Mother Farm1/4
Photo: Mother Farm
Moomin Valley Park2/4
Photo: Moomin Characters
Forest Adventure Park Yokohama3/4
Photo: Forest Adventure Park
Moomin Valley4/4
Photo: Moomin Characters

Best outdoor adventure parks near Tokyo

Get out and about – escape the city for these family-friendly adventure parks, playgrounds and outdoor attractions

By Youka Nagase and Tabea Greuner
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There are lots to do in Tokyo, whether it's spending a day shopping in the city's many amazing department stores, chowing down on the tastiest ramen, or visiting the world-class museums which have now reopened. But, if you're looking to get away from the bustling city and into the great outdoors, you don't have to go far – there many options for nature and adventure just at the fringe of the Greater Tokyo region. 

From family-friendly theme parks to adventure playgrounds and even an urban farm, these outdoor attractions make for a great day trip from the city centre.

RECOMMENDED: Where to avoid the crowds in Tokyo

Escape the city

Mother Farm
Mother Farm
Photo: Mother Farm

Mother Farm

Attractions Chiba

Meet friendly farm animals like sheep, cows, pigs, goats and donkeys roaming around the fields of Mother Farm in Chiba. You can pet and feed the animals in selected areas of the park and participate in activities like horseback riding.

For first-timers, we recommend taking the Mother Farm Tour DX (adults ¥1,600, children ¥900), where you’ll ride a tractor train through the meadowlands, giving you a fantastic view of Tokyo Bay. The tour is the only way to feed the adorable alpacas and watch the sheep-herding up close.

Don’t worry if it rains – the farm has plenty of indoor activities, too, like milking dairy cows, sheep-sheering demonstrations, and cooking workshops where you can make cheese, ice cream and butter from fresh milk. The animals may be the main attraction, but Mother Farm also offers fruit picking (strawberries and tomatoes from January to May), bungee jumping, craft workshops, and a flower field that’s open all year round.

Some attractions will be closed for the time being.

Metsa Village
Metsa Village
Photo: Metsa Village

Metsä Village

Attractions Theme parks Saitama

Named after the Finnish word for forest, Metsä Village is a large Nordic-themed park in Saitama prefecture. The free-entry park provides a calm, stress-free environment on the shore of Lake Miyazawa, with a thick, lush forest just across the water. Parents can relax at a café or shop for genuine Nordic homewares.

For something a little more active, hire a canoe and paddle around the lake. And for the kids, there’s the Panza Miyazawako – an adventure playground with a difference. Up in the trees, thick woven nets are stretched out to create undulating platforms for kids to run, jump and walk on. These so-called ‘funmocks’ – that’s a disconcerting blend of ‘fun’ and ‘hammock’ – turn into walls, floors, slides and tunnels. It’s an ingenious play park in the sky, and they won’t want to come down.

Currently operating from 10am-6pm on weekdays, and 10am-7pm on weekends until further notice.

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Moomin Valley Park
Moomin Valley Park
Photo: Moomin Characters

Moomin Valley Park

Attractions Saitama

Moomins – the adorable white, troll-like creatures created by Finnish-Swedish artist Tove Jansson – are the stars at this theme park right beside Metsä Village. Moomin-related landmarks are scattered throughout the park, including a fully furnished replica of the Moominhouse. Opt for the one-day pass and you’ll get access to all the attractions.

Everything at the park is family friendly, including the outdoor theatre with a live-action Moomin story, and the Kokemus, a three-storey museum about Jansson and the origin of the Moomins. There’s also a treehouse playground, and older children can enjoy a thrilling zip-line ride – the 400m round-trip goes through the dense forest and over the lake. Don’t miss the world’s largest Moomin store, selling Moomin merch you never even knew existed.

Currently operating from 10am-5pm on weekdays, and 10am-6pm on weekends until further notice.

Fuji Subaru Land
Fuji Subaru Land
Photo: Fuji Subaru Land

Fuji Subaru Land

Attractions

Located at the foot of Mt Fuji, Subaru Land offers dozens of attractions for outdoor enthusiasts of all ages. Dog lovers in particular should head straight for the Touch and Feel House to meet the park’s resident canines – you can even rent one (¥500 per 20 minutes) and take it with you to enjoy the property.

Score a hole-in-one at the miniature golf course that takes you through World Heritage Site replicas, get lost in the gigantic wooden maze filled with riddles and stamp rallies, experience a 7m-high jump on the Sky Trampoline, or slide down the 50m Jumbo Slide. There’s also an obstacle course for dog owners to show off their pets’ spectacular agility and jumping skills.

Currently open from 10am-5pm on weekdays, and 9.30am-5pm on weekends until further notice. 

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Funabashi Andersen Park
Funabashi Andersen Park
Photo: Funabashi Andersen Park

Funabashi Andersen Park

Attractions Chiba

Named after the Danish fairy-tale author Hans Christian Andersen, this vast green patch of about 40 hectares is one of Japan’s most popular theme parks. There may not be any roller coasters, but the park boasts a wide range of outdoor activities for both kids and adults, spread out over five different areas. Children can explore massive playgrounds, conquer obstacle courses, visit a petting zoo, go on a pony ride, participate in creative workshops or play in the water park in summer.

The two main areas are connected by a bridge crossing a central lake surrounded by lush greenery, and you can take in the tranquil scenery by boarding a rowboat. The large windmill turns into an Instagram cliché in spring, when the whole scene is surrounded by colourful tulips. There are several replica farmhouses, based on the 19th-century buildings of Andersen’s birthplace, Odense in Denmark, which is a sister city of Funabashi.

Currently open only from 9.30am-4pm daily until further notice.

Forest Adventure Park Yokohama
Forest Adventure Park Yokohama
Photo: Forest Adventure Park

Forest Adventure Yokohama

Attractions Yokohama

With three different courses, this aerial adventure park is both a workout and a day out. The approximately 80-minute canopy course is family friendly, and features basic high-ropes activities like zip-lining, crossing suspension bridges and climbing rope ladders. The more challenging two-hour adventure course takes you much higher up into the trees and even includes a daring Tarzan swing. For the little ones, there’s a 45-minute kids course offering simpler activities and extra safety harnesses.

If you prefer to stay on the ground, you can ride an electric mountain bike on a trail adventure around the forest. First-timers are given an optional one-hour lesson to help them get used to the trail before heading out. With so much open space, it’s hard to believe the park is just 75 minutes from central Tokyo.

More Tokyo attractions

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