Category Archives: Golden Week

Peter Rabbit lodgings during Golden Week trip

A welcome sign in English "Welcome Friends Slowly Smiling"
A welcome sign in English “Welcome Friends Slowly Smiling”

For the last 7 years we’ve been going to a resort in Gotemba every Golden Week.  The resort has a choice of accommodation ranging from hotel rooms to self catering lodges. This year we stayed in the “slow house villa” area in a yurt or パオ (Pao) as they are called in Japanese.  The yurts in the complex are designed on a theme. Our room was one of the Peter Rabbit themed lodgings.

The Peter Rabbit influence may well have gone beyond the interior of the yurts, as the slow house villa area is reminiscent of a rabbit’s burrow. It was great fun for the kids to find their way around the maze like paths. Management makes good use out of the design too, laying out a scavenger hunt challenge of sorts for guests of the slow house villas. The kids followed clues to find letters which, when all were discovered, spelled out a word. On presenting the word to reception they got a prize of Peter Rabbit stickers. Another treat for guests of these particular lodgings is a fluffy bunny rabbit (soft toy) hidden in the room – if you find it, you get to bring it home. (You can also borrow teddy bears and soft toys from reception to keep in your room during your stay).

The view of the maze of Peter Rabbit lodgings taken from the Big Bang playground, with Mt Fuji in the background
The view of the burrow of Peter Rabbit lodgings, taken from the Big Bang playground, with Mt Fuji in the background

The yurt itself was also a great source of excitement for the kids. They aren’t the most practical, but between the Peter Rabbit paraphernalia and the spacious loft, it was a dream come true for the kids to stay there. They are also the lodgings closest to the big playground, which turned out very convenient for us. They have a hot spring in the villa area (one of many in the resort) and it is where the pet hotel is too. This is also the area with the resort’s badminton court, games room (billiards and table tennis), reception for some activities (such as fishing and segways) and where they have the magnificent night time water, illumination and projection mapping show.  The breakfast hall is a little bit far away, but it is a nice walk, with some great views of Mt Fuji.

While I enjoyed the novelty, I did think the room was quite dingy, dark and hard to regulate temperature. I did enjoy staying there and the kids certainly did, but once was enough for me. There are other accommodations within the resort that are more practical for big families and people with young children. My top two in the resort are the Blueberry Lodges and the Western/Eastern fusion room in the Tokinosumika hotel.  For anyone who is interested in more information about the resort it is linked below the photos from the playground.

The Resort

Information about accommodations and attractions: –
Shizuoka, Gotemba. Family resort with Accommodation, Hot springs, Dining, Shopping, Sports & Much much more

One of the hotels within the resort

Hotel Tokinosumika, Gotemba, Shizuoka

Lodges within the resort

Blueberry Lodge at Tokinosumika, Shizuoka (And Shaun the Sheep!)

Some of the attractions within the resort

 

 

Attractions in Tokyo that have FREE entry days during Golden Week

On Children’s Day, May 5th, a lot of zoos, parks and museums throughout Japan are free in for children. Apart from that day, there are other days in Golden Week that some places offer free entry for all visitors. Here is a list of some of the places in the Tokyo area, with the free entry dates specified. These are free in for all visitors unless otherwise stated. The links provided are to the English webpages of official sites, with the exception of Yumenoshima park which is in Japanese.
**Copyright ©2016 Insaitama.com **

NHK Studio Park  NHKスタジオパーク

Free for the whole of Golden Week, April 29th to May 5th.
http://www.nhk.or.jp/studiopark/guide/pamphlet/stp_pamph_en.pdf

 

Showa Memorial Park  昭和記念公園

Free entry on April 29th, May 5th and May 15th for children under 16.
http://www.showakinen-koen.jp/html/english/

 

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden  新宿御苑

Free entry on April 29th, May 4th and May 5th for children under 16.
http://www.env.go.jp/garden/shinjukugyoen/english/index.html

Inokashira Park

Free entry for all visitors on May 4th. Free entry for kids on May 5th.
http://www.tokyo-zoo.net/english/index.html

Tama Zoo

Free entry for all visitors on May 4th. Free entry for kids on May 5th.
http://www.tokyo-zoo.net/english/index.html

Ueno Zoo

Free entry for all visitors on May 4th. Free entry for kids on May 5th.
http://www.tokyo-zoo.net/english/index.html

