Parents living in cities will know that it’s sometimes hard to find open space for their children to play and let off steam. However, ‘Kodomo no Kuni’, or ‘Children’s land’ is over 240 acres of green lawns, trees and parks for them to enjoy! They’ll also have the opportunity to try different sports and activities. If you’re looking for outdoor fun and some fresh air without breaking the bank, this is the place for you.
Stretch your legs
Kodomo no Kuni was opened in 1965 to commemorate the marriage of Prince Akihito and Princess Michiko. Nowadays it’s popular with school parties, families, and also couples who want to enjoy the gardens. It’s also a favorite destination for ‘flower viewing’ in spring, when you can enjoy picnicking under one of the many beautiful cherry blossom trees. For wildlife enthusiasts, around 40 species of birds have been spotted here, including kingfishers and buzzards.
Since the park itself is huge, it’s a good idea to wear comfortable clothing and bring mosquito repellent and sunscreen in summer. The good news is that lockers, trolleys and pushchairs are provided for a small fee, which makes life easier if you are traveling with young children and have a lot to carry!
Kodomo no Kuni can easily be accessed by car, bus or train. From Shibuya, you can take the train directly to Nagatsuta station and then change to the Kodomo no Kuni line which goes straight to the park. You can also take the Odakyu bus from Tsurukawa station on the Odakyu line,
Fun all year round
You will be amazed at the sheer variety of activities in the park. Kids can enjoy soccer, tennis, and even boating. At the boating lake, you can choose between pedal boats for 600 JPY (approximately 5 USD) and rowing boats for 400 JPY (approximately 3 USD). You can take each boat out for up to 30 minutes, enjoying the peaceful surroundings of the lake as you pedal.
There are also numerous playgrounds scattered all over the park. Not only are they free, but there’s also plenty of inventive and fun play equipment, including rope swings, dinosaur-shaped climbing frames and the famous 110-meter long roller slide.
You won’t be disappointed in winter either. The skating rink opens from the end of December to the end of February and is a great place for beginners to practice. Special events are also held throughout the year such as flea markets, cheese making classes and even fish barbecues!
The park is open all year round except for the Wednesdays, the end of December and New Year’s Day. Entrance costs 600 JPY (approximately 5 USD) for adults and 200 JPY (approximately 2 USD) for elementary to high school age kids. After that, you can spend as much or as little as you choose.
Down on the farm
Towards the far end of the park, you will come across a pretty little farm area. Here you will be able to find cows, sheep and ponies, which kids will love to feed. Kodomo no Kuni also produces its own milk, cheese and ice cream here which are available throughout the park. Children can go and see the machinery in the ice cream factory and learn about where milk comes from too! A model cow is also provided so that they can try their hands at ‘milking’ water into a bucket- great fun without any mess.
Adorable tiny ponies
If you’d rather try something more active, you can always head for the ponies and go for a ride. Younger children will be able to ride with a parent if they are a little wary of the animals. The activity will cost 400 JPY per person (approximately 3 USD) for kids aged 2-12. You’ll be able to identify your pony by the name on their blanket, which is very cute and great for photos too. Pictures can be taken at the designated photo area and make nice souvenirs.
If you want to feed the ponies, carrots are available. There’s also a restaurant selling soba noodles and shaved ice for hungry humans!
Unique rides and amusements
The mini-amusement park near to the farm boasts rides that will appeal to adults and children alike. Kids can zoom around a track in a racing car, or ride on walking furry giant pandas and rabbits. There are also plenty of coin operated character rides and novelty bikes to enjoy. The pedal powered roller coasters, the ‘helicycle’ and ‘rolling cycle’ are also eco-friendly and great fun!
If your feet are tired from all the pedaling, a special train-shaped bus stops just next to the area, and will take you around the park for just 200 JPY (approximately 1.70 USD). This is sure to fascinate any child who loves trains.
Let the kids enjoy the outdoors!
To sum up, visiting Kodomo no Kuni is an excellent way to tear your kids away from the TV and get them running about outdoors. You’ll also be able to plan your day according to your budget and needs. If the weather is sunny and you’re in the mood for an activity filled family day out, this place is ideal!
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