Forest Adventure offers swinging good time

By Paige Ferrari

Imagine swinging through the forests of Hakone, over 10 meters above ground, alternately exhilarated by the view and suspicious that short-shorts were an inappropriate wardrobe selection (those safety harnesses do tend to cause some awkward bunching). That’s the concept behind Forest Adventure, the family-friendly high-ropes experience that started in Talloires, France, and has since spread across Europe and into Asia.

Last month saw the opening of their newest park in Hakone, offering nature-starved Tokyoites an opportunity to add rappelling and zip-lining to the more humdrum daytrip itinerary of museums and onsen.

At Forest Adventure parks, visitors navigate obstacle adventure courses built into the natural surroundings, with 30-odd activities that involve moving from tree to tree by means of bridges, high-wire walks, Tarzan swings and zip-lines. The experience is billed as part Zen, part thrill-seeking—it’s not often you come across “harmony with nature” and “risk of falling from high places” in the same sales pitch—and is sealed with an appropriately trendy eco message.

Forest Adventure works with existing tree configurations when building a course, and has the support of Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, with profits going back into forest maintenance.

As an added bonus, Forest Adventure Hakone is also close to the popular Himeshara no Yu onsen, so the whole Swiss Family Robinson can have a relaxing bath afterwards. Just tell dad to wear long pants.

Forest Adventure Hakone: 749-1 Chanohana, Yumoto, Hakone-machi, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa. Tel: 080-4219-2206 (Park); 0555-85-3227 (Office). Email: Free shuttle service available from Hakone station. Advance booking recommended.

This story originally appeared in Metropolis magazine (

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There is one of these on the Gold coast in QLD.You have to swing across dingo enclosures from very tall Eucalypts.It looks like a lot of fun.It apparently really gets the sweat up!

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With more safety harnesses than required and a queue from Hakone to Mt Fuji.....

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Mittsu -- I went there this summer and found it delightfully low-key and easygoing in approach, and no queues at all. Of course, this was midweek, not a weekend.

Your comment about safety harnesses is insane, though. Everyone wears one standard climbing-type harness, and there is an absolutely essential and easy-to-use double clip-in system once you're up in the trees. If anything, the higher I got, the more I wished for more automation in the safety systems--being responsible for two 10-year-olds with me, it became quite nerve-wracking.

Very exhilirating, but not easy. Unless you're an accomplished climber, I wouldn't take this too lightly.

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Cool - haven't used a "flying fox" since I was 9 years old in Cub-Scouts...

suspicious that short-shorts were an inappropriate wardrobe selection (those safety harnesses do tend to cause some awkward bunching).

Short shorts are NEVER an inappropriate selection for most women, no-matter how impractical. Japanese girls know this well - and we love them for it.

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Does anyone know how much it costs? I poured over their website and even filled out the registration form and continued all the way to the last step before making it final, and still was never quoted a cost.

It seems free if you look at the site since I can't find cost mentioned anywhere, but this article talks about profits.

Anyone know the price list? I'm interested in going if it's not too expensive!

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@Hermione Looks like the link to prices on that particular park's website is dead (or more likely hasn't been born yet), but the other parks in the group seem to be charging ¥3,500 for an adult and ¥2,500 for a child per day.

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@kyushujoe Thanks! Wow, that's a lot more than I thought, but it looks fun! Will have to save up!

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Haven't been to "Forest Adventure" but did "Tree Trekking, etc" with my son in Nasu and other resorts.

Granted smaller courses but they were fun and not too expensive.

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