Tag Archives: Gotemba

Tokinosumika Night Illumination Summer 2016 | SHIZUOKA

Recently, we paid our annual summer visit to the Tokinosumika resort, also known as Gotemba Kogen, in Shizuoka. This visit we split our stay between the Blueberry Lodges and the Hotel Tokinosumika, just two of the accommodation choices available at this activity and attraction packed resort. This year, as always, the night illumination was stunning and the fountain show, which originated in Tokinosumika, was as breathtaking as ever.

This year the central walkway that links the Blueberry Lodges to the village area, have the lights done like the Milky Way.  Among the lights are windchimes and tanabata wishes written on prayer plaques.

Tokinosumika was the first place in the world to create a fountain performance using light and projection mapping, set to music. The show is held 3 times a night at weekends, twice on weekdays, beside the Bell of Love at the Big Bang Playground. This year the show started out like fireworks. At one point the water shoots 70 metres into the air.

There are night illumination displays in many other areas of the resort. My favourite view, which unfortunately I didn’t capture very well on my camera with my 1 year old vying for my attention, was the view of the Blueberry Lodges set behind the merry-go-round:

The merry-go-round and blueberry lodges lit up at night in Tokinosumika is stunning
The merry-go-round and blueberry lodges lit up at night in Tokinosumika is stunning

You won’t read much about Tokinosumika in guide books in Japanese or English, as they have such a regular custom from loyal customers they have little need for print advertisement. Most of their custom comes from word of mouth.

There is a range of accommodation available at Tokinosumika and such a broad choice of activities that there is something for everyone. For more detail please see the general blog post on it: Shizuoka, Gotemba. Family resort with Accommodation, Hot springs, Dining, Shopping, Sports and Much much more.

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

 

 

UPDATED. A photo with Santa Claus |Premium Outlets

From December 6th to 23rd Santa is travelling around the Premium Outlets for a rare photo opportunity. There will be four sessions daily. Each time the first fifty families will be able to get their photo taken with Santa free of charge.

Locations include the Premium Outlets in Shissui in Chiba, Ami, Ibaraki, Gotemba, Shizuoka, Sendai in Miyagi prefecture.

Dates:

December 6th

Shisui in Chiba, in front of the food court
Tosu in Saga, in front of Lego

December 12th

Izumi in Sendai, in front of Rope

December 13th

Ami in Ibaraki, in front of the food gallery

Toki in Gifu, in front of Unite Arrows

December 19th

Sano in Tochigi, near New Balance

Gotemba in Shizuoka, in the West Zone near Gap

December 23rd

Rinkuu in Osaka, in front of Gap

Sanda in Kobe, in front of the food gallery.

 

Times: 10.30, 13.00, 14.30 and 16.00.

They are all free events.

PHOTO from WalkerPlus Magazine.  Information fron the official website at http://www.premiumoutlets.co.jp/wsr_santa2015/

 

 

The bell of love! Japan’s 2nd heaviest bell. Tokinosumika

Mt Fuji under the Love Bell
Mt Fuji under the Love Bell

We went to Tokinosumika in Gotemba, Shizuoka, this past Golden Week. To be honest, I love discovering new places, but with 4 young children it is easier just to go somewhere we are familiar with. Tokinosumika never disappoints and each year they have something new there.

Something that is not new and is somewhat of a symbol of the resort is their “Bell of Love”. This year I thought to get a snap of it in the daylight, as I only had old photos taken in the dark. It was a clear day and you could see Mt Fuji under the bell. Bonus! The bell, at 36,170 kilograms, is the 2nd heaviest in Japan and 5th heaviest bell in the world.

There is a quote beside it in English

The bell calls the living
Mourns the Dead
And overpowers the thunder

Mount Fuji echoes
the bell on the morning
of cherry blossoms”

With all the volcanic activity in nearby Hakone,I hope it’s not a forewarning!!

The bell is situated next to the children’s playground, which got an upgrade since we last visited.

For more on Tokinosumika, also known as Gotemba Kogen, please see: http://insaitama.com/?s=tokinosumika
or visit the official website http://www.tokinosumika.com/.

The Love Bell's message at Tokinosumika
The Love Bell’s message at Tokinosumika
Japanese explanation of the love bell
Japanese explanation of the love bell

Teepees at Tokinosumika, Gotemba, Shizuoka

2015 – 2016 THE TEEPEES ARE NOT CURRENTLY AVAILABLE FOR PRIVATE HIRE

Tokinosumika Teepees
Tokinosumika Teepees

Are you looking for unique accommodation in Japan? Ever thought of staying in a teepee (tipi / tepee / wigwam)? If you like the outdoors and want to try something different, the tepee site in Gotemba is a cheap, fun and alternative place to rest your head, in beautiful natural surroundings. The teepees even come with a view of Mt. Fuji.

