Located about 30 minutes from Yokota is an amusement park to delight any fancy. Seibuen is a spacious, beautifully landscaped park, filled with over 20 attractions. A giant ferris wheel dominates the skyline, while rocket rides, a carousel, a pirate ship, teacups and much more are tucked into the hillsides of the park. The center has a cute Hello Kitty Land. They even have a heart stopping roller coaster that loops and twists over water. A unique rotating observation deck provides spectacular views of Sayama Dam. While modest, Seibuen is a lovely place to spend the afternoon without venturing too far from base. There are several water attractions, including a “wave” pool. These are open only in the summer months. Parking is readily available and costs ¥1000. For ¥3200/adult and ¥2700/child you can buy a one-day pass with full access to the park, no additional charge for rides. General admission is ¥1000/adult and ¥500/child 3-12. This allows admission to the park, but you will have to purchase tickets for the attractions. The ticket machines are located near the entrance of each ride. Depending on the ride, tickets range from ¥200 and up. In December the Christmas lights are spectacular. There is also ice skating from mid December to mid March. During the Christmas lights display arrive at 4pm and purchase an all inclusive ticket for ¥1300/person (unless you are planning to ride, then it will cost Y2300). Lights turn on at 5:15pm and it is fun to enjoy all the rides in a sea of Christmas lights. Food stalls and drinks are readily available, but kind of pricey. You can bring your own lunch. GPS coordinates to parking lot: 35.770426, 139.440549.
DIRECTIONS: Exit the East gate and turn left. Turn right at the 7/11 and go straight for 1 kilometer. Turn left onto Route 59 (also Route 55) as if you are going to Aeon Mall. Pass the Aeon Mall and continue on this road as it winds past Noyama Kita Obstacle Course Park and into the mountains. This road parallels the running/biking path on the right and also Tama Lake. Before you reach Seibu Dome the road dead-ends into a T intersection. Turn right here and then an immediate left (do not go over the bridge that crosses Tama Lake). Continue along this road past Seibu Dome and to the amusement park. This road dead-ends at another T intersection at the amusement park. Turn left and look for road down to the Seibuen parking lot on the right. – Donna Alexander, updated Sarah Straus, December 2012
Comments & Photos: Sarah Straus, December 2013: We went to Seibuen again this year for the Christmas lights display. At ages 4 and 6 our kids were just the right age to really appreciate almost all of the rides in the park, though I think they would be fun for older kids too. Last year we went on a night that was really crowded. This year we went on a Saturday night in the middle of December and it was quiet – which made the whole experience even more enjoyable for us. We were able to ride everything multiple times and get right on the Ferris Wheel. The rotating observation deck has a really lovely view – don’t miss it.