Fuji Safari Park

JAPAN: Oita Prefecture, Beppu (African Safari Wildlife Park/ アフリカンサファリ)

Having written about the Fuji Safari Park in Shizuoka earlier, I would like to introduce you to yet another safari park in Japan that is popular with both adults and children.  Located about an hour from Beppu Station is The African Safari Wildlife Park (アフリカンサファリ). Situated on the island of Kyushu, Beppu City in Oita Prefecture is popular with tourists because of its many onsens (hot spring baths). The sprawling African Safari Wildlife Park is just a few miles outside of Beppu City on the Tsukahara Plain (Tsukahara Kogen) and is equally popular.

Open year round, the park affords visitors the opportunity to view the animals either from the safety and comfort of their own vehicles or from within a safari park bus. Unlike other zoos, the animals of the safari park roam freely and it is the humans who are restricted.

The safari park buses are designed to look like enormous exotic animals. Their large windows are protected by heavy gauge wire and visitors can feed the animals through the bus windows. If you drive your own car through the park you are  not permitted to roll down your car windows or get out of your car under any circumstances.

The safari park is divided into multiple zones because while some animals are allowed to mix freely, others have to be kept separate from each other. It is easy to understand because lions, for instance, are the natural predators of gazelles and cheetahs may not get along with the tigers, etc. There are “neutral zones” in between the various habitats.  This design enables the park rangers to send back any animals who may have followed the cars or park buses and may potentially end up in a different zone.

The cost of your admission includes a food tray with various treats for the animals roaming the park.  Instructions on how to feed the animals is in Japanese however, the animals themselves will clue you in on what treats they will accept as they are known to refuse something that is out of their ordinary selection of food items. You will be given a pair of long-handled tongs to pass out the treats with.  Understandable, as you will be feeding carnivorous animals in the park who may confuse your hand as part of their treat!

There is a petting zoo area within the park as well with the typical creatures you will find in other petting zoos.

The safari park is open from 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM (March 1 to October 31) and from 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM (November 1 to February 28).  There is a night safari offered on a limited basis from 5:00 PM – 7:20 PM. Admission is ¥2,500 for adults and ¥1,400 for children. Please note that there is an additional charge for the safari buses. The rate is ¥1,100 for adults and ¥900 for children.


Location:            2-1755-1 Ajimumachi Minamihata, Usa-shi, Oita, JAPAN

Web page:         http://www.africansafari.co.jp/english/

Please visit Amazon.com to purchase my book, “A Blogger’s Guide To Japan,” where you can read about the Fuji Safari Park and many other interesting destinations in Japan.  The book is available in print and electronic format.












JAPAN: Shizuoka Prefecture/ The Fuji Safari Park (富士サファリパーク)

When most people think of safaris, I am almost certain that no one would think of the lowlands around the snow-capped peak of Mount Fuji in Japan! Yet, the Fuji Safari Park in Susono City located at the foot of Mount Fuji in Shizuoka Prefecture offers just that!

The Fuji Safari Park opened in 1980 and was the first safari-style attraction of its kind in Japan. The park is divided into two zones: The Safari Zone and The Free Contact Zone. The latter is a zoo consisting of enclosures for smaller mammals and a petting station. The Safari Zone is divided into seven sections which houses bears, lions, tigers, cheetahs, elephants, rhinos, etc. Visitors can tour these sections in several ways including their own car, a rental vehicle or a bus.

The buses are decorated to resemble animals and contain wire netting over the windows. Passengers are provided with vegetables, pellets and meat which they can feed to the animals at close range. There is an additional charge for taking the bus, which includes the food to feed the animals. If you drive your own car through the park you are instructed to keep your car windows and doors locked at all times and it is easy to understand why. If you encounter a problem, rangers in SUVs are present to help. It takes approximately 30 minutes to drive through each of the seven sections. There are 4WD sport utility vehicles equipped with a navigation system available to rent as well. The rental fee is ¥5,000 and the vehicles seat up to seven passengers. A valid driver’s license recognized by Japan is required for renting these vehicles.

From April through October, the park offers a night safari. Visitors are provided with night-vision equipment to observe the animals in their nocturnal setting.

For an additional fee, visitors can participate in horse drawn cart rides, pony rides and have their pictures taken with baby animals. There are also cat, dog, rabbit houses and a guinea pig area where visitors can spend time holding and playing with the different animals.

If you get hungry, there is a large canteen-type family restaurant on the premises. There are also several food stalls selling everything from hot dogs to shaved ice. If you choose to pack your own picnic lunch, there are plenty of benches and seating outdoors where you can enjoy your meal.

Lastly, you need not leave the park empty handed as there is a nice souvenir shop too.

The safari park is easily accessible via the Tokaido Shinkansen, exit the Mishima Station. From there, a local bus will transport you to the park within 30 minutes or so.


The tiger pudding is a popular item at the restaurant

The tiger pudding is a popular item at the restaurant

Web Page:         http://www.fujisafari.co.jp/english/

Address:             2255-27 Aza Fujiwara, Susono-shi, Shizuoka