Sharing of articles from fellow Mummies (and Daddies), to help you Bring Your Kid Out, and create your BYKidO Moments!
This week's BYKidO Moment is contributed by Mummy Ho who emailed us about her visit Outside Tokyo!
3 days 2 nights drive to Fujiyoshida, Thomas Land, Fuji Safari Park, Highland Resort Hotel & Spa
Highly recommend this route/option for families with kids for consideration as this area is slightly nearer compared to Hakone. Chanced upon this when I read about Thomas Land and Thomas themed room on bumblebeemum blog and after checking in with a friend who used to stay in Japan for 4 years, she convinced me to avoid Hakone and stay in Fujiyoshida.
Going to Hakone to spot Mt Fuji might end in disappointment. Staying in Kawaguchiko or Fujiyoshida is a better option if you are dying to see Fujisan.
We picked up a car from Toyota car rental shop in Shinjuku and it took us about 2 hours (with some traffic jam along the highway due to an accident) to finally reach Highland Resort Hotel & Spa which is right next to Fuji-Q Highland where the theme park, Thomas Land and La Ville de Gaspard et Lisa are located.
We booked one of the Thomas themed room - 952 for 2 nights. For booking of the themed rooms, reservation will have to be made via phone and an English speaking personnel will be able to assist. No deposit is required at all.
I noticed this during this trip that whenever I book something directly such as the Room above and the car rental, they do not require any deposit. Shows how trusting the Japanese people are.
As rooms are only ready for check-in at 3 pm, we went off to explore Thomas land! To go to Thomas land we have to first enter from the theme park. Tickets are complimentary for any guests staying at the hotel and this is available for each day you are staying with them! After entering, we have to follow the blue line on the floor which then leads us to Thomas land.
Love how each ride are reasonably priced between 200 - 300 yen. As G was quite timid, we only managed to try 3 rides. All the rides are super toddler and kids-friendly. Kids 2 years old and below enjoy free ride. Hence only the accompanying parent will need to pay. Tickets can be purchased easily from vending machine around the park.
We checked into our room and G is super happy and mighty pleased. The room wasn’t cheap but generally similar to Disney hotel/family hotels, they all cater for a family of 4 so the beds are good enough for 2 adults and about 2 to 3 kids.
The hotel has a good view of Mt Fuji and so does the town. So literally wherever we go, Fujisan is just there.
Drive to Fuji Safari Park took us about an hour, some delay from traffic jam due to road works. We love the whole experience of driving our own rental car in the park. Each area is well separated with high security electric fences and is patrolled and watched by rangers so it’s super safe.
Close up experience with the animals were awesome and we all thoroughly enjoyed it. Best of all, there is also no limit on how many “rounds” you want to do the drive around if you prefer the particular drive to other areas.
Other than drive through areas, there are also a few other areas like “patting zoo” of sorts which you can bring kids to. Like Rabbit House, Cat House, Dog House etc. We tried the Rabbit and Dog House. Both require entrance fee of 500 yen and 200 yen respectively. For Rabbit house it is pricier as it includes a photo session. You can also choose to buy carrot sticks at 50 yen to feed the rabbits.
Reference on tickets charge and map: http://www.fujisafari.co.jp/english/index.html
For the afternoon, there is an option to visit Gotemba Premium Outlet just located 30 mins from Fuji Safari Park for some retail therapy!
As check out is at 12 noon and we plan to return the car back before 4 pm, we decided to keep the day easy by doing another round of Thomas Land and have breakfast in one of the Cafe in La Ville de Gaspard et Lisa. Actually the whole area is nicely done up like a little French town. Very Instagram worthy just that we weren’t a fan of Gaspard and Lisa.
After check out we went to Kawaguchiko town for some ramen and quick shopping then headed back to Tokyo.
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