Bit by bit, the Blackcabbit crafts its nest of DIY handmade art and illustrates a kingdom of doodle critters to beautify the world she lives in.
The kiddos are having their summer holiday now, so we brought them to Shirakabako (白樺湖) in Nagano Prefecture last Sunday. We were there for an amusement park called the Ikenotaira Familyland (池の平ファミリーランド). Honestly, I went without any excitement because I did not find out what attractions are available. I kinda left ALL the planning to my husband as I was busy trying to get a driving license for months. Anyway…
The Ikenotaira familyland looks outdated, like a place that seems to have passed its prime. It was good not having any expectation. Otherwise, the facade alone would have dampened my spirit. However, as we explored one attraction at a time, we began to enjoy ourselves tremendously! In fact, I like five of the attractions very much! ❤
The park is divided into sections: The Amusement Kingdom, Adventure Forest, Lakeside Greenfield and “Others”. The later is where I met the owls (including an eagle and a white snake). The Fukurou no Mori (ふくろうの杜) is on top of the Golden Acacia Slope. We used the slope viewing lift to get there. The scenery was beautiful but I went straight for the owls! They’d place an owl on your gloved arm and let you pet it to your heart’s content for ¥300! It was my very first OWL-timate experience! LOVE IT!
Our family favorite was the exciting 200-meter water rafting ride on the canoe at the Adventure Forest (aka. Sukusuku no Mori すくすくの森). Other attractions available in this part of the park: zip-line adventure; kid’s buggy; water park; athletic playgrounds; and pottery workshop (not in picture).
Near the entrance of the Adventure zone is the World Silhouette Museum. Seiji Fujishiro’s (藤城清治) paper-cut artworks are featured there. His art is so enchanting, it was like walking through fairyland! We were not allowed to photograph so I took pictures of the museum’s brochure instead :P
The Amusement Kingdom (aka. Kurukuru no Kuni くるくるの国) has fewer rides as compared to most amusement parks but there are two attractions that have won our family over – the self-maneuvring 10-meter Kuru tower, and riding Go-karts on a challenging 1.3-kilometer road with a lot of slopes and curves.
The Lakeside Greenfield (aka. Furufuru no Kohan ふるふるの湖畔) is where the petting zoo is and where many families engaged in park golf/putter golf on the vast green lawn, while an SL train encircling the area. Other attractions available in this part of the park: a foam pool, hedge maze, Insectarium (include VR feature), and paddle boat rides with huge hungry koi stalking you wherever you go!
Overall, this old amusement park had provided our family with many hours of fun and adventure. We have yet to explore this place fully so we will definitely be back again!
The hotel we stayed had provided us with free passes as part of the whole travel package, which includes the entrance fee and access to a majority of the attractions.
Usual price for Free Pass:
Adults: 4,100 yen
Children: 2,800 yen
See Official Price List here.
Park Opening Hours:
Only available from 22 April to 6 November in 2017.
(*Please double-check the official website for closing dates and opening hours.)
Access & Car Park
See access & car park on the official website (in Japanese).