By Lester Goh
To call Fuchinobe Park simply a ‘park’ is quite the understatement.
The sprawling premises of Fuchinobe Park is home to not one but 2 full-sized baseball diamonds, 10 tennis courts, a giant indoor pool/ice skating rink facility, an open football field, and multiple playground facilities for children to play on. If you are looking for a sporty retreat to spend your day while in Kanagawa, Fuchinobe Park is the place to be.
The centerpiece of Fuchinobe Park has to be the baseball stadium – Thirty-four Sagamihara Baseball Park. This 15 hectare stadium seats 16,064, and is fully equipped to host both high school baseball and pro baseball matches. There are indoor facilities for table tennis, badminton and basketball within the stadium as well.
Sitting next to Thirty-four Sagamihara is another baseball diamond – Hikari Baseball Park. While not a professional stadium, this ballpark actually sees more use by neighboring elementary, middle and high school teams. Hikari Baseball Park has open bleachers, and so I was able to sit down and catch two little league teams go at it when I visited!
If you like tennis, then you will love Fuchinobe Park as well. The park boasts 10 tennis courts (grass), and these are well maintained and oft-used by the locals. All but 2 of the courts were occupied at the time of my visit. Use of the courts are free but bookings are required beforehand.
Not interested in tennis or baseball? The Milky Way Arena here features an indoor pool during summer from June to September. The Arena then converts to an ice skating rink for the rest of the year from October to May! Training facilities and restaurants in the Arena are open all year round. Note however, that Milky Way Arena is operated separately; fees are charged for use of the indoor pool or rink.
Fuchinobe Park is designated as a sports park by the local authorities, and certainly lives up to this billing. No matter what sport you like, name it, and you’ll likely find the necessary facilities and equipment here.
Fuchinobe Park can be a little out of the way, but is accessible via local bus No. 36 from JR Fuchinobe station, or with a 25 minute walk from the same station.
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