Tokyo Sea Life Park

Free entry for all visitors on May 4th. Free entry for kids on May 5th.
http://www.tokyo-zoo.net/english/index.html

Gardens of the former residence of Iwasaki  旧岩崎邸庭園

Free entry on May 4th.
http://teien.tokyo-park.or.jp/en/kyu-iwasaki/index.html

Gardens of the former residence of Furukawa 旧古河庭園

Free entry on May 4th.
http://teien.tokyo-park.or.jp/en/kyu-furukawa/outline.html

Kiyosumi Gardens  清澄庭園

Free entry on May 4th.
http://teien.tokyo-park.or.jp/en/kiyosumi/index.html

Yumenoshima Park  夢の島熱帯植物館

Free entry on May 4th.
(Japanese only) http://www.yumenoshima.jp/index.html

The Shiba Detached Palace Garden 旧芝離宮恩賜庭園

Free entry on May 4th.
http://teien.tokyo-park.or.jp/en/kyu-shiba/outline.html

Jindai Botanical Gardens  神代植物公園

Free entry on May 4th.
https://www.tokyo-park.or.jp/english/park/detail_03.html#jindaibotanical

Mukojima Hyakka Flower Garden  向島百科園

Free entry May 4th.
https://www.tokyo-park.or.jp/english/park/detail_07.html#mukojimahyakkaen

 

 

 

 

 

Ikaho Green’s Farm | Gunma

Ikaho Green’s farm has a very good reputation and most people who go to it give it a good review. However, while I liked it and we really enjoyed ourselves, I found it to be more expensive than most farms in the Kita-Kanto (Northern area of Greater Tokyo).  The Sheepdog show is included in the price and that is something that you can’t see in many places. Plus, there are opportunities to get up close and personal with some of the animals that roam freely or are within arms reach. All things considered, it is a really fun family day out!


What can you do at Green Farm?

  • View a sheepdog and sheep shearing show, the largest of its kind in Japan.
  • Pet corner – costs 500 yen per person to spend sometime petting or holding rabbits.
  • Walk with sheep and goats – costs 500 yen per person for 15 minutes.
  • Milk the cows – costs 500 yen per person for one try.
  • Feed the calves – costs 500 yen per person for one bottle of feed.
  • Amusement park – 30 different activities and rides, each cost between 100 and 500 yen.
  • Ride on a horse drawn carriage – 800 yen for adults and students, 500 yen for preschoolers and below.

**Please check their website for up-to-date schedules for these events: http://www.greenbokujo.co.jp/do/

We visited on the 1st of May and there were still some late blooming cherry blossoms, yaezakura. The farm is very well maintained and is quite beautiful. It is suitable to children of all ages. It is quite hilly, but you can easily navigate between sections with a stroller. They have nappy changing and nursing room facilities for babies as well as child friendly toilets. There are places you can buy food and souveniers. The kids plate costs 750 yen, a Sundae costs 520 yen. You are allowed bring your own food into the farm. The sheepdog and sheep shearing show is toward the back of the farm and there is a camping site beside it (that needs to be booked in advance).  It was an interesting experience. The farmer is from New Zealand so he speaks in English quite a bit through the show. There is also a BBQ area, a museum and strawberry picking on the farm, all cost extra.

GENERAL INFORMATION

ENTRANCE COST

(2015) 1200 yen for adults, 600 yen for children over 3, free for 2 and under. As per above, each event costs extra. **Between early January and the end of February entrance fee is half the price. Physically disabled and people over 65 are also half price (all year round).

 

OPENING HOURS

9am to 4pm. In the winter it opens at 10am. In January and February it is closed Monday through Thursday.

 

ACCESS

Roughly 2 hours from Tokyo and 90 minutes from Saitama. 8 kilometres from the Shibukawa Ikaho Interchange on the Kanetsu Expressway. Free parking for up to 700 cars. 19 minute bus ride from Shibukawa Station, bus bound for Ikaho Hotsprings ”伊香保温泉”

Address: 2844-1 Kanai, Shibukawa, Gunma Prefecture 377-0027
Telephone: 0279-24-5335

 


For up-to-date costs, event schedules and opening hours please do check the official URL.

URL (English): http://www.greenbokujo.co.jp/english/