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Friday, August 31, 2007

Higashi Mikawa Furusato-en in Ko


Ko, a fairly non-descript town just before Toyohashi and about 35 minutes from Nagoya has nothing too much to recommend it. Located on the old Tokaido highway, now the modern National Highway Route 1, the town is a ribbon of development, convenience stores and supermarkets stretching out along the busy road in either direction from Meitetsu Ko Station.

Higashi Mikawa Furosato-en

Ko's one big attraction is the recently opened Higashi Mikawa Furusato-en (Tel: 0533 87 9301) a large nature park about 20-minutes walk from the station.

Crafts Center, Higashi Mikawa Furosato-en

There's a pleasant walking course through the forested park (though rather worrying "Beware of the Snakes" signs), large play areas with slides for the children, lakes, various good picnic areas, observation towers with views of Mikawa Bay and Toyokawa City and demonstrations of local bamboo crafts.

View of Mito-cho, Higashi Mikawa Furosato-en

Admission is free. There were few people there when we visited probably due to the intense 37-degree Centigrade summer weather. Still, we had the whole park to ourselves along with an extended Chinese family and a few couples and their children. We all ended up sheltering in the shade of a hill as the kids played on the excellent slides.

Take a Meitetsu Express train to Ko Station from Nagoya Station (35 mins) or from Toyohashi (15 mins). Turn right out of the station and follow the signs, the turning to the park is on your left over the river.

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