One of our favorite family spots to spend time with nature and enjoy the seasons is Showa Memorial Park. This post is an easy guide to make your trip easier, especially when you are traveling with children. We want to help you get the most out of your trip the easy way!
We have visited this park on many occasions as it is near our home and we feel it is one of the best parks in Tokyo. We especially enjoy this park in the Sakura viewing season and have spent three years in a row viewing the Sakura (cherry blossoms) here. In our opinion this is one of the best Cherry Blossoms spots in all of Tokyo and one of the easiest to access with children or a large group.
Lets get right into it!
Showa Kinen Park is located in western Tokyo in the Tachikawa area. It is about an hour from downtown Tokyo. It is a really easy drive to reach the park. There is a two lane entrance complete with parking and as you near the park you will see banners and many park gates announcing that season special attractions at the park.
If driving is not an option you can easily reach Tachikawa by train. The main entrance to the park is close to Tachikawa station. There is about a 10 minute walk between the park and tachikawa station. The walk itself is not generally too difficult. There are some streets to cross but in this area there are wide and new sidewalks so this should not be a problem. The walk from Tachikawa Station will take you to the main entrance of the park.
You will also pass several restaurants, convience stores, and supermarkets between the station and the park. This will allow you to grab snacks or drinks for the park if you do not want to pack much for your train ride. You can bring food and drinks into the park so this is a good option for those that want to enjoy a picnic at the park.
There are also two other close train stops You can exit at the Musashisunagawa Station at the Seibu Haijima line. But this stop will give you around a 20 minute walk to access the park. You will also not enter the park at the main entrance from this stop. You will be looking to enter the park at a gate called Sunagawa Cho. I think this is the lest crowded area for entrance. However this I have never had a wait problem getting into the park even during the peak days and times. I think over all it would be easier to focus on using Tachikawa Station to enter the park unless if you are maybe walking or biking from home and this is your closest gate. I also do not recommend this area for those traveling with small children. I do not think this 20 minute walk is the best route to travel with them. The pathways are not as good for strollers or walking with a baby carrier as the Tachikawa Station route.
The other train option is the JR ome Railway. The exit you should take would be the Nishi Tachikawa station and this route will take you about a 20 minute walk also. I have never done this route and can not comment on how the pathways are for walking with children. When in doubt try a google earth photo! 🙂
Parking at Showa Park is so convenient and easy. It does cost to park though. There is one standard fee. We we recently went to the park (Cheery Blossoms spring 2017) the cost was 820 yen. So about $8.20 in dollars. Keep in mind it is a one time charge for the entire day. This is not hourly or even in 20 minute increments like many Tokyo attractions. This parking is A+ in my book!
Caution though – I do remember that last year we went during a special event and I thought that we actually paid 1000 yen (around $10). I am not sure of the parking fluctuation for sure but, just be aware that there will be a charge… and it may be slightly higher during a special event.
The parking lot area is large and the spaces are decent sized for Japan standards. You can bring your full size vehicles and it will not be a problem. I did not notice that any spots were specifically zoned off for mini cars so you would not have any issues with parking. The parking area is huge… but not so huge that you will have an issue getting into the park. There are no shuttles needed from the lot like Disney or anything! (btw that is not a thing at Tokyo Disney because the parking lot is not huge like Florida or Cali. Most people take the train to get to Disney here in Tokyo!!)
If you are looking for a free adventure with the fam it can be done. There is one side of the park that is actually called the “Green Culture area ” or Green culture zone. This area is not technically inside the park. You do not have to purchase tickets or wait in line to enter. this will be to the left of the Tachkawa gate. You will pass through this area if you are walking from Tachikawa station.
This area does have a small museum, grassy areas to play, a cafe inside the free museum area and an elevator to access the high part of the park entrances or walking paths for strollers or wheelchairs.
Many people in the Green Culture area bring picnics, skateboards, frisbees, soccer balls, and bubbles for their children to play. There is not as much of a shaded area there though so on a hot day my advice is to go ahead and pay for the main park area.
