You Have to Visit These Fun and Exciting Spots in Shunan With Your Family

The more, the merrier!

Himari-chan and her family will introduce us to fun places in Shunan City of Yamaguchi Prefecture.

Shunan City
is located at the south eastern part of Yamaguchi Prefecture.  This city is rich in nature with Chugoku Mountains in the north and Seto Naikai Sea in the south. There are many tourist spots within the city you can enjoy with your family. Let 3-year-old Himari-chan and her parents take you through the beautiful and fun Shunan!

See animals up close at Shunan-shi Tokuyama Zoo

Interact with animals with fun activities. The time varies per animal.

Observe wild birds and rest at
Neicharu. There are also picture books about animals to browse through.

“Hurry! Hurry!”
Himari-chan says excitedly to her parents as they head to Shunan-shi Tokuyama Zoo. This zoo has been loved by the local people for a very long time. Opened to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the city, it is no wonder it’s considered a special place. About 400 of 100 kinds of animals have lived in this compact zoo. Even small children can look around without getting tired. The zoo is currently being renewed with additional facilities being launched such as  Runcha♪Runcha that opened last 2016 where you can touch animals, Neicharu, where you can learn about nature, and Penguin Pool

The new
elephants’ house. During their visit, the elephants were being trained to obey the instructors’ orders.

You can watch the elephants spending time in the elephants’ house.

The new
elephants’ house that opened in 2019 is attracting a lot of attention from their visitors. This house is an iron-reinforced concrete building with two floors where the elephants can spend their time comfortably. In here, you can see elephants like Milinda, a 10-year-old Sri Lankan Elephant, and Namaly, an 11-year-old elephant.

Himari-chan looks interested in the elephants and their big bodies and long noses.

Outside, you can see the elephants in pools while some of them are just walking around the area slowly. Himari-chan and her parents were surprised and fascinated to see how big the elephants were.

You can see wild birds like
Nihon Kiji at Wild Birds Observation Spot.

Himari-chan saw a lot of other animals in the zoo like
Japanese pheasant, capybara and penguins. The whole family was happy to see different kinds of animals up close in Shunan Tokuyama Zoo. 

Shunan Tokuyama Zoo is located at 5846 Tokuyama, Shunan City, Yamaguchi Prefecture. You may contact them at +81-834-22-8640. The zoo is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the summer season and is open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. during winter. They are closed on Tuesdays. Fee:
¥600 per adult, ¥300 per elementary to high school student, and free for toddlers.


Play around with the whole family at Shunan Friend Park

Shunan Friend Park
is full of nature.

If you want to move around and play with your family,
Shunan Friend Park is the place for you. Opened in 2007 and located at the north of Shunan’s baseball field in Shunan Ryokuchi, this big space with its many playground equipment is the best place for everyone to have fun together,

The big playground equipment is for ages 6 to 12. Small children can play with their parents.

Equipment for toddlers are also available to ensure safety.

Playground equipment of different sizes are installed in the park like the
40-meter-long roller slide, and other big ones that combine a spiral slider with a rock climbing wall. Children as small as Himari-chan can have fun in this park too!

Many tricks are inside the equipment that will make you curious!

Himari-chan had a lot of fun running around the playground and exploring a lot of fun games and activities. “Wow, children have endless stamina when it comes to play outside,” says Himari-chan’s parents who were a little tired trying to catch up with their daughter during their visit. It’s also nice to have picnics here when it gets warmer since the park doesn’t charge any fees even on their parking lot.

Shunan Friend Park is located at 405-1 Tokuyama, Shunan City, Yamaguchi Prefecture. You may contact them at +81-834-22-8402. The park is open all day with no entrance fee.

Witness boat racing for the first time in Boat Race Tokuyama

At the central entrance of
Boat Race Tokuyama.

Boat Race Tokuyama
is definitely a place you’ll want to visit when you come to Tokuyama, Shunan-shi. It’s one of the two boat races in Yamaguchi.

The whole family is praying together so that the boat will win.

It was Himari-chan and her parent’s first time visiting a boat race site. From their nicely cut grass field to the entrance gate, don’t forget to stop by at their
Kyotei (Boat Race) Shrine. Among the 24 boat race sites in Japan, this is the only one that has a shrine. Pray before the race so that your boat can win!

The entrance fee is
¥100. Children can enter for free.

Turning with a big splash!

Watching for the first time, Himari-chan’s family were absorbed in the boat race.

Wanting to watch their first race near where all the action takes place, the whole family went to the deck on the 1st floor. When the race finally started, the three were surprised with the roaring sound of the engines, the big splashes of water, and the high speed of the boats running across water. “Red go! Blue go!” shouts Himari-chan as she rooted for her best pick. After the race ended, her father said, “It ended so fast” while her mother said, “My hands are sweaty!”. Himari-chan was surprised at first, but was soon excited for the next race asking if there was more.


