Children will swing like monkeys in this sprawling, well-equipped park. It’s less than three miles from the East Gate and has an ample, free parking lot. Enjoy hiking paths, several obstacle courses and intriguing climbing equipment ingeniously constructed of ropes and logs. It’s all built on a hillside, and challenging enough to tempt children and adults alike. The park is well shaded, so it’s a nice place to go when it’s to hot to play elsewhere. From the parking lot you can see a wood-framed entrance gate. Just inside are log steps ascending to your adventure. Or, from the parking lot, walk to the right a few feet and step between a construction yard and a dog training center. There’s another obstacle course here, and the nearest toilets are right at the entrance, behind the dog training area. Climb to the top of these Robinson Crusoe-esque playgrounds and you’ll find a trail (at times a dirt road) that meanders through the forest for a couple of miles, following a fence line. It’s a lovely place for a run or a walk with dogs. Go along it and you’ll see there are several more of these obstacle courses, running roughly parallel to each other on the hillside. At the end of the road is a fire lookout post, and other trails shoot off from here. Here’s a map to the greater park this is on the edge of, which stretches to Mizuho. See page 2. The trail is labeled “Lake Sayama Peripheral Road” and “Southern Hiking Trail.”
DIRECTIONS: Turn left out the East Gate. Turn right at the first light (0.3km). Follow this road until it comes to a four-way intersection with a light 1.3km. Turn left. You will pass Aeon Mall (Diamond City) on your right. Keep going. You will go through about 10 stop lights. The road will veer right at 2.2km, then cross Shin Ome Kaido at 2.4. Next the road will begin to climb a hill and curve. Turn left at 3.7km, on a small road immediately before the road makes a sharp curve to the right (The turn is after the red warning stripes on the road begin, and just before the guard rail with arrows on it.) There is a large Onsen on the left. About 300 meters down the small road past the Onsen, at 4km, will be a large paved parking lot on the left. GPS: 35.7635, 139.3861
Nina Carr January 2007. Liz Ruskin updated directions 2011, photos by Sarah Straus, 2012.
View Noyama Kita in a larger map]