If you are going to see Cherry Blossoms this area will not have them. There may be just a couple but the large area for cherry blossoms viewing would be inside the regular park area.
The main area of the park charges:
Adults 15 – 64 years- 410 yen
Seniors 65 years and over- 210 yen
Children 6 – 14 years- 80 yen
Infants 0 – 5 years- Free
Food and Entertainment:
There are multiple food vendors in the park. There is a restaurant near the main entrance and it has large floor to ceiling windows so that you may view the park while eating.
There is also a BBQ park area that you may reserve for your group. This is located near the rainbow pool area and you may bring your own food and drinks from outside or order items within the Rainbow pool BBQ area for grilling. However if you want to sue the BBQ garden you must reserve a spot. As this is a really popular spot for social gathers it is recommended that you try and reserve a spot about 2-3 months in advance as it books up really quickly.
The BBQ garden also has activities that you can participate in. You must book these also. There are activities like frisbee and horseshoes available. Check the official website or call Showa Park directly to find out more about the options and booking availability.
Showa Kinen has a wonderful childrens play area. This is called the Childrens Forest. It has numerous large slides, playground equipment, and large round bouncy contraptions. There is also an area that turns misty in the summer months to keep kids cool. Misty water is sprayed out near the play area so they can even enjoy the playground in the hot humid summer months of Tokyo!
There are also bicycles available for rental. There are numerous bike paths through Showa park and bikes are available for adults and children. You should definitely get to the park early to rent a bike as this is a popular activity and they do run out. You can start renting bikes at 9:30 am. It is around 400 yen for adults and around 260 for children. This price may not be accurate as prices can vary so check with the park directly to confirm.
There are various notable garden attractions in the park as well. Such as a large Japanese garden and a historical area. And a large open field area near the Childrens park. This area is surrounded by trees on the edges but gives plenty of space for running and playing sport or having a picnic. There are vendors at one edge of the field with tables and chairs for enjoying snack. You will see families with children using this area the most.
Also- do not forget about the area of the park called “The Rainbow Pool”. This is a separate admission price as it is a small waterpark like pool. More about this on the post entitled “Rainbow Pool at Showa Kinen Park”. Creative title right?
Hours of Operation:
March until October – 9:30 a.m. – 5:00
November until February: 9:30 a.m. – 4:30
Strollers/ Wheelchairs / Infant Feeding:
Showa park is one of the easiest parks to navigate with strollers or a wheelchair. The pathways are wide and mostly flat. There are easy to access ramps at the front entrance with handrails as well. Baby carriers could be used as well but since this park is so large it is best to also bring along your stroller. I think most moms would get really worn out walking through the entire park with only a baby carrier.
Infant and baby feeding is easy here. There are many areas that you could stop and feed an infant. Also, bags containing liquids and food are allowed in all areas of the park.
There are nice baby changing areas in the restrooms and they are spread throughout the entire park.
I had an easy time using the changing areas here since my child was a very young baby. Now that she is potty training we still have no problem accessing a bathroom in a hurry!
Pack a picnic, bring your stroller, and some water bottles because this will be an all day event! We have visited this park many times and still haven’t seen all there is to see! We also have not rode in any of the boats on the little lake! There is so much to do here and everything is easy for foreigners and kids! I also suggest bringing a mat for your picnic. There are usually seats and tables at the vendors but in case they are full or you are packing your own lunch box you may want to have a mat to lay on the grass to sit on while eating. Also as the weather changes quickly in Tokyo, the mat is very useful if it suddenly starts to rain but you need to rest on a bench for a baby feeding or something like that. This way you can keep your seat dry while stopping for a more comfortable baby feeding.
*Do not forget your camera! This park has great photo spots for the kids. Usually there are couples doing wedding photos here and many families posing for family pictures. Yes, it is that beautiful!
Enjoy your trip to Showa park! Leave a comment and share any tips you have for the park!