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Funabashi H. C. Andersen Park – Fairy-tales, flowers, and fun outdoors

Spring is the time for flower-viewing and it does not necessarily end when the sakura season is over. Frankly speaking, it only begins. Just pick your favorite kind of flower and go for it! As for me, the absolute best flowers are tulips and roses. So on a sunny day in spring we headed to Hans Christian Andersen Park. No, we didn’t go to Odense in Denmark, the hometown of the famous children’s book writer. We just dropped by Funabashi in Chiba Prefecture, which is the sister city of Odense.Funabashi H.C.Andersen parkYou may be surprised to hear that this park runs up Disneyland and Disneysea in the popularity ranking of Tokyo theme parks by TripAdvisor. Another pleasant surprise is the lack of long lines (well, almost).

Probably the best time to visit H.C.Andersen Park in Funabashi is April, when the tulips, daffodils, sakura, and other flowers are blooming abundantly. There are 50,000 flowers of 100 different species that bloom all year round.Funabashi H.C.Andersen park

At the time we visited there was only weeping sakura (shidare-zakura) left, but I suppose that if your timing is more appropriate, you may kill two birds with one stone and have a terrific hanami. Don’t forget to take picnic goods and food, and maybe even a sun tent. In good weather, many families spend all day here, although it may get too crowded and noisy on weekends. With an annual passport you can afford to visit quite often.Funabashi H.C.Andersen parkTickets cost only 100 yen for kids over 4 years old and 200 yen for junior high school students. It is not directly mentioned in the name, but H.C. Andersen Park is officially a park for children (pretty obvious if you think of Andersen though). There are areas where they can play, pet the animals, exercise, create different arts, and just play with water. However, the place is also great for adults. You just have to find your favorite spot or a cute statue, and relax. You can do that in the Nature Experience Zone or in the Fairy Tale Hill Zone.Funabashi H.C.Andersen parkFunabashi H.C.Andersen parkIn front of the Fairy Tale Pavilion is a bronze figure of Andersen and kids at story time. It was installed after Funabashi won the “Odense City International Andersen Prize”.Funabashi H.C.Andersen park

The red building of the Community Center is one of the symbols of the park.Funabashi H.C.Andersen Park

Keep your eyes peeled for the rainbows at the Rainbow Pond of Kids Kingdom Zone.

These are the cute deer decorating the Farmer’s House and the interior of the kids’ bedroom.Funabashi H.C.Andersen parkFunabashi H.C.Andersen park


Funabashi H.C.Andersen Park 

Address: Chiba Prefecture, Funabashi City, Kanehori-cho 525
Access: From Funabashi Station North Exit, Bus Stand No. 5, ride the Funabashi Shin-Keisei Bus bound for “Komuro Eki” and walk 5 minutes from “Kenmin no Mori” stop.
Closed: Every Monday (open on holidays, and during spring, summer, and winter vacations); New Year’s Holiday (12/29 – 1/1)
Phone: 047-457-6627 (9:30 – 16:00)
Distance from airport: 37 km from Narita Airport
Official website (only in Japanese): http://www.park-funabashi.or.jp/and/index.htm

Article by Olga Kaneda

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