Hyogo Prefectural Hitokura Park faces Lake Chimyo which was created along with the Hitokura Dam in Kawanishi City. The park runs alongside an area of lush nature known as “the Best Countryside in Japan,” a popular weekend destination for families and hikers who come to stroll through the plethora of flora and fauna amid the natural scenery of the four seasons.
Here are some of the highlights of Hitokura Park.
After a roughly 7-minute bus ride from Yamashita Station on the Nose Electric Railway, walk for 30 minutes to Hitokura Park. The number of buses is limited, so travel by car is recommended. (Parking is free)
If coming on foot, cross the Chimyo Sakura Bridge on the west side of the lake, turn right, and walk along the lakeshore until you reach “Deai no Tani,” the entrance to Mori no Hiroba (Forest Square), easily identified by the landmark of the metal monument.
The facade of the magnificent Hitokura Dam seen from the deck in front of the entrance
As you ascend the stairway of 360 steps to the hill where the park lies, the hustle and bustle of everyday life fades from memory, replaced with the songs of birds in the trees. Take a rest on the bench midway up the stairs.
At the top of the stairs is a vast park. With the beautiful grass of Mori no Hiroba (Forest Square), as well as the waterpark using the hill slope popular in summertime called Oka no Nagare (Hill Flow), or the amusement area recently reopened in 2021 with a playset, Mori no Asobiba (Forest Playground), there are so many ways to have a great time. Of course, a simple stroll surrounded by the natural splendor of the park is enough to relax your body and mind.
When you’re ready for a breather, try the terrace seats overlooking Hitokura Dam. Feel the healing power of the expansive view showcasing the splendor of each season.
Hitokura Park is not only a place to play but also to study history and nature.
At the Nature Center in the park, you can learn about the various flora and fauna of the area, as well as the Hitokura charcoal made by burning oak trees planted around here since ancient times.
Hitokura charcoal, also called “Kiku charcoal,” has a beautiful cross section resembling a chrysanthemum and is the prized preferred charcoal of the tea ceremony.
There is also a kiln in the park where charcoal burning events are still held twice a year.
In addition, at the Nature Observation Forest behind the Nature Center visitors can learn about various plants and insects as well as observe the remains of the kiln where Hitokura charcoal was made.
Leave the hectic city life behind and come revitalize yourself in the rich environs of Hitokura Park.
Address: 1-6 Chimyo, Kunisaki, Kawanishi City, Hyogo
By public transportation:
From Nose Electric Railway Yamashita Station, take the local bus to Nagahara Bus Stop and walk about 30 minutes. (* the number of buses is limited)
By car: National Route 173 → Prefectural Road 604 → Cross the Chimyo Rindo Bridge to Hill Parking Lot or Lakeside Parking Lot *
* Take the stairs from the Lakeside Parking Lot to the Mori no Hiroba (Forest Square).