Blackcabbit (aka. Dionnie Takahashi) is an illustrator living in Japan. She loves drawing whimsical animal characters, as well as doing handmade crafts to beautify the world she lives in.
For our first Natsuyasumi (summer vacation) trip, we brought Fireball and his little sister to Kasama Geijutsu no Mori Park (笠間芸術の森公園) in Ibaraki (茨城県), which has an amazing playground on a hill top, called the Asobi no Mori (あそびの杜). The highlight of the playground is its two roller slides, back to back they provide a 160-meter of thrill ride! At the end of the slides, you cannot even see the starting point. We had so much fun.
The park management is so thoughtful that they provide rubber pads to cushion our bums! :D The only downside was climbing up the steep hills.
The playground also has other structures designed to accommodate children of all ages, and to entertain them for hours.
After the kids had their fair share of fun, it was time to walk around the park. The park has a great mix of nature and interesting sculptures. Even the playground itself, has numerous artworks that blend in beautifully with its structures.One area in the park that allowed us to hike and observe art in nature, is the Tounomori (陶の杜) aka. “Forest of Magician Clay.” 29 artists came together to create 17 artworks, which were placed strategically along a 2-km hilly path for a great trekking experience. It was like walking into an enchanted forest.
Park Center Opening Hours:
8:30 am – 5 pm (7 pm in Summer)
See access to Kasama Geijutsu no Mori Park here (Japanese website).
The beautiful park includes an open-air stage for outdoor concerts. Isn’t this a great view!
At the Central Plaza, there is gift shop and cafe, as well as galleries of ceramic artworks for display or for purchase. There is an outdoor traditional kiln nearby that bakes ceramics once a year for about a week. Of which, the wood ash from this type of kiln has a special effect on ceramic glaze.Visitors can also join various pottery classes. From painting pottery to trying their hand at throwing pots with the instructors’ help. Please visit its official website for more information.
The Ibaraki Industrial Technology Institute (茨城県工業技術技術センター) is a place where researchers use state-of-the-art facilities to develop new ceramic technology. It was closed on the weekends and public holidays, so we did not get in. What a pity!To know what exhibitions are held at the Ibaraki Ceramic Art Museum, please visit its official website for more information.
We were pleasantly surprised that helicopter rides was available at the park. Unfortunately, it was a little pricey for us. Maybe next time! :D
(1) Himatsuri (Pottery Festival): April 29th- May 5th
Please visit its official website for more information.
(2) Takumi no Matsuri (匠のまつり/Crafts Festival): Early November