Fuji Safari Park

Lions, tigers, and bears, oh, my!  I almost, almost, did not want to get up at 5:30 in the morning to get ready for the safari tour that I signed up for the kids and me a few weeks ago at Yokota ITT.  After a fun-filled day at Fuji Safari Park and Oshino Hakkai, though, I am so glad that we made it!  (I have been known to miss a tour by oversleeping.  I blame it on insomnia.  That's another story that I won't divulge into today.)

Fuji Safari Park is located in Susono at the base of Mt. Fuji.  It's a unique type of zoo.  It's the second zoo that we have visited this year where we enjoyed seeing animals from the comfort of our car, or in this case, our tour bus.  An even neater way to see the animals is to ride in a jungle bus, which has netting over the windows so visitors can feed the animals.  The animals are free to roam around while we drove through their controlled zones—basically, carnivorous animal families lived in their own zones, and herbivorous and mountainous animals shared their own zones.  There are 7 zones:  bears, lions, tigers, cheetahs, elephants, grazing animals, and mountainous animals.

Here's one of the jungle buses exiting the safari zone.  There are several animal buses that you could ride in, such as a rhinoceros, lion, tiger, elephant, or bear.  I'm not sure if it was the gloomy weather that morning, but from this distance, it looked like the people sitting inside the bus could entice the animals to come over.  

About to enter the safari zone.  Check out all the other cars waiting to get inside the park.

Our first stop was the bear zone.  This cub wanted some attention or some food.

Roaming around in a "natural setting."

The sign reads, "WARNING:  Lock the door and do not get out of the car."  At this point, I was really happy that we were in a tour bus where the kids can't reach for the door handle or power-window buttons.

There were so many lions!

Reminds me of Mufasa from The Lion King.

These lions brushed up against every car they walked by.

Tigers were in the third zone.

I feel like s/he could tell we were taking photos of her/him.

The kids enjoyed looking for the animals and then making their animal sounds.

Last glimpse of the Amur tigers.

Asian elephant

African elephant.  One way to tell the difference between an Asian and African elephant is that the Asian elephant has small, square ears while the African elephant has large, triangle ears.

Southern white rhinoceroses

Reticulated giraffe

There goes another animal, an eland, about to block traffic.  This picture also shows a stand where people can watch the animals, which is part of the walking safari adventure tour.

Grant's zebras and Bactrian camel

American bison

After driving through the safari zone, we had lunch at the Safari Restaurant.  I think one of the drawbacks of being part of a tour is the limited time frame.  We had about 1 1/2 hours for lunch and to visit the petting zone.  Since it was 11:00am, there was already a long line at the restaurant, but priorities first, so we enjoyed pork curry and ramen.  My eldest son enjoyed a whole bowl of ramen to himself!  

The kids enjoyed poking the rhinoceros on display while we waited in line to order our lunch.

Lunch and a bathroom break pretty much took a whole hour, so we only had less than half an hour to check out the petting zoo.  Luckily, when we entered the zoo, the first animals we saw were the red kangaroos.  

For ¥50, you can get a small bowl of pellets to feed the kangaroos.  The kids really enjoyed walking around the area to feed them.  

There were so many kangaroos lounging around.

I wish we could have seen more animals, but time had run out for us.  The kids did find these tunnels to run around right before we had to race to the bus for our next stop at Oshino Hakkai!

Fuji Safari Park
Location:  2255-27 Suyama, Susono, Shizuoka 410-1231 Japan
Website:  http://www.fujisafari.co.jp/

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