I’d always wanted to check out the squirrel park in Machida but kept putting it off because it was a little inacessible (head to Machida station, which is a fair distance from central Tokyo, and then take a 20-30min bus ride to the squirrel park). Well, since we had the luxury of time during our July/Aug Japan holiday, we decided to finally check it out!
I think we took about an hour by train to get to Machida. We were well-prepared for the long ride with food!
We filled our bellies with onigiri, ice cream and a katsu burger from a combini.
From Machida, we were supposed to “take a bus from the no.21 bus stop”, according to Tokyo Cheapo’s article on the squirrel park. What the article doesn’t tell you is that the bus stop is not that near the station, and we had a hard time looking for it because the map at the station showing all the bus stops was not drawn to scale. I ended up asking a random security guard where the bus stop was and he pointed me the right way. There are two buses that serve the bus stop, and both go to the squirrel park.
So happy when we saw this giant sign showing that we’d finally found the park!
The park isn’t very big, but it has plenty of squirrels! There are some enclosures in the main area, holding various species of squirrels, as well as other small animals like rabbits and guinea pigs.
The squirrels look so cute lying flat on the ground!!!
Ahhh, so round!
Lying flat again!
And belly up…
Guinea pig! Apparently there are some timings/days when you can feed the rabbits/guinea pigs for a fee, but this was not available when we went.
Next, we entered the main attraction – the squirrel garden where you enter a giant free-roam area FILLED with HUNDREDS of squirrels that you can feed! For 100yen, you get a small pack of sunflower seeds, and you get to borrow a glove too (very important, because these critters have sharp claws!).
And so the feeding began…
All the squirrels were super enthusiastic about gettng fed and didn’t hesitate in getting up close and personal with the visitors feeding them!
They climb all the way up to your glove if you let them!
Love this pose! SO CUTE.
They have giant tortoises in the same compound. Nope, not going near them.
Check out the awesome outdoor play area that the squirrels live in! So many little homes!
You can go out there, or stay in this shaded area where they’ll come to you if you have food.
I think the squirrels are super cute, but I can’t help feeling terrified that I’ll get clawed, so I was a little cautious feeding them.
Mario, however, had no such reservations, as you can see.
The squirrel whisperer in action!
You really should wear long pants/skirts and long sleeved tops, or you might end up with scratches like Mario did…
Yup, that’s as near as they got to me…
Cute squirrel drinking!
“Are you sure there’s no more food?”
After feeding the squirrels, we enjoyed some ice cream at the gift store and it was majorly yummy.
140yen for this super yummy, creamy matcha popsicle!
Mario’s arm after interacting with the squirrels. Eeps. I escaped unscathed.
All in all, the squirrel park was massive fun and we laughed till our stomachs hurt at the squirrels’ antics. It’s an absolute must-go, especially if you’re travelling with kids.
Machida Squirrel Park
Entrance fee: 400yen
Getting there: Take any bus from no. 21 bus stop near Machida train station. It’s about a 20-min ride.
Opening hours: 10am-4pm (closed Tuesdays)