760 yen for a one-way trip.
Hitachi Seaside Park
The white and pink explosion of the cherry blossom season draws tourists far and wide to the East Asian archipelago. But Japan has more than just sakuras to offer.
Hitachi Seaside Park is a massive nature park which features acres of different wild flowers every season. The park is well known for its 4.5 million blue petalled Nemophila in spring, tulips in April and the red Miharashi no Oka Kochia in autumn.
Visitors can explore the 190-ha park on foot or hop on a rental bicycle along designated cycling trails. The park also includes a Pleasure Garden zone where the more adventurous can indulge in amusement rides, a BMX Course and a mini family golf park.
Visit the site
Adults: 410 yen
Child (7 to 14): 80 yen
Senior citizens (65 and above): 210 yen
Japan, 〒312-0012 Ibaraki-ken, Hitachinaka-shi, Mawatari, 字大沼605?4
Mar 1 to July 20: 9.30am to 5pm
July 20 to Aug 31: 9.30pm to 6pm
Sept 1 to Oct 31: 9.30pm to 5pm
Nov 1 to end Feb: 9.30pm to 4.30pm
Best way to get there
Travellers who have already purchased the JR pass before their trip, may alight at Katsuta Station and take the Ibraki Kotsu bus to Hitachi Seaside Park.
Otherwise, the next best option is to take the Ibraki Kotsu Highway Express bus from the terminal at Tokyo Station. The bus stops at the park directly, but the journey is easily two hours along with a return fare of 3,800 yen.
Tickets can be purchased at the JR Bus Ticket Sales Office at Tokyo Station. It is recommended to buy the tickets before 9am.Phone