Jul 10, 2018
My eldest child is three, and is at the age now where she’s all about going to the park - she’d be there all day every day if she could. We are lucky with the area where we live - we have several different play areas not far from our home, but the best by far is Yairo No Mori Park. It’s awesome for several reasons...here are a few of them!
It’s completely free.
Sometimes trying to keep kids occupied can see you spending a pretty penny, and back when we lived in Tokyo we would often go to paid play centers like the Bornelund “Kid-O-Kid” places that you’ll find in several different shopping malls. Before you know it though you’ve gone and spent 2000 yen just to give your kid an hour of playtime. No worries with that here...it’s outdoor play fun that is wallet friendly!
There’s a surprising amount of play equipment.
Not just your usual swing sets, slides and climbing frames either, but things like giant inflatable balls that kids can push around and play with, and even a bouncing area. Pretty impressive!
There’s an outdoor auditorium area if you need some shade.
This is a good spot to sit if you plan on bringing some lunch and picnicking in the warmer weather, since it’s covered but still open so the breeze flows through. Sometimes they hold small performances on the stage (dance performances or singing by local school children, for instance), and you’ll often find people sitting out there and relaxing on their lunch breaks during the week!
It’s even enjoyable in winter.
Despite Minamiuonuma being in the heart of snow country, they still try and make the park area fun during the snowy months. There are a number of festivals held on the grounds here, including a fun “kids snow festival” complete with rides, tasty eats and more. It’s still hard to believe sometimes just how different the scenery here looks in winter!
After spending the last several years in the beating heart of Tokyo, I will be spending the next three in the countryside of Japan. I adore this country and all it has to offer - and I'm always learning more and more about life here as I go along!