This section is in no way a substitute for maps or navigators !!!
Osaka & Tokushima: http://indomachi.com/osaka
Kasai Rinkai Koen: http://www.indomachi.com/node/220
Miraikan Science Museum: http://www.indomachi.com/node/219
Chiba Zoological Park http://www.indomachi.com/node/115
Komagane Chuo Alps: click here
Paragliding course in Minakami: click here
Rafting at Nagatoro [Saitama]: click here
Thanks to Amit-san for information about Nokogiri Yama
Sakura Furusato Square
Minakami Ski Resort
Matsumoto and Kamikochi [Kita Alps]
Click here for details.
Meiji Shrine and Oriental Bazar
We spent part of the day at Meiji Shrine [Meiji Jingu Mae / Harajuku station]. Then walked on the really lively street opposite to Meiji Shrine entrance towards Ometo Sando station. Shop to your heartś [pocketś] content at Oriental Bazar / Kiddy Land on this busy street. The inside roads parallel to this busy street are interesting too.
Edo Mura / Jidai Mura
Click here for details.
Honjo Bosaikan Kinshicho
We always read in booklets about how to react during disasters like Fire, Earthquakes,Typhoons .But the fact is that many of us do not even know how to use fire extinguisher properly. Recently we went to the Honjo Bosaikan Kinshicho in Sumida ku to get experience and training about Doe’s and Don’t s during such disasters. We could get to use fire extinguishers to extinguish the virtual fire on the screen. We could get experience of heavy rain and storm during typhoon. We could get to enter into the smoke room where we need to find emergency exit signs and escape safely. We could get experience of big earthquakes finally. It is good outing plus a necessary experience for kids and adults. It takes less than 2 hours. Reservation is needed beforehand. One person in charge will guide you throughout.
KidZania offers role-playing activities to kids by blending entertainment with education. KidZania is small replica of a city where you can find buildings, offices, petrol pump, hospitals, fire stations, pizza shop, burger shop, food R&D lab, Airport etc. Kids can choose their own profession. They will get paid for the work they have done. Before entering they get 50 kidzo traveller’s cheques, list of work places. Places are marked with +Z or -Z sign. At any place with sign +Z sign, they will get paid for the work they have done. As you can guess, place with -Z sign will lighten their pockets. We had to bring small bags to to keep our money. We get a card while we get our money. We also get maps so children can locate their way. Leave your your kids on their own for one day, let them select what they want to do. We were so surprised when our kids were choosing the places where there is +Z sign !!! After earning money they can take it back with them and use it again next time or they can open bank account and deposit it. They can withdraw it with ATM card and use them in the next visit. First kids went to Johnson & Johnson and selected nursery. They learned how to clean babies. Next role was of a cameraman. They were given a real SLR camera to take photos. They could print one of those photos. They were hungry so they chose to work at Pizza shop. They made their own pizza and enjoyed eating it.
Shirohama Flower Park
It’s a long trip. Take it if you like flowers and interested in just a relaxed day at not so popular beach. Drive is really nice. We took route 14, Keiyo doro, Tateyama Expressway, exit at Kisarazu-minami and get route 127. Then take Futsu Tateyama Doro to Tomiura. Get back on 127 which becomes 410 later on. Look for Shirohama Flower Park signs. On the way back we Flower Line road. Did not see a single flower in early May. But noticed many parks on the road.
Strawberry Picking and Hasunuma beach in Chiba
We took route 14, Keiyo doro then Chiba Togane express way to Togane. Then we took route 126 towards Naruto. After around 30 minutes you will see advertises for Strawberry picking on both sides of the road. We went to Midorikawa Straberry picking farm in May 2007. They charged us 1000-yen per head to eat as much as we like [no time limitation]. Kids really enjoy this.
Get back on route 126 and continue in same direction. You should see directions for Hasunuma beach park. We had to take a right turn on 126 to a smaller road which lead us to the beach [do not remember the route number]. The beach is nice. Sand is close to white. Fortunately this place is not a popular destination in May so we could really enjoy. There were around 30 families on the beach.
We also found Indian restaurant “Garam Masala” on route 126 (Phone: 0475-52-6999).
Nasu-Dobutsu-O-koku : Animal kingdom theme park
It took us almost 5 hours to reach this place from Kawasaki. We enjoyed a lot at Animal Kingdom but we still thought that the drive was little too long. So you should consider staying around Nasu and see few more things. Check out this site for more interesting places around Nasu : Virtual tours at Nasu-kogen in JAPAN
We entered Shuto expressway at Haneda entrance. Then followed C1-5-C2-S1 which took us to Tohoku expressway. We got down at Shirokawa exit. Then took national route 4 on left. Then turn right when you see prefectural route 68. Then again turn right when you see prefectural route 305. Check out the map for details : Map for Animal Kingdom
Once out of the Tohoku – you will enjoy the drive. Do stop at some places on the way to take pictures. At Animal Kingdom, kids played with various types of dogs. Most of the kids never had such a close contact with dogs before. Then we visited the event hall where “dog circus” was going on. Kids enjoyed it a lot. Then kids were stuck in some usual car and train rides. They had fun – but I would have liked to move on to things unique to Animal Kingdom. By the way, do not expect too many varieties of animals here. Agreed there are other animals – but mainly dogs and cats rule this kingdom.
We took a bus to move on to next attraction at Animal Kingdom. There was falcon and dog show in a huge ground. Then we took a double decker to the valley – all this is inside Animal Kingdom. Then from valley we took a rope way back to the bus stand. Do not miss this rope way.
Then we visited the Cat House. You can see some of the cats in “Stuart Little” movie like “Snowbell” and “Monty” .
