Lions, and tigers and bears… and Fuji-san! Oh, my!

I recently suggested to my friends that we go to Fuji Safari Park.ย  I really wanted to go because I’m a big kid, I love zoos, and I had never been to a safari park before. I don’t know how easy it would have been to get there by train, but luckily my friends who have cars were up for it. My advice to anyone who is planning to go, is to drive your own car through if possible. The park provides cute buses with animal designs…

Fuji Safari Park

…but having seen the bored looking people inside, I’m so glad I didn’t choose that option.

Fuji Safari Park

For the people in those buses, it must have been like an inside out zoo. They were in the cage and the animals were walking about freely looking at them. For us, in my friend’s car, it was brilliant. I didn’t know animals could be so hilarious! ๐Ÿ˜€ย  Our group consisted of me (British), one Australian, one Canadian, one American and two Japanese, in two cars. It was a truly international adventure!

Fuji Safari Park (Azusa, Jenny, Kumi, Megan, Kassondra, me)

Actually, our adventure began even before we arrived at Fuji Safari Park.ย  Despite the name of the safari park, I was wondering if we would actually get to see Mount Fuji today.ย  So, when the beautiful mountain suddenly loomed before us on the road we all went a bit crazy with our cameras and chased Fuji-san for a while.ย  We even stopped at this small graveyard to take some snaps.

Fuji Safari Park

Little did we know that, actually, we would be able to see Mount Fuji from most locations within the safari park.ย  I think the combination of Fuji-san and these wild animals is what made Fuji Safari Park seriously one of the best places I’ve visited in Japan!

I mean… look at this…

Fuji Safari Park

Anyway, where was I…?ย  So, yesterday, I told some students that I was planning this trip and a couple of them told me the story of an accident that happened there once. Apparently a family were going through the safari in two cars, and a kid decided to get out to go to the other car. His grandma chased him and, in the words of my student, “they were eaten”. Eek. Still, intrepid travellers that we are, we decided to enter the safari park, with our doors locked and windows tightly shut.ย  There were a lot of signs around warning us “DANGER!”, “Never get out of your car!”, “Never open your windows!”. We got the message.

Fuji Safari Park

โ˜†โ˜…โ˜†

Fuji Safari Park

Actually we did get a lot closer to the animals than I imagined, but none of them caused us any trouble.

Fuji Safari Park

The park is home to loads of different animals.ย  We saw:

BEARS

Fuji Safari Park

โ˜†โ˜…โ˜†

Fuji Safari Park

LIONS

Fuji Safari Park

โ˜†โ˜…โ˜†

Fuji Safari Park

โ˜†โ˜…โ˜†

Fuji Safari Park

TIGERS

Fuji Safari Park

โ˜†โ˜…โ˜†

Fuji Safari Park

CHEETAHS

Fuji Safari Park

โ˜†โ˜…โ˜†

Fuji Safari Park

ELEPHANTS

Fuji Safari Park

โ˜†โ˜…โ˜†

Fuji Safari Park

โ˜†โ˜…โ˜†

Fuji Safari Park

RHINOS

Fuji Safari Park

โ˜†โ˜…โ˜†

Fuji Safari Park

ZEBRAS

Fuji Safari Park

โ˜†โ˜…โ˜†

Fuji Safari Park

CAMELS

Fuji Safari Park

GIRAFFES

Fuji Safari Park

โ˜†โ˜…โ˜†

Fuji Safari Park

โ˜†โ˜…โ˜†

Fuji Safari Park

(This giraffe, by the way, totally cracked me up to the point where tears were rolling down my face. I just thought he looked like he was trying to hide behind the tree! hehe!) ๐Ÿ˜€

โ˜†โ˜…โ˜†

Fuji Safari Park

REINDEER

Fuji Safari Park

โ˜†โ˜…โ˜†

Fuji Safari Park

โ˜†โ˜…โ˜†

Fuji Safari Park

KANGAROOS

Fuji Safari Park

โ˜†โ˜…โ˜†

Fuji Safari Park

โ˜†โ˜…โ˜†

Fuji Safari Park

โ˜†โ˜…โ˜†

Fuji Safari Park

DIKDIKS

(Yeah, I didn’t know what a dikdik was either!)

