Uminonakamichi Seaside Park 海の中道海浜公園
Uminonakamichi Seaside Park (Uminonakamichi Kaihin Koen) is a huge public park in Higashi ward, Fukuoka, on the end of the Uminonakamichi shoal enclosing Hakata Bay, accessible by train or ferry. Uminonakamichi Seaside Park is more family- than tourist-oriented, and offers a huge array of attractions, including a petting zoo and extensive flower gardens, for a reasonable price, easily occupying a full day.
Uminonakamichi Seaside Park Attractions
The various areas of Uminonakamichi Seaside Park include ample play opportunities for children, such as a huge playground, go-kart rides (and the adjacent Japan Vehicle History Museum), golf putting, a children's fortress and the summertime-only Sunshine Pool water park. The Animal Forest zoo is perhaps the park highlight, with animals from all over the world roaming in natural settings, and many of them able to be interacted with at the Animal Petting Farm. Uminonakamichi Seaside Park is a paradise for flower lovers, with numerous flower gardens, ponds and areas featuring seasonal flora from spring to fall. Wide open spaces throughout the park allow visitors to relax, roam and picnic as they like.
Uminonakamichi Seaside Park's approximately 290 hectares (725 acres) make it too big to traverse comfortably on foot, so there are bicycles for hire (400 yen for 3 hours + 70 yen per hour thereafter, or 700 yen for the day - cheaper for children) with dedicated cycle paths throughout. On busy days, be in early to get a bicycle. The cycle paths are lined with hundreds of cherry trees, making the park even more popular from late March to early April when they blossom. Shuttle buses also run inside the park on days when large-scale special events are held in spring and fall.
Uminonakamichi Seaside Park History
The site of today's Uminonakamichi Seaside Park was a Japanese military base, taken over by the U.S. military after WW2, and becoming a park in 1972. Uminonakamichi Seaside Park is a National Government Park
Uminonakamichi Seaside Park is open 9.30am - 5.30 pm (last entry 4.30pm) March 1 - October 31, and 9.30am - 5pm (last entry 4pm) November 1 - end of February. However, when the swimming pools are open (varying by season), hours are 9am - 6.30pm (last entry 5.30pm).
Closed December 31 and January 1, and the first Monday and Tuesday in February.
410 yen for adults, 80 yen for children, free for preschool infants.
Attraction rides are charged extra, between 100 and 500 yen depending on the attraction.
Access - Getting to Uminonakamichi Seaside Park
Uminonakamichi Seaside Park is about half an hour by train from Hakata Station. Take the JR Kagoshima Main Line to Kashii Station, then the JR Kashii Line to Uminonakamichi Station. From Bayside Place or Momochi (Marizon), it is about 20 minutes by ferry on the Uminaka Line.
18-25 Saitozaki, Higashi-ku, Fukuoka 811-0321. Tel. 092 603 1111
Nearby Uminonakamichi Seaside Park
Marine World Uminonakamichi is a large, modern aquarium just across the road and railway line from the Wonder World Gate of Uminonakamichi Seaside Park.
Marine World Uminonakamichi features a massive main tank with a range of marine species found in the sea around Kyushu, including 20 different species of shark. A scuba diving experience is offered in this tank - and scuba diving instruction sessions for those with no prior experience. It also has a petting tank with smaller, more benign sealife, and a renowned dolphin and sea lion show.