Our last full day in Tokyo had a tall order to fill. How could we possibly top going to an amusement park at the foot of Mt. Fuji AND getting engaged? Only by going to an amateur Ninja Warrior/Boot Camp/public park obstacle course out in the Tokyo suburbs of course!
Shimizu Park was another spot that Alana had come across during our early research. We found a few mentions of an obstacle course adventure park and an address so we decided it would be worth checking out. It was way out in the suburbs north of Tokyo (about two hours by train from our current AirBnb). Like our trip out to Takao-san, the cityscape gradually subsided, slowly being replaced by smaller, less cluttered buildings, and more fields and open spaces. The area around the Shimizukoen train station reminded my a bit of the suburbs back home in the US.
We took a stroll over to the park and were initially kind of let down. There wasn’t a clearly marked entrance so we just wandered around this open plaza. There was a small shop but aside from us and the cashier there wasn’t anyone else in sight. There were a few run down looking kiddy rides, but no sign of any adventure obstacle course. We were both pretty hungry by then, so we left the park and walked down the street to the nearest Family Mart. We got there at just the wrong time, as a bunch of students from the local high school (right across the street) came pouring out on what I’m guessing was their lunch break. The small store was completely overrun, and all of the food was snatched up faster than we could blink. Alana and I were left picking over the leavings. Lucky for me, vegetarian rice balls didn’t seem to be too popular with the high school crowd, but Alana didn’t fare so well.
Our hunger satiated we returned to the park, unsure of what we would find there. Had the whole trip out been a waste? Was there any adventure to be had in this out of the way suburban park? We persisted in our search, deeper and deeper into the park, and eventually a series of nets, planks, ropes, and other obstacle course-y paraphernalia came in to view. It didn’t take much more searching to find the entrance to the courses. It cost $10 each for access to the three obstacle courses. There was one course that was located entirely over a pond of murky green water, the sight of which was enough to give us a boost of strength to avoid falling in and dealing with whatever might be lurking beneath the surface. The park was still relatively empty at this point, so we had most of the course to ourselves.
After completing this first course we started on the next, a combination of land and water obstacles. At this point it was getting later in the afternoon and suddenly there were children and teens everywhere. This made for a bit slower going as many of the kids were running around attempting different obstacles willy-nilly and skipping over those that were too difficult. Didn’t they know there were some serious obstacle course loving adults at work here? We were determined not to skip any of the obstacles and eventually made it through. We did end up getting some wet feet while hopping across a few wobbly platforms floating on the water. Much to my surprise our feet didn’t immediately wither and fall off, and the sun soon had us feeling dry again.
The last course we did was entirely over land. Each course had somewhere between 20 and 40 obstacles, so by the last course we were starting to feel worn out. It was also nearing time for the park to close, so most people were leaving, giving us free reign over the course again! We eventually made it to the end, covered in dust from crawling through tunnels and climbing over walls, mouths dry, and muscles aching. We left the park and had a celebratory ice cream from one of the vending machines outside (because when you’re in Japan you might as well take advantage of all the ice cream vending machines scattered about).
Shimizu Park was out in the middle of nowhere compared to most of our Tokyo adventures, but it was hands down one of our favorite experiences during our time in Tokyo. If you like obstacle course type activities we would highly recommend checking it out. If you can, go earlier in the day on a weekday to avoid crowds of kids in the after school hours.
We took the train all the way back into central Tokyo and had dinner at Genki Sushi. This is sort of the McDonalds of the Sushi world, that many sushi aficionados will thumb their noses at. Certainly it’s not the highest quality sushi, but it does offer a fun dining experience at an affordable price. We were seated at a bar along the wall. There was a computer screen and conveyor belt on the wall opposite our seats. All we had to do was pick out what we wanted and it would come whizzing out on a plate. You could order up to three items at a time. The computer kept tally of everything you ordered. They had a pretty wide variety of sushi available, and though the prices were cheap, we were very hungry. As the plates piled up so did our bill, until we cut ourselves off. It was just so easy and entertaining to put an order in, but our self control won out in the end.
We (Alana) did a bit of souvenir shopping before heading back to our AirBnb for our last night in Tokyo. The following morning we were off to our next destination: Osaka!
P.S. be sure to check out our instagram for more pictures!