Fuji Safari Park

BABY LIONS

Fuji Safari Park

(There was a chance to have your photo taken with a baby lion but unfortunately we missed our chance to buy a ticket. We kind of tried to guilt them into letting us in anyway, but it didn’t work.)

WARTHOGS

Fuji Safari Park

(Pumba!!)

…and more!!

As well as the safari part where you drive through, there were also petting zoos and walking areas. Being Christmas time (well, almost…) there was even this special Christmas attraction and some cute miniature ponies dressed up for the season…

Fuji Safari Park

โ˜†โ˜…โ˜†

Fuji Safari Park

Of course, there were restaurants…

Fuji Safari Park

…and a huge gift shop, too.

Fuji Safari Park

โ˜†โ˜…โ˜†

Fuji Safari Park

โ˜†โ˜…โ˜†

Fuji Safari Park

Naturally, I bought some omiyage…

Fuji Safari Park

โ˜†โ˜…โ˜†

Fuji Safari Park

I’m so thrilled with this painting. It was a bit naughty of me to buy it really, but I just know that when I hang it on my wall in my new place in London (whenever and wherever that may be!) I will look back on this day with such fond memories.

Overall, I was so impressed with the whole place and thought it was really good value for money. The usual entrance fee for adults is 2,700 Yen, but we each got in for 2,000 Yen because we had applied for a membership card on the website beforehand (free of charge).

If you’re in the Shizuoka area (and, ideally, have a car) I can’t recommend this place enough. You don’t need kids (unlike some people will tell you if you read other online accounts) – it’s a fun, exciting place for a day out with anyone, or even on your own if you’re feeling brave! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Finally, of course, my full collection of photos can be seen on Flickr.ย  I took a lot of photos today!!

Oh, and, By the way, this is my entry in this week’s Show Me Japan.ย  There were some really awesome photos on the other blogs last week, so please check out the other links there, too! ๐Ÿ™‚

15 thoughts on “Lions, and tigers and bears… and Fuji-san! Oh, my!

  1. Ok, there is just one thing I can say after reading this – I WANT!!! NOW!!! ๐Ÿ™‚
    And when I’m there I’m so not taking that prison bus thingie.
    You just rocked this week’s Show me Japan, but I’m sure you already know that! ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

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  2. Hi Haikugirl,
    Thank you for participating in “Show Me Japan”. Your entry is amazing! I love animals, especially cat species. They are so beautiful.
    Actually I have been there once (long long time ago). Unfortunately weather was very bad and animals were not happy, either.
    So I should definitely visit once again if I have a chance, hoping that weather is good enough to see Mt. Fuji.
    Thank you for sharing!!!

    Like

  3. Interesting post! Love the zoo bus and the elephant with Mt Fuji pictures. I have only bad experiences of zoos in Japan, and wonder how much space the animals have in this place, the pictures of the baby lions and warthogs dont look too spacious!

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    • Yeah, I have the same fear, and I have to admit that some of the animals didn’t look very impressed with their living conditions. But, generally, I thought they had enough space and the staff seemed to be taking care of them well.

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  4. You couldn’t have chosen a better day to go there. The weather and clear views of Fuji were beautiful. I have done both day and night tours there myself. By the way, who’s the cute Japanese girl in the pic off to the left in the group photo?

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  5. When I lived in Japan, I went here one day and had a blast. I got to hold a baby lion! The buses are not that bad, when I rode one the staff gave us meat to feed the animals! I had so much fun!

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  6. Although I’ve lived in Japan for a good 20 years, I have never taken the time to go….BUT my family wanted to go when they visit so I have given them the link to see what they have to look forward to…Thanks

    Like

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