While the myriad sights and sounds of Tokyo and other big cities surely offer excitement and entertainment to those who visit Japan, there is a growing range of options for you to enjoy the beautiful and pristine natural environment of more rural areas as well. For example, Shizuoka Prefecture, just an hour or so from Tokyo by bullet train, famous for spring water, green tea, and of course, Mount Fuji, is an increasingly popular destination.

Now, joining the list of recommended stops in the prefecture is a new concept hotel cleverly named "INN THE PARK."

When the Numazu City Youth Outdoor Learning Center closed in March of this year after 30 years of service to the community and its children, the city sought bids to renovate the area and ensure that the site and the beautiful 600,000 square-meter grounds would not go to waste. Fortunately for them, Open A Ltd., a Tokyo-based architecture firm specializing in renovation projects, made them an offer they couldn't refuse: a new concept hotel providing innovative lodging accommodations, fine dining and experience-based activities for adults and families to enjoy.


One of the highlights of INN THE PARK is its sphere-shaped tent accommodations nestled in the heart of the forest.

Two types of tents are available to accommodate the number of guests in the party. Larger tents at ground level can comfortably accommodate up to eight people, and the smaller tents suspended above ground are suitable for a party of two. Both tents have windows in the ceiling panel allowing guests to enjoy the view of the forest and the starry night sky.

If you prefer more conventional hotel accommodations, the main building would be your best option.

Retaining the basic layout of the youth center, the building has been entirely renovated into its new form, with a handsome white facade.

Inside, the lodging quarters have been refashioned into comfortable bedrooms highlighting natural wood.

The former dining hall has been turned into a spacious salon.


In addition to a cafe planned in the salon area, guests will be able to enjoy a fine dining experience featuring ingredients locally sourced in Shizuoka Prefecture.

For example, the dinner menu planned for the opening will be as follows:

  • Chef's Selection Soup (sourced from Frying Pan in Kannami)
  • Campagne bread (sourced from Boulangerie Tsumiki in Mishima)
  • Selection of seasonal local vegetables, served with bagna cauda sauce (sourced from REFS in Numazu)
  • Spare rib of pork marinated in mixed spices, served with an original barbecue sauce
  • Prime beef steak served with bourbon sauce


After a hearty meal and a peaceful night's sleep, a variety of experience-based activities are available for your entertainment.

Night-time theater performances, music events, yoga lessons and various workshops are planned on the open lawn area, board games are available in the salon and for activities outside and other activities will regularly be added.

INN THE PARK will open to the public on October 7, 2017. Please visit their website (Japanese only) to see more details on the facilities and to make your reservation. It will surely be a memorable experience and one of the highlights of your stay in Numazu, a great city for fresh seafood, scuba diving and a picturesque harbor.

And as an additional bonus for anime fans, Numazu City is the setting for the popular anime Love Live! Sunshine!! and has all kinds of attractions to please fans of the series.

By - Ben K.