Friday, May 8, 2009

Fuji Safari Park

Bryan and I went to Fuji Safari Park on an MWR Tour. It was his Spring Break, and continuing our zoo/animals theme, I thought he might enjoy this tour. HE DID AND SO DID I. Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my!! I have been to a nice Safari Park in Staunton, Virginia. It was drive through and you could feed the deer and such, but I haven't EVER dreamed I would feed a LION and a BEAR. Shall I start at the beginning? We started our bus ride going west towards Mount Fuji. What beautiful Sightseeing there was from the bus. You go past the tea fields and get incredible views of Mount Fuji. It is a sight to behold. Have you ever seen a stand alone Volcano? It is amazing. All covered in snow and almost perfectly formed. We can actually see Fuji from the base on a clear day. But, it doesn't compare with actually coming close to it and seeing how LARGE it is. The Japanese cannot make the "F" sound like we do, so they pronounce it Mount HOOJI. We all think this is very funny, of course. But, you get the hang of it and start calling it Mount Hooji too!
Fuji Safari Park is very close to Fuji. I was able to snap some incredible pics. You be the judge.... Mickey, our tour guide, and Michael & Bryan's honorary Japanese Grandmother, told us that we were taking a very special bus through the safari. Once we were inside the park, we saw the Tour Buses. They were each made to look like different animals. We all wanted the TIGER one, but it was not to be. We ended up with the White Rhino tour bus. We all waited patiently and boarded the bus with some Japanese visitors as well. The driver then explained to everyone (Mickey translated) the safety rules and precautions. Then we started through the first of two steel gates.
The first area we came to was the bears. There was lots of them. The Japanese bears are a little smaller. We put Carrots and Apples on the end of long steel tongs and put them through two steel mesh grates in front of us. The bear ever so gently slipped the carrots and apples off of the tongs. He was SOOOO CUTE!! Bryan kept saying, Mom, that bear isn't cute! But, he was!! I wanted to give him a hug!! LOL!!!
The next section we went into was the Lions. I have never, ever seen so many lions. There was 30 or more. The lionesses looked very calm and beautiful. One came over to get some steak from the tongs. She gently ate a piece. THEN, MR. LION CAME TO EAT AND HE WAS SSSSCCCAAARRRYYYY. He roared at the lioness and It was very unsettling to say the least. It was a loud roar and he was UUUGGLLYY. He had been in a fight and wasn't looking pretty. It kind of grossed us both out.

So, yep, we fed the Mr. Lion too! Then we went into the TIGER section. Again, there was about 30 tigers in there. They are more active in the early morning and late at night. So, they didn't come near the bus. They were lounging around and I particularly liked the one who was sleeping with his head upside down. I wish we could have seen more of the tigers. They are just so beautiful.

After that was the cheetahs. The cheetahs were also a sight to behold and were lounging around too. They must feed them well. After that, it was elephants, zebras, giraffes, rhinos, camels, deer, watusi's, and others. It was a very nice safari ride and we will always remember it.Once we finished our safari, we were able to explore the rest of the Park. They had a dog house and a cat house. The brochure said that for a fee you could go in and see and pet lots of different types of dogs and/or cats. We chose the dog house first. It was okay. There was about 25 dogs in there. Most of them had already had enough human interaction for the day. They were trying to stay away from the smallest children. There was a honey colored long-haired dauschund that got in Bryan's lap and wanted to stay there. We stayed in there about 15 mins. then headed over to the cat house. The cat house was just OK. The cat's REALLY didn't want to be bothered and it smelled like cat PEE. YUCK.

After that, we had some lunch at the Safari Cafe. Bryan was brave and tried some beef curry which he really liked. I had the kids plate and it was yummy. I especially liked my elephant shaped bread. The hamburg and hot dog was yummy. We also both had an ice cream crepe for dessert. YUM.

It was time to stroll through the petting zoo part of the park. They had some really stinky sheep that I wouldn't let Bryan touch. They needed a bath REAL BAD. Then we saw a building that had a large cage with very small monkeys. There was a sign to be careful that they might bite you. Bryan touched one anyway and they were very cute. We really liked seeing the two hippos. They were really cool! Then we saw a sleeping Hyena. That was different. We also liked touching the Chinchilla, he was so soft. I was able to hold a white hamster that was gentle. We liked seeing the sheep dogs. Bryan got a kick out of a Japanese person jumping when the dogs came by. Not many people here have big dogs like that. They also had a petting zoo of kangaroos. We didn't get to pet them and I'm kinda glad. I was worried about the germs there too.
The park also has an American Miniature Horse "Ranch". They actually have a race twice per day of the horses. You can "Bet" on them and if your horse wins, you get a stuffed mini horse. The rest of the time, the horses are used for kiddie rides. They do have a parade in the middle of the day where they tied all the horses together and rode through the park to some circus music. They were very cute and the children loved it.
We really enjoyed ourselves at the park. It was a beautiful, relaxing day to spend some time together enjoying nature and the animals.

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