Fuji Safari Park is my ichiban ikitai tokoro in all of nihon.
That is its the place that I most want to visit in Japan. Partly this is because I was once thwarted in my attempt to visit as detailed here. In addition, because of said thwarting, I made sure to visit another safari park on my next trip, but it wasn’t the experience I was hoping for.
Anyhow, Fuji Safari Park is a zoo that sits near the iconic Mount Fuji. The great draw to me is how interactive the experience is. The “Safari Zone” of the park can either be experienced in your own vehicle or you can ride in one of the park’s animal themed buses whose sides are covered in a metal mesh that allows visitors to feed the animals.
With a stunning view of Mount Fuji in the background you are taken on a safari that includes elephants, tigers, bears, lion, and zebras and all of these animals can be fed through the mesh of the bus.
In addition to the Safari Zone there is a petting zoo that features red kangaroo, meerkats, red pandas, and my personal favorite, the majestic capybara.
After visiting the petting zoo and the safari loop, there is still more to discover:
- A walking zoo the houses African wild dogs, hippopotamuses, squirrel monkeys, alpacas, lemurs…
- The House of Cats where you can play with cats from all around the world
- The House of Dogs
- The House of Rabbits
Getting to Fuji Safari Park is the difficult part. From Tokyo it would take AT LEAST two hours to get here, so I would recommend trying to make a trip to Fuji Safari Park be included in a longer visit to the Hakone/Fuji Five Lakes area.
From wherever you are staying in this area, just get to Gotemba Station — here there is a fixed route bus that gets you to Fuji Safari Park in about a half hour.
The great thing about zoos in Japan is how interactive the exhibits are and how close you can get to the animals. Fuji Safari Park is the number one place that I want to visit on my next trip to Japan.
Getting ready for a trip to Japan? Check out the first volume of the “Lets Go to Nihon!” book series on Amazon!