Tree climbing in Saitama – “Treeing” is the term the Japanese have coined for the sport of climbing trees with ropes and harnesses. This Autumn a few parks across Kanto are offering the experience with trained and experienced tree climbers from the Tree Master Climbing Academy. In Saitama, the national park Shinrin in Namegawa and the prefectural park Kuki Shobu conduct(ed) classes for adults, and kids over four years old.
We tried out the classes in Shinrin Park with some friends last weekend. Six year old went quite high and confessed it was quite scary when he got to the higher branches, but he really enjoyed it and is looking forward to going again. Four year old didn’t get that high, but she also thoroughly enjoyed it. She had no problem going up, but found it more difficult to come down.
The classes are an hour long. First you get geared up. Then there is an explanation of the equipment and how to climb up and come back down. To be honest, listening to the explanation it sounded quite complicated, but once you start executing it you catch on. An hour was just the right length for the four year olds who were getting tired towards the end.
The Kuki Shobu park sessions, which were only 700 yen, are finished for this year. Shinrin has three more days of multiple sessions scheduled for November 14th (Saitama Day) , December 12th and (added in 2016) March 12th. The classes at Shinrin park are 1,000 yen per person and you also have to pay the park entry fee and parking costs. The classes are held near the central gate of the park. You need to book in advance. The number is 0493-57-2111. (Update 2016, booking for March 12th class opens on March 2nd.) More information about the park is available on their English language webpage: http://www.shinrinkoen.jp/english/ More information on the Tree Master Climbing Academy is available in Japanese: http://treemaster.jp/
In Chiba the Tokyo German Village has two dates for treeing scheduled; November 7th and December 5th.