Doitsumura [ Kronenberg ]
Doitsu Mura (German Village) is a nice place to have fun with family and friends. We visited the park in Gunma around Aug end. Kids & grown ups enjoyed various rides and running around in this huge green area. There is a playground with usual slides & swings. Do not miss the car racing, bicycle racing and boat ride for kids. There is horse riding but it was closed on the day we visited.
The set up looks like German Village but we were not much impressed by that. What we liked is the greenery and the rides which kids enjoyed a lot.
We took Kanetsu-express way from Nerima. Then changed to Kita-Kanto expressway at Takasaki JCT. Got out at Isesaki. Then took national route 17 towards Maeobashi. National Route 17 will become route 50 for some time. Then took prefectural route 40, followed by prefectural route 16. There were sign posts for Kronenberg on the way (all in Japanese).
Please check out their official map for details : http://www.doitsumura.com/traffic.html
JNTO does not seem to recognize this place. But check out JNTO map for getting closer to this place. There is “Green Flower Bokujo” shown on this map, doitsumura is very close from this place. By the way, please check out Green Flower Bokujo and let us know if you liked it. We were too tired to check this out ourselves.
Fuji Safari Park
Jonanjima Seaside Park
Basically it’s a park with BBQ etc facilities. What makes it unique is it’s proximity to Haneda airport. Kids love it when they see airplanes flying so close and making a loud noise. Click here to see some photos to get an idea about this park.
We went to this park by car from Kawasaki. We took Route 15 from Kawasaki towards Tokyo. We took a right turn at Omori-Higashi signal. This is the tricky part since it’s under a bridge and it’s difficult to figure out where this signal is.
After this keep on following sign board for Rinkai fukutoshin. You will cross one tunnel. After that you will see a sign for Jonanjima Seaside park. It’s a left turn.
Go straight and take a right turn when you see “no-entry” written in Japanese. Go straight after this and you will see a huge park with lots of cars (illegally) parked outside. There is a cheap parking available inside the park.
Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise
We have not visited this place but heard a lot about this. Check out below link YOKOHAMA HAKKEIJIMA SEA PARADISE
Click here if you feel like going by train to this place.
We drove from Kawasaki towards Shinagawa. It’s between Omori and Oimachi on Route 15. Access to parking is on a road parallel to Route 15. Take a right turn towards Haiwajima ( there are boards in English ). Be in the left most lane and go straight. Do not drive on the bridge – drive on the one way with bridge on your right.
Take left at T-section. You will see another bridge in the front – you will need to take that. Be in the left lane on bridge. You should see Shinagawa Aquarium parking soon at the end of this bridge.
Click here if you feel like going by train to this place.
Avoid going by car on a weekend or national holiday. The roads are narrow and parking places are hard to find. On a week day, it’s real pleasure to visit by car.
We took route 15 from Kawasaki towards Yokohama. Then took route 1 for brief time and turned left for route 16. Keep on following route 16 till you see boards for Kamakura. That takes you to prefectural route 21 to Kamakura. You will need to carry detailed map of Kamakura if you want to cover all shrines. We only wanted to visit Hasedara temple and Great Buddha – so we could survive by asking local people.
This is a great place to be on a sunny day. Check out their well maintained web site :http://www.motherfarm.co.jp/index_e.html
I guess we do not need to write much about this. Parking fees were little higher than I thought. Please check out details here
Ushiku Daibutsu – The Biggest Buddha
Not been here yet. Check out this web page
Parks around Tokyo
|Access : Very close to Ueno station on Kehin Tohoku line. Finding reasonable parking is pain in this area.|
|Description : Nice way to spend a day with kids. This zoo is big – so big that two sections are connected by a train!|
|Near By : Take a walk in Ueno Park or walk to Okachimachi and buy some Indian grocery at Ohtsuya. Or how about dinner at Ueno Samrat after a long day?|
|Contact : 03-3762-3431|
|Description : Do not miss the dolphin and sea-lion show. It’s crowded, grab a seat at least 30 minutes before show starts. Check the timings after entering the aquarium. Under water tunnel is great. Try holding starfish in your hand. Check out thishttp://www.aquarium.gr.jp/home.html|
|Near By : Spend some time around the pond and park outside aquarium.|
|Access : JR Keiyo line from Tokyo Maihama station. Click here for more ways to go to Disney Land|
|Description : One of the most popular places in Tokyo. If possible, we highly recommend you to visit Disney on a working day. Totally avoid visiting in new year and golden holidays. On regular week ends, you might have to wait 1 or 2 hours for some of the popular attractions.|
|Near By : Disney land takes full day. But if you still have time left, try Kasai Rinkai Koen.|
|Tobu World Square|
|Access : Click here|
|Description : 1/25 replicas of world-famous architectural works including Taj Mahal. It is far from Tokyo. It takes around 2-3 hours to see all the 102 replicas.|
|Near By : Not so nearby – but many people tend to cover Nikko in the same 2-3 days trip.|
|Kamakura – Daibutsu Temple|
|Access : Get down at Kamakura station on JR Yokosuka Line. Take Bus #7 or Taxi for Daibutsu-mae station.|
|Contact : Daibutsu is the tallest Buddha statue around Tokyo area.|
|Description : Kamakura is full of shrines Temples and beaches. Car Trips section if you would like to drive to Kamakura.|
|Access : 700 Naracho, Aoba-ku Yokohama City Kanagawa Prefecture 227-0036. Kodomo no Kuni Sta. (one stop on special line from Nagatsuka Sta., Odakyu Line)|
|Contact : (045)961-2111|
|Description : http://www.merit5.co.jp/citylifenews/familyland/children/children.html. Also look at end of this article for a good way to reach by car.|
|Tokyo Ski Dome|
|Access : http://www.aircrewlayover.com/Cities/NRT/Ski_Dome/ski_dome.html|