Inside the teepee
Inside the teepee

You can rent a tipi (teepee) from (2014 figures) 1,000 yen per person per night at the Tokinosumika resort, also known as Gotemba Kogen, in Shizuoka. The tent costs (2014 figures) 6,000 to rent, but it sleeps upto 6 people. The teepees are very basic. There are no toilets or baths in them, but you can use the toilets and the “ringo no yu” onsen (hot spring) on site for free. You can avail of the other onsens on site for a price. Sleeping mats are provided in the teepee and you get sheets and one face towel at check in. You can buy towels or rent other necessities, including a lamp and insect repellant, from reception. There is parking right beside the tent / teepee area, but only one carspot is dedicated to each tent. The tepees are located beside a free playground and air trampoline. There is a “pet hotel” beside the onsen with facilities for dogs. There are plenty of other activities and services available within the Tominosumika resort. Most of them are listed in the post http://daysofourlivesjapan.wordpress.com/2012/07/30/shizuoka-gotemba-tokinosumika-family-resort/

The Ringo no yu onsen available for free to patrons of the Tepees
The Ringo no yu onsen available for free to patrons of the Tepees

Check in is from 3pm and check out is 11am. The address is 719 Koyama, Gotemba, Shizuoka. The telephone number for teepee reservations is 0550-87-3700. For more information you can visit the official website of Tokinosumika (Japanese only).

The Pet Hotel
The Pet Hotel

Do you know of any other different / unique type of accommodation in Japan? Please share in comments so I can add to my wishlist of places to go! Thank you.

Shizuoka, Gotemba. Attractions

Gotemba is one of the four “5th station”s of Mt Fuji. The following attractions are either in Gotemba city or within commutable distance.

Attractions in Gotemba

Tokinosumika

A one stop shop for accommodation, play, eating and HOT SPRINGS. From November to March it boasts night illumination. It also houses the Kogen Brewery.  There is a water and projection mapping show set to music in the evening. Sports facilities include a tennis court, badminton courts, softball grounds, pitch & putt, soccer grounds and even an ice rink. Please see separate blog on this resort.  http://insaitama.com/shizuoka-gotemba-tokinosumika-family-resort/

Grinpa

Mt Fuji and ultramanGrinpa is an amusement park at the foot of Mt Fuji. It is most suited to children, but there are attractions for adults too.  The amusement park is known for its Sylvanian family themed area. It also has an Ultraman zone with giant statues, shop, restaurant and games dedicated to Japan’s most famous heroes.   Information in English can be found at their website, here.

Kodomo no Kuni

A massive and very reasonably priced adventure park with lots of activities to keep children of all ages entertained for a full day. Among the popular attractions are the canoe rides, waterplay area and crochet playground.   Further information, in Japanese only, can be found on their website here.

Japan’s largest outlet mall!

We didn’t know of it’s existence the first time we visited, which was probably just as well.  You can find all you need to know, in English, about Gotemba Premium Outlet here.

Fuji Safari Park

This amazing safari is only a half hour from Tokinosumika. It is very reasonably priced with kids three years old and under free. They have a petting zoo, a walking safari and other areas suited to small children. They are open 9 to 5pm and there night safari is open from 5.30 to 7.30pm. During Golden Week the park opens earlier. Their phone number is 055 998 1311. Further information in English:
https://www.city-cost.com/reviews/MAy8M-Driving_and_walking_safari_courses_PLUS_a_fantastic_petting_zoo_and_animal_village_Outdoor_Susono_shi

Gotemba Peace Park

A scenic park with beautiful views of Mt Fuji.  You can find a map to it here http://wikimapia.org/3728356/Gotemba-Peace-Park

Attractions for families with older children

Horse riding

There are numerous equestrian clubs in Gotemba.  There is one a 5 minute away from Gotemba station where you can do anything from beginner classes right up to courses to become a certified intsructor.  It is called Club New Season Gotemba. They have a separate “pony class” for 3 year olds through to 3rd grade primary school students.  There phone number is 0550 82 8520.  If you book in advance there is a 20% discount.

Snowtown Yeti

This ski resort opens in October, earlier than other ski resorts in most of Japan.
http://www.yeti-resort.com/en/

Otome Climbing Route

Said to be one of the best passes to view Mount Fuji.  The Otome climbing route can be found beside the Gotemba Municipal Hot Spring Resort;

Gotemba Municipal Hot Spring Resort

Open from 10am to 9pm.  500 yen for adults, 200 yen for elementary school children. Half day rate available.  Ten minutes from the Gotemba Interchange by car.  There is a free shuttle bus service available from the JR Gotemba station at specific times of the day. Parking available. Information in Japanese http://onsen.gotemba-otome.jp/

Komadakado Caves

Please note you will have to carry younger children, if they are not steady on their feet. I am glad I saw these caves, but I did find them overrated.  Please see their location on the tourist map here.

Fuji Speedway

Go Kart Racing 0550 78 1234

Sylvanian Family village at Grinpa, with Mt Fuji in the background
Sylvanian Family village at Grinpa, with Mt Fuji in the background

静岡県御殿場市の御殿場プレミアムアウトレット Gotemba Premium Outlets...

English: Fuji safari park 日本語: 富士サファリパーク 園内
Fuji safari park Photo credit: Wikipedia)