| John Asano
Step Back in Time at Gifu Seiryu Satoyama Park
Gifu Seiryu Satoyama Park is a nostalgic spot in the Minokamo area of Gifu Prefecture that will take you back in time to a quiet rural mountain village full of forests, ravines, flower fields and plenty of fun attractions to boot. Some of the many activities on offer include go-karts, the largest adventure park in central Japan and a 333-meter zip-line. Join us as we explore this wonderful family-friendly free park in Gifu.
Entering the Park
The first thing that you spot upon approaching the entrance to the park is the cool looking wooden playground that resembles a Gifu Wagasa (Gifu Japanese umbrella), a traditional craft of Gifu City. There is a café next door, which is a great place to sit and enjoy a coffee and soak up all the nature and fresh clean air around you.
Enjoy the Satoyama Experience
This fantastic outdoor spot offers visitors a chance to not only enjoy seasonal flowers and gardens but take in the satoyama (literally mountain village) scenery and experience some hands-on workshops. The park is massive at over 100 hectares with fantastic greenery and walking trails. It was recently renovated in 2019 and offers a lot of fun for the whole family.
Visitors can experience mom and pop candy stores and shops from a bygone era, try local craft workshops and visit old wooden school buildings from the past. Gifu Seiryu Satoyama Park (岐阜清流里山公園) is located in Minokamo, which is in the Kamo area of Gifu Prefecture.
The park was previously known as Japan Showa Village, a theme park designed to recreate the atmosphere of a quiet mountain village in the 1930s from the Showa era (1926-1989).
The Entrance Garden
The Entrance Garden, which is located on the right as soon as you enter the park is full of seasonal flowers which can be enjoyed all year round. Depending on the season, visitors can see tulips and nemophilas in spring, sunflowers in summer, and cosmos in fall. Early April is the best time to enjoy the colorful tulips.
The Central Garden
The Central Garden, which is located near the center of the park, also has a variety of seasonal flowers with the blue nemophilas the star of the show during April. Visitors can enjoy them here until late April.
A beautiful creek runs through the middle of the park and near the Central Garden you can cross a small suspension bridge to reach the garden.
A fun way to see the park is via the Satoyama Bus, an electric streetcar that is part of the retro vibe of the park. A ride on the bus costs ¥300 one way with kids under three free.
This two-story wooden building was formerly an elementary school built in the Meiji era (1868-1912) and now acts as a workshop, where visitors can try their hand at various crafts and activities, including a music box making experience on the first floor.
The first and second floors also contain a pavilion which recreates a nostalgic townscape from the Showa era of Japan. The second floor also has exhibits by local residents which include paintings and photographs.
Adventure Park PANZA
The largest adventure park in the Tokai region (Aichi/Gifu/Mie/Shizuoka) of Japan at a height of 9 meters, this amazing adventure course offers 30 different challenges. Thrill seekers can also enjoy the 333-meter downhill zip line. Make sure you make a reservation at the PANZA Gifu Seiryu Satoyama Park websitebefore visiting.
Here visitors can enjoy a grass slide, trampolining and go karts. This area is only open on Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The popular grass slope is a 25-degree slope, where visitors can enjoy lawn sledding. This is available for ¥400 for 15 minutes.
The 500-meter go karting course through the forest is a blast and costs ¥600 per lap.
Swan Boat Ride
At the lake area, visitors can enjoy a relaxing swan boat ride on the lake to enjoy the green scenery. It is only available on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Twenty minutes for 1 person costs ¥400, with 2 people ¥700, 3 people ¥900 and 4 people ¥1,200.
Kids Play Area
This new playground is full of play equipment to keep the little ones occupied for a while. The playground is divided into two zones, one for toddlers, and the other for children. It has a jungle gym, swings, seesaw, and a sandbox.
The Hands-on Satoyama Experience
As mentioned earlier, there are various hands-on satoyama experiences at the park which include music box making, ceramics workshop and a farm experience.
Ashiyu Foot Spa
After exploring all the park has to offer, give your feet a rest and take a soothing soak in the relaxing ashiyu (foot spa) which can be found next to the parking area. The foot spa is free and available from 11am to 5pm.
If you are after more of a soak, visit the Satoyama no Yu (Hot Spring of Satoyama) which is located near the foot spa. The hot spring offers wonderful open-air baths to relax and enjoy the beautiful nature around you.
Gifu Seiryu Satoyama Park is a fun family-friendly park that perfectly captures the feeling and atmosphere of the nostalgic Showa era of Japan. There is plenty to see and do here that will keep you entertained for hours on end.
Address: 2292-1 Yamanouecho, Minokamo, Gifu 505-0003
Hours: 9 a.m. until 6 p.m.
Price: Free admission to the park (activities and attractions cost extra)
How to Get There?
From Nagoya Station take the JR Tokaido Line to JR Gifu Station. At JR Gifu Station, transfer to the Takayama Main Line to Mino Ota Station. The best way to get to Gifu Seiryu Satoyama Park is via bus from Mino-Ota Station. Take a Minokamo Aiai Bus on the Bunka no Mori/Koen line and get off at the Gifu Seiryu Satoyama Bus Stop.