The schedule for the (almost) monthly hot air balloon ride at Tokorozawa Aviation Memorial Park has been released. This is an extremely popular event. Probably because this is one of the few places near Tokyo that you can experience a balloon ride, albeit moored, at an affordable price. This is not an event for the night owls though – this event is best suited to early risers!
Hot Air Balloon Ride
Tokorozawa Aviation Memorial Park offers the general public the chance of a short moored ride in a barrier free hot air balloon on select dates through the year. On a clear day you can often see both Mt Fuji and Tokyo Skytree when the balloon ascends. The event is on between 7 am and 9 am once a month, always on a Sunday, between March and December. Moreover, in both August and December the event is on twice. It costs just 2500 yen per person (the price went up 500 yen in 2022). It costs￥1000 for children over six. They now also charge 500 yen for children under six. It was free for them until the start of 2022.
During the pandemic they introduced a booking system. Before the pandemic, you just had to rock up on the day. However, the booking system has turned out useful, as it was common for people to be turned away on the day, when they had a first come first served system. They only do 100 rides each day. But, even with the booking system, the places are whipped up really quickly. Often the places are taken within a couple of hours of registration opening. Generally, registration opens the day after the last balloon ride. This is the Booking / registration site, but please note it will not open for the 2024 season until March 1st.
Hot Air Balloon Dates in 2024
- March 24th – registration opens on March 1st at 8 am
- April 7th – registration opens on March 25th at 8 am.
- May 12th – registration opens on April 8th at 8 am.
- June 9th – registration opens on May 13th at 8 am.
- July 7th (tanabata) – registration opens on June 10th at 8 am.
- August 11th – registration opens on July 8th at 8 am.
- August 25th – registration opens on August 12th at 8 am.
- September 1st – registration opens August 26th at 8 am.
- October 20th – registration opens September 2nd at 8 am.
- November 10th – registration opens October 21st at 8 am.
- December 1st – registration opens on November 11th at 8 am.
- December 22nd (last one until March 2025) – registration opens December 2nd at 8 am.
>>Check out all the other things you can do at Tokorozawa Aviation Memorial Park here. (Including moon walking, flea market, water play area, seasonal flowers and more!)
Event: Moored Hot Air Balloon Ride Experience 熱気球係留体験搭乗会
Date: as per the paragraph above. The next date and first one of 2024 is on Sunday March 24th.
Time: on the day of the ride, the reception opens at 6.45 am. The balloon rides are on from 7 am to around 9 am. There are four times slots between those two hours. You can opt for your preferred session, subject to availability, at the time of booking.
Cost: 2500 yen per adult, 1000 children for school aged children and people with a disability pass, 500 yen for preschoolers and younger
Venue: Tokorozawa Aviation Memorial Park, 1 Chome-13 Namiki, Tokorozawa, Saitama 359-0042. View on Google Maps.
The Tokorozawa Aviation Memorial Park is beside Seibu Shinjuku line’s Kokukoen station 「航空公園駅」・「こうくうこうえん」 . By car: the park is approximately 6 kilometers from the Tokorozawa Interchange of the Kanetsu expressway along route 463. There is parking on the North, South and East sides of the park. On the weekends the car parks can become very busy and people queue for a spot. There are alternatives with some reasonably priced coin parking lots nearby, but the parking at the aviation park is probably worth the wait as it is only 200 yen.