One of the things I really wanted to do during my trip to Japan was to visit Mt. Fuji (富士山). Since I was there for almost a month, I didn’t want to pass up the chance to see Mt. Fuji and its magical beauty.
I thought going to Japan in the summertime would automatically mean I would see it because I assumed the chance of rain and cloudy weather was very low. I was wrong. It was raining on our first night so it was impossible to see it. We didn’t lose hope, though. While waiting and hoping for better weather, we decided to check other areas and get the most out of the three days and two nights we had.
If you didn’t know, summer in Japan is surprisingly cloudy and rainy, especially during June’s rainy season. If you’re hoping to see views of Mt. Fuji (without climbing it) it’s best to go in winter or early spring.
Upon checking into Hotel Mount Fuji, they handed us fliers of different activities available in the area. My uncle is a fan of everything nature-related, and one of the fliers was about the Fuji Safari Park. We chose this activity over Fuji-Q Highland Theme Park (富士急ハイランド), because my aunt and uncle are not fans of large rides.
After breakfast the following day, we headed to the Fuji Safari Park. Since we had brought a car, we did not need to rent the Safari Navigation Car or their Jungle Bus for the trip. You can actually use your own car and just pay the admission fees. The admission fees are as follows.
- Adults: 2,700 yen
- Children (4 years old and above) to junior high school age: 1,500 yen
- Senior citizens/customers with disabilities: discounts
You can check their other rates, including group discounts, here.
The park is divided into different zones. There’s the bear zone, lion zone, tigers, cheetahs, elephants, and so on. They also have a herbivorous and mountainous animal zone. It was pretty impressive. I had been to several zoos in the Philippines when I was younger but the animals were not classified in such a way.
Before the trip started, there were announcements on what not to do. Here are a few of the rules:
- Since the animals roam freely in the park, everyone in the car needs to make sure that doors are locked and no one will open their windows. These are standard precautions for the safety of the guests.
- No feeding animals. You can only do that using the Safari navigation car in certain areas.
- However, if you want a real close encounter with the animals and give them food, you can opt for this choice. Of course, there are only certain areas and animals where you can do this.
Our first stop was the bear zone. They were so big! Many people say they want them out in their natural habitat, but it was reassuring to see the huge the area was. They looked to be very well taken care of and well-fed. Some we saw were sleeping on the ground or in trees.
There were warning signs at the entrance of every zone to remind customers of the rules. Although animals like bears and lions can seem cute, it’s important to remember that they can be extremely dangerous.
The next zone was the lion zone. Seeing them up close was an amazing experience. They were pretty sleepy, too – resting on branches and rocks, which was cute.
The lions and bears were quite lethargic and sleepy, but the cheetah and hyena zones were the exact opposite. The hyenas were very alert and uptight, which was quite nerve-wracking. It was as if they were looking through the windows of the car and wanted to jump at us. But it is just their nature, after all. The safari park provided high metal barriers in their area to protect customers if the animals tried to attack.
We saw passengers in the safari navigation car feeding some of the mountain animals, which looked like a great experience. Consider choosing this option.
If you decide to take this trip, keep in mind that it can be tiring. Even if you are just in the car taking pictures and looking at these animals, it is enough to drain your energy. The whole trip lasts around 50 minutes, so make sure you have plenty of water and snacks inside the car.
After the trip, you can park your car and go to the Fureai Zone (ふれあいゾーン) or the Doubutsu Zone (動物ゾーン). These are areas pet-friendly areas and host smaller, less dangerous animals such as rabbits, wallabies, and squirrels. There is also a house of dogs and a house of cats. You can enter these houses for an additional fee.
Just near the house of dogs area, there’s a bakery that sells animal-shaped bread and snacks. They also offer a bread making activity. If you have the energy, be sure to give it a try! The tiger-shaped bread was delicious.
Overall, it was a great day out. It was almost like being a child again. Tourists like us often desire to visit well-known landmarks and sightseeing spots, but it is well worth checking out local activities, too.
The Fuji Safari Park is huge; it’s almost like there’s a whole new world inside the park. If you want to visit the park, be sure to take a camera or phone with a lot of battery, and some snacks and water for the car ride.