Enjoy family time in Green Park Santo
JNTO on 11 November 2021
Situated in the mountains bordering Lake Biwa, Green Park Santo is a large recreational park located in Maibara City of Shiga Prefecture. The park borders Mishima Pond, which is a small but picturesque pond created 700 years ago as a water reservoir for agriculture, and is situated in an agricultural area dotted with small shrines.
This vast Green Park Santo compound comprises several distinct areas, including a large campsite with a vast barbecue space, and accommodation facilities in the form of cottages and a traditional Japanese inn complete with hot spring baths. There are also other facilities including an outdoor event space, an art museum, several children’s play areas, tennis courts, and a restaurant.
Enjoying the great outdoors
With a picturesque mountainous backdrop, Green Park Santo’s compound is designed for you to enjoy the great outdoors with the family, packed with plenty of child-friendly activities.
The park boasts a number of unique playgrounds where children can enjoy themselves. The major attraction is Athle Circuit, which is a wooden field athletic course for children that consists of 20 different challenges with varying degrees of difficulty.
Parents and children can both enjoy the Dragon Slider, a very popular attraction which is a 100m-long slide that starts at the top of a hill and goes through the green forest. You can also rent a mat for some cushioning free of charge. Another free playground is the Tengu no Oka, a jungle gym at the top of a hill next to the campsites that features swings, obstacle courses, and slides.
A vast portion of the park is forested, which makes it ideal for relaxing walks. Being near to Mishima Pond means you may get the chance to spot some birdlife – the area happens to also be a bird sanctuary for migratory species.
Spending the night in nature
Green Park Santo boasts a variety of casual accommodation options depending on your preference.
The large campsite in the northern part of the park comprises an auto campsite with 18 spaces equipped with a dedicated power supply and water supply, a group campsite which is a private fenced area equipped with power supply and covered kitchen, as well as a free camp area where you can set up your own tent in a picturesque wooded area adjacent to Mishima Pond.
You can find your favourite place, set up a tent, and relax in nature setting – the camp options are perfect for families with young children, or simply for those who want to hang out with friends. All campers can take advantage of one of the 20 barbecue tables that are fully equipped with a communal washroom; you don’t even have to clean up after, as the fees include cleaning.
If you prefer a sturdy roof over your head, Green Park Santo also has log cabins – the loft spaces are guaranteed to be a hit with children. There are 5 cottages in total, each accommodating up to 10 people, which come equipped with an en suite bathroom, a kitchen, as well as air conditioning and fan heater so you can enjoy your time in nature no matter the season. You can also spend a quiet outdoor barbecue session on your private platform in the garden outside.
Those who prefer these self-catering options can stock up on ingredients for a barbecue from the nearby supermarkets and convenience stores a short drive away. Staff of the park are there to assist those who are new to the experience.
However, if you prefer not to cook, there is a restaurant on site, Restaurant Shaveno, where you can enjoy both lunch and dinner – from noodles to rice bowls and teppanyaki set meals – with seasonal flavours. Diners are also offered views of Mt. Ibuki in the backdrop.
If you prefer to spend the night in a more traditional Japanese setting, you can book one of the seven rooms at Kamoikeso, a Japanese-style inn which has an open-air hot spring bath and sauna. You can relax in the baths and have dinners prepared by the chef using seasonal ingredients.
All guests at Green Park Santo can also take advantage of the hot spring baths at Kamoikeso for day use (with a small fee).
Green Park Santo
Address: Ikeshita, Maibara, Shiga 521-0221
Entry fees: Entry is free except for Athle Circuit (200 yen), and barbecue rental
It is open all year round but in winter (mid-December to late March), the campsite area will be completely closed.