Musashi No Mura is an ideal amusement park for small children. They have a really good selection of amusements that are child friendly. There is also an area with farm animals and and an option to horse ride. You can pick fruits at certain times of year and in summer they have pools*, a water play park, beetles and snow festivals. All year round they have special events and stage shows that cater to children of preschool age or younger.
|*Pools: update 2020 – they are open until the end of August in 2020 despite the Coronavirus. They are one of only a handful of pools open, but they have fixed times on account of the pandemic. Other pools open in Saitama include Tobu Super Pool and Seibuen which have to be booked in advance.|
Musashi no Mura
I would not have heard about this amusement park until more recent years, if it was not for my children’s preschool. Back when I first started researching what is on offer in Saitama for families, I read a lot of family travel Mooks and it was never once mentioned. A blessing in disguise really, because the amusement park is rarely crowded. I have recently seen it advertised in the Moteco though and featured in district kindergarten magazines such as Enfant. The current issue of Moteco (July 2018) has discounts for this amusement park.
On my first visit in 2013 I wasn’t particularly impressed by the amusement park, but it didn’t really matter. All that is important is that the kids really do love it. I have since taken a more objective view of the park and do think it is a good place for a family day trip or outing. There are nice open spaces for kids to run around in or to set up a picnic. The area isn’t too expansive either, so little legs can easily make their way around.
Popular Attractions at Musashi No Mura
Like a lot of amusement parks the world over, the Ferris Wheel at Musashi no Mura is both figuratively and literally the focal point of the amusement area of the resort. It is quite old, as are most of the rides in the park, but functional and suited to (and popular with) most children. Although the old rides have been repainted and spruced up, you can hear the creaks as they tick over.
Another of the classic and classically popular amusement rides, and the only one that doesn’t seem to be archaic, is the carousel (merry-go-round). It is a proper two tiered ornate carousel with colored horses and decorative carriages.
One of the most popular attractions with kids is the giant maze, with a stamp rally quiz embedded in the labyrinth. The kids get a card on the successful completion of the stamp rally within the maze.
Beside the maze is the bicycle roller coaster or Cycle Monorail as they call it, which is one of the few rides that tends to have a queue, albeit a short one, on a regular basis. You cycle around a roller coaster track high up in the air. I quite enjoy this one myself and it is a good work out!
There is another bicycle area in the park which I think is one of the better attractions especially as it is included in the regular (cheaper) entry ticket (see costs below for more detail on the pricing system). They have a great collection of unusual uni, bi and tri-cycle rides. On our introductory visit there with my son’s class’ field trip in his first year of preschool at the age of three, we spent an hour in this area and he delighted in trying most (if not all!) the rides available.
Other rides / attractions
There are many other attractions in the Musashi No Mura amusement area such as a:
- train ride,
- coffee cups,
- indoor play area with ball pool,
- Animal roller coaster
- Sky Elephants,
- Chain Swings,
- Sky Balloon,
- Magic Ducks,
- Roundabout boats,
- Ghost House,
- Go Carts and Buggy carts
To name but a few. Then there are attractions to avoid…
Attractions to avoid at Musashi No Mura
The magic house is a hoax, if you’ll pardon the pun. If you enter on a general admission ticket, please don’t pay to enter this excuse of an attraction. It is old, damp, smelly and only has some trick mirrors and some wax statues.
Musashi No Mura playgrounds
There are a couple of playgrounds on the complex that you can play with freely under the regular entry ticket. The one near to the entrance beside both the maze and the bicycle roller coaster is the largest and has some nice equipment. There is small playground with swings and a see saw in the farm area. The large green area beside the farm has a wide cement slide.
Farm and Fruit Picking
On the opposite end to the amusement area, beside the West gate, there is a small farm. There is no additional fee for the farm, but if you want to ride a pony they charge for that even if you have a “free pass”. If you want you can also purchase animal feed that can be given to any animal in the farm area. The feed is dispensed from a vending machine much like the gachapon machines.
The animals are typical of what you find in petting zoos: rabbits, sheep, goats, pigs etc. One more unusual animal in their folds is peacocks (see below). They have a lot of rabbits, even more than Saitama Children’s zoo and some of them roam freely in the farm area. You can get up close and personal with them if they allow you.
Fruit picking / Vegetable digging
The fruit picking farm is slightly separate to the amusement park. They have a number of fruit and vegetables including strawberries, blueberries, potatoes, spring onions, daikon, eggplants among others. The strawberry, blueberry and potato picking are very popular and they require an advance booking. The most popular of all is the sweet potato digging event in Autumn. The price varies according to what you are picking. Generally, they are similar to the industry averages.
Peacocks at Musashi No Mura
On our most recent visit (May 2018) I noticed for the first time that a lot of people were hovering around one particular enclosure. We went over to investigate and I was equally surprised to discover that they have peacocks, especially that they are unnecessarily enclosed in a cage. There is a couple of peacocks enclosed in the same manner in Kitamoto Children’s Park, but apart from that I have not seen peacocks elsewhere in Japan.
I grew up in an area (in Dublin) where peacocks roam freely in a neighborhood park. I am quite accustomed to the stunning sight of them fanning their feathers. But I forgot that my kids are not. They were absolutely mesmerized by the large and colorfully patterned plumage. And while I am quite used to the turquoise peacocks, it was my first time to see a white peacock which we do not have at home. Absolutely magnificent.
Seasonal Attractions at Musashi No Mura
Some of their seasonal attractions are the highlights of the park! Particularly the summer attractions. Such as the Midsummer Snow Festival that is held a number of times in August. The park often charges for popular seasonal events, but this one is uncharacteristically free to participate in.
Another of the summer season attractions, the water play plaza (below), is also a big hit with young kids. This is separate to the pools, which are outdoor and open from mid-July to end of August. In the water play area there are six different play areas.
During the summer they also have a mist tunnel for cooling down in, the largest in the kanto area. The Kabutomushi (Beetle) wood is another of the popular summer events.
The park is open Thursday to Tuesday, closed Wednesdays. The general hours are 9.30 am to 4.30 pm.
A general admission ticket costs 1200 for adults and 650 yen for children over 3, you then have to pay extra to go on rides. The general admission ticket covers the farm, the playground and the bikes and pedal cars (excluding the go and buggy carts). If you enter on a general admission ticket, but want to go on a couple of rides you can either pay per ride (most cost 300 yen per person each) or buy a book of tickets to use. For a book of ten tickets you get one extra ticket worth 100 yen for ‘free’. If you want to go on a lot of rides, or one ride many times, you are better off entering on a “free pass”…
A “free pass” costs 2900 for adults and 2,300 yen for children and you have unlimited access to most of the rides and attractions. There are a couple that are not included in the free pass, including some of the seasonal attractions such as the water play area.
From March to November there is a free shuttle bus that goes from the south exit of Kazo station on the Tobu Isesaki line. Out of season it takes 10 minutes by taxi from the station.
Approximately 14 minutes from the Kazo exit of the Tohoku Expressway along route 125. There is plenty of parking. It costs 700 yen per day.