Akashi Park in Hekinan, Aichi Prefecture
Family fun parks are always a draw for families during the warmer months. Even though the family always has a great time, there tend to be a few annoyances that threaten the outing. The cost of food, the long lines and admission costs for each family member. It’s no secret that it can also be a chore to find a park that will interest an entire family of varying age groups.
The perfect solution for the day is just right outside of Nagoya in a small town. Akashi Koen located in Hekinan. It’s a beautiful family fun park with just about something for every family member and no admission cost! The park is situated right off of Route 247 and parking is free. Upon entering the park you will find that it is indeed just that. It resembles a very nice public neighborhood park that you would find in just about any town. There are slides, swings, a jungle gym and a rock climbing wall. It’s a great place to snap a few shots of the little ones before their midsummer growth spurts.
Walking through the park is a pleasant experience. It’s a spacious grassy park neatly kept and perfect for picnicking, so feel free to pack a lunch. There are also a few soft drink vending machines for your convenience and bathrooms located near the entrance. There is a bridge which connects the second half of the park. This is where you will find your amusement park elements.
The amusement park side is glorious. The first sights you see are the ride-on train and the ferris wheel. There are events, shows, and various areas where you can sit and relax under shaded tables throughout the park. I set up camp with my little ones at a table near the ride-on train and we had a great time. If you exhaust your packed lunch, there is a concession stand with standard fun foods like hotdogs and french fries. You are also welcomed to try some Japanese fun foods like Kakigori (shaved ice topped with colored syrup). Did I mention that the park opens as early as 9am? Unless there is a big holiday break it’s unlikely that you will have to wait in line.
Teenagers will be happy about the go-carts that circle the park. An exhilarating ride for just ¥100. Actually all of the rides are ¥100, some you can insert a coin directly and some you can buy tickets for near the entrance to the amusement side. There is also an arcade and vending machines which seem to be an attraction unto themselves. You may want to try the fried food vending machine. No idea how they make fried chicken and french fries in a vending machine, but it’s fun stuff to experience instant fried food.
Akashi Koen can easily be an all day visit. Relax, play, eat and explore.This is quite a cost effective day trip and if you are so inclined, there is even a hotel next door in which you can inquire about an overnight stay in the area rather than commute back to the city that same day. If you decide to venture outside of the city of Nagoya, indeed Akashi Koen has all bases covered for a lovely family day trip.
The park is open Tuesday through Sunday and hours change seasonally. For the most accurate schedule it is best to check the website : http://www.katch.ne.jp/~kanrikk/