One of my favorite things about Japan is the beautiful parks that are tucked all over. This park had been on my list for a while and I was so excited to finally get a chance to check it out. Our mission was to play in the water on a hot September day. Many of the water play areas around Japan seem to close at the end of August. Kyodo No Mori remained open and to our surprise offered more than just water.
The park is a pretty easy drive which took us around 40 minutes on a Sunday. We were unsure of where the water area was, therefore, we parked a bit far. You will find quite a few parking areas and they all seemed to be free. I suggest parking next to the restaurant which is located right next to the park entrance. We parked near the baseball fields which was a bit of a walk. However, since we had to walk we discovered an area across from the main entrance that had a small pond and what appeared to be free fishing. There were both adults and children using poles and nets to catch very tiny fish. I translated the signs around the pond and found no information about the pond. There was no one regulating a fee so I assume it was free. Everyone had their own equipment and it didn’t seem like anyone was taking any fish home. We plan to make another trip out to give it a try. Our girls enjoyed looking at the tiny fish that others had caught.
After walking through this area we came to a building that served as a grocery store, restaurant, and information booth. We ordered lunch on a machine which was an adventure since we don’t know Japanese and there were only a few pictures. We managed to order fried chicken with curry and rice and loved it! Once we were done eating we let the girls play on the tiny elephant slide before heading into the park. There is a fee to enter the park which is paid for on a machine. It was 300 yen for adults, 150 yen for our 4-year-old and free for children under 4.
Through the gates, the first thing you will see is a large museum and cafe on the right. There was a list of shows and when we peeked into the window we saw that they had a planetarium. Yet another reason we will need to return to the park. Follow the road to the left to find the water play area which is also marked in English on signs throughout the park. The water area is fairly big and not too deep. Younger children can enjoy it safely. I, however, will bring our life jacket next time simply because the ground is very slippery. Our younger daughter was more comfortable holding our hand or staying close because she kept slipping. In the summer the water area is even more fun because it is filled with plastic balls similar to those found in a ball pit. Children can splash and play with the balls as well.
The area is very beautiful. There are a few small waterfalls in the play area that can be touched. At the top of the water area, there is a small bridge that leads to other trails and a larger waterfall just for your viewing pleasure. Once we were done playing we crossed the bridge and headed back. We noticed several trails we hope to explore another time. We found a small shop that served ice cream, corn dogs and other snacks. There is nothing better to the end of a hot day than ice cream. This park has a bit of everything and is a must-visit in our book.~ Deena Brunson, September 2019.