Trying out one of my Winter Bucket Lists: Ice Skating Rink - Waku Waku

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Trying out one of my Winter Bucket Lists: Ice Skating Rink

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Trying out one of my Winter Bucket Lists: Ice Skating Rink

Kijima Kogen Amusement Park provides Outdoor Ice Skating Rink in winter.

Malahati Shatadini

Malahati Shatadini

Published on 23 Dec 2021, 12:00

Since I come from a tropical country, winter becomes a season that I cherish the most while I live in Japan. I can try different activities that I could never try in my country. I even made a "Winter Bucket List" that consisted of activities I wanted to do during the season.

Trying out one of my Winter Bucket Lists: Ice Skating Rink

Skating in an outdoor ice skating rink was on the list. It needs to be the outdoor one because it is rare and seems more natural to me. Besides, the indoor one is available in my country, and I've been there several times.

I put low expectations of whether I can try to skate since I reside in Kyushu, a southern region of Japan, where the snow is not as heavy as in the northern region.

With this geographical situation, the number of winter-related activities and places (e.g., ski resorts, skating rink, or ice fishing) is limited in Kyushu. When I found out that an amusement park close to where I live has an outdoor skating rink, I was beyond happy and eager to try.

But, based on my experience of the first winter I had in Beppu (last year), the snow fell and lasted only one day, mainly in the highland area. My plan to go there was called off since I felt hesitant thinking about the snow. Fortunately, in this year's winter, the snow was much more than last year, which gave me a high hope to go. I will share my experience through this article.

Trying out one of my Winter Bucket Lists: Ice Skating Rink

Kijima Kogen & Its Skating Rink

The amusement park I am talking about is Kijima Kogen, 52 hectares park located on the mountain slope between Beppu and Yufuin.

Even though the scale of this park cannot be comparable with Disneyland or Universal Studios, it is Beppu and Northern Kyushu's residence pride, as it is a home for Kyushu's largest outdoor ice skating rink, Japan's first wooden roller coaster.

The outdoor skating rink is open limitedly during the winter (late November to early March) and becomes a swimming pool during the summer. To know the exact opening date every year, please visit this link.

It is claimed the largest rink in Kyushu because of its length and width (30m and 60m, respectively) large enough for Japanese standards. It is located on the left side next to the park's main entrance and is visible from the parking lot.

Different Type of Skate Cart (on the left) & Buildings for Lockers and Shoes Rental (on the right)
Different Type of Skate Cart (on the left) & Buildings for Lockers and Shoes Rental (on the right)

The Fees & Facilities

I didn't remember paying any fee for playing, but I remember paying a fee for renting a pair of skating shoes for ¥800 and a small locker for ¥100. You can rent the shoes according to your size, but you need to bring and wear your own socks.

Other rental equipment is a moving chair, car, or an animal-shaped cart, usually used by children, elders, or beginner skaters. Their companies must push them in order to make them move. At the same time, it gives more balance to the pusher. Public facilities like toilets and food stalls are available inside the rink area.

Ready to Skate!
Ready to Skate!

Final Verdicts & Recommendations

  • The size of the ice rink was smaller than what I imagined (I think I watch too many Hollywood Christmas movies), but since it is in Japan, it is understandable.
  • I love the fact that Yufu mountain ranges surround the ice rink. I could see the beautiful view and breathe the fresh air while I skated.
  • If you have a flexible time, refrain from going at the end of the winter season (late February or early March) because you will find some ice melt due to the hotter weather. Not only will you not enjoy the skate to the fullest, but also you will have a high risk of falling from the slippery surface.
  • As far as I notice, there was no specifically assigned personnel to train and help you skate. So you need to be careful and be prepared to skate without any supervision.
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Malahati Shatadini

Malahati Shatadini

Sharing my life and travel experiences while I'm in Japan. Follow my Instagram account @shatadini for more travelling pics!

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