It’s also nice to watch from the 2
nd floor seats where it’s open.

“Go Go!” the whole family shouts excitedly.

For the next race, they went inside and watched from the 2nd floor seats where you can see up to the very end of the course through the big window. Here, you can enjoy the race comfortably no matter what the season or weather is.

A picture with the mascot character,

There is also a kids’ room inside with a nursing room where parents can change their baby’s diapers. You can also find the popular mascot of Boat Race Tokuyama,
Sunacchi, inside the kids room. Take a picture beside the fluffy stuffed mascot!

Hungry Himari-chan ate
Okosama (Kids’) Udon and Age (Fried) Takoyaki (¥250).

Okosama (Kids’) Udon
(¥320 comes with a rice ball or inari ball).

The onsite restaurant,
Mermaid, is also a good place to go to. Here, you can enjoy small meals to set meals at a one-coin price. There is a menu for kids to enjoy and others that have katsu (win) like Katsu (Cutlet) Curry, Ebi (Shrimp) Katsu, and Ika (Squid) Katsu. Himari-chan loves noodles, so she chose Okosama Udon right away. She ate all of it very quickly, surprising her father who exclaimed “You ate all of it already?” and little Himari-chan cutely replied with “Gochisosama!

After experiencing their very first boat race, Himari-chan’s father says he might get into it. Even Himari-chan’s mother enjoyed saying she had a different opinion prior to their visit but because the whole place was open, she was able to have fun during their stay. Himari-chan on the other hand already wanted to visit again. The first boat race experience definitely became a precious memory for the family.

Boat Race Tokuyama is located at 1033 Kuriya, Shunan City, Yamaguchi Prefecture. You may contact them at +81-834-25-0540. They are open from 10 a.m. until the race ends. They are also open from 8:15 a.m. when there is a morning race. Restaurant Mermaid is open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fee:
¥100  for entrance.

Kids Park Cotton

This place opened last December 2019 and it’s already very popular.

Kids Park Cotton if you wish to go somewhere indoor where you won’t have to worry about the weather. This place is inside the Kudamatsu Kenko Park which is for families with toddlers to elementary school students. It’s also exclusive for their members, so each family will need a member ID if you want to enter. On your first visit, make sure to register for ¥100 and get an ID.


Their playing area is filled with the warmth of wood.

There is also a
Miniature Garden where you can transport to a small world.

Ao no Hiroba
is where you can play dynamically like jumping and running.

A blackboard where dwarves live is by
Team Labo.

This indoor park is one of the biggest sites in Yamaguchi with the concept of a place where parents and children would want to stay for a long time. Therefore, it’s bright inside and plenty of wood is used to make the atmosphere warm. There are four areas you and your family can go to inside namely
Big Tree Town, Miniature Garden, The Blue Square, and Baby’s Hill. These areas have many playing equipment that are both from in and outside of Japan. A blackboard where dwarves live is also exhibited which is by Team Labo, a team that makes contents combining art, science, and technology.

Sweets Plate
(¥880) is available for 10 each day. It’s a set with two drinks for the parent and child.

Inside, there is also With Café for parents and children. They provide healthy menus for kids.

Ingredients are carefully chosen for the children’s health and safety. Lunches are also popular.

Since the café hopes that parents can have fun as they take their time eating, there is a kids’ space inside the café with toys where kids can play. This gives the parents time to enjoy their meals with their kids having fun on their own. Himari-chan’s mother was so surprised and impressed by this and expressed how grateful she was.

Himari-chan was so happy playing with toys she can enjoy only here.

Seeing Himari-chan have fun with a big smile on her face, her parents were so glad they brought their daughter there. After all the fun, Himari-chan slept on her father’s back when it was finally time to go home. 

Tokuyama, Shunan-shi area on your next family trip to Japan and make a lot of fun and happy memories together with the whole fambam.

Kids Park Cotton is located at 1/F Kudamatsu Kenko Park, 448 Hirata, Kudamatsu City, Yamaguchi Prefecture. You may contact them at +81-833-41-2600. They are open from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays and open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2p.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends and national holidays (choose either time to enter). Membership registration fee:
¥100. Entrance fee: ¥600 per 1-year-old to elementary school student, ¥200 per middle school student and older. There is an additional ¥100 per 1-year-old to elementary school student on weekends and national holidays. Entrance may be limited when crowded so we highly suggest that you make reservations through their website for weekends and national holidays. 


Provided by Japan Walker™, Walkerplus™, and Tokyo Walker™ (20 February 2020)

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