Awashima (Awa Island) is on the North West coast of the Izu Peninsula. Is is a very small island and you can easily walk the perimeter in less than an hour. The island is home to my toddler’s favourite aquarium, Awashima Marine Park, and an exclusive hotel that the Emperor has stayed in. The island is open to anyone who pays to enter it, but the hotel facilities are only open to paying guests. However, when we entered to inquire about costs and availability the staff were exceptionally friendly and professional. Rates, incidentally, start at 60,000 yen per person per night, supposedly worth every yen for the waterfront view of Mount Fuji, but we decided to catch the last boat back to the Peninsula!
Awashima island used to be linked to Numazu by a ropeway. The ropeway still exists, but it is not in operation. So the only access to the island is by boat. The boat ride is included in the 1,500 yen per adult admission cost to the marine park. That’s 400 yen cheaper than the nearby Mito Sea Paradise, which frankly is not as toddler friendly and has less to offer than Awashima. Both Mito Sea Paradise and Awashima are free to children up to 3 years old, but they both charge 500 yen for parking.
You can bring buggies and strollers on to the boat without having to fold them down, but you do need to take the children out of the buggy to do this. The journey only takes a few minutes. The island is buggy friendly and there are changing units in the toilets. The island has one restaurant in the middle of the sea, overlooking the dolphins play area! The staff on the island are very friendly and helpful. There are play areas on the island and opportunities for the kids to get up close and personal with some of the animals!
|Getting close to some of the park life!|