Tree climbing in Saitama – “Treeing” is the term the Japanese have coined for the sport of climbing trees with ropes and harnesses. In the Autumn of 2015, treeing came on my radar because one of my local parks started to offer it as a regular event. On further inspection quite a few parks across Kanto offer the experience in conjuction with the Tree Master Climbing Academy.
Quite a few things have changed since I first wrote this post, but one thing has remained the same. Shinrin Park in Namegawa (aka Musashi Kyuryo National Government Park) still offer ‘treeing’ as a regular event. It was where we first had the exhilirating experience of climbing trees with ropes and harnesses.
However, other parks that used to offer the event in Saitama have since dropped the event. Good news though, is that Hikarigaoka Park – which is officially Tokyo, but right by Wako City – now offer treeing as a regular event too.
Treeing at Shinrin Park
We tried out the classes in Shinrin Park with some friends back in 2015. At the time my oldest was six years old. He went quite high and confessed it was quite scary when he got to the higher branches. But he really enjoyed it and frequently asks to go again. My then 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 price varies by park. At Shinrin Park it costs 1000 yen per person. Plus you also have to pay the entrance fee to the park. Kuki Shobu park used to have frequent sessions. However, they haven’t had any scheduled for a while. It only cost 700 yen there.
Treeing is more or a less a monthly event at Shinrin Park. You can check the schedule on the official website. They normally have multiple sessions on the designated day/s that the event is on. Also, during the larger seasonal celebrations such as the Spring and Autumn festivals, they also run a treeing event. The classes are held near the central gate of the park. You generally need to book in advance.
At Hikarigaoka, the treeing classes are held once a month between April and December. Unfortunately, the Coronavirus outbreak has lead to some cancellations. You can follow the most up-to-date information on the Hikarigaoka organizer’s blog.
Apart from the fixed events at Shinrin Park and Hikarigaoka Park, the Tree Master Climbing Academy also offer the experience at seasonal events around the country. They also occasionally offer night treeing. Shinrin Park holds a night treeing event a couple of times a year for older children and adults.
If you are looking for something different to do or indeed you would like to specifically try treeing in Japan, the Tree Master Climbing Academy is a good place to start. Moreover, if you are in the Saitama / Tokyo area Shinrin Park and Hikarigaoka park are a great place to try out this exhilarating sport. (Disclaimer: I have no affiliation to the climbing academy or the parks).