If you are looking for a park in Yoshimi, there isn’t a great choice unfortunately. There are a couple of scenic parks, such as the Hatchoko park and the Sakura Tsutsumi. However, in terms of parks where kids can play there’s really only Yoshimi Town Friendship Athletic Ground . However, there is also a really great playground at the Roadside Station. But in terms of a park, there’s just the Yoshimi Friendship Athletic Ground.
Yoshimi Friendship Athletic Ground Park
The name is a bit of a mouthful. I think most people just refer to it as Yoshimi park. The park has two playgrounds. A small one by the car park on the south west end. And a larger one in the middle of the park. Neither are particularly exciting to be perfectly honest. The smaller one by the car park, used to have some nice equipment. However, they removed it because it was old and replaced it with some basic pieces. It serves its purpose for smaller children though. They left a few small animal statues, which kids can sit on. And the sandpit remains too.
The main thing the park has going for it, for people with kids, is its wading river. In the summer the paddling pool and wading river in Yoshimi Park are actually quite nice. However, I don’t think it is as well maintained as other parks. The water usually starts flowing in May and runs until early September. In 2020, the facility wasn’t available on account of the Coronavirus outbreak.
For older children and adults there are some sports facilities, including the running track. The park also has tennis courts, which seem to be the most used thing in Yoshimi park! Across the road, on the grounds of the municipal library (beside Fresa Yoshimi), there is a small outdoor swimming pool that can be used for a nominal fee in the months of July and August.
For us the main incentive to visit Yoshimi has always been more about the wildlife than the playground equipment. We call Yoshimi Park the “frog park”, because of the amount of frogs we have caught (and released) there. We also regularly find praying mantis, grasshoppers, beetles… we’ve even found snakes a few times now. Also, for the record, this park is great for acorn collecting. The pine cones are a bonus!
While Yoshimi Park might not be the best park around, it’s not too bad either. Another draw for us is that it is close to other points of interest, so we can make a day out of our visit to Yoshimi. It is across the road from Fresa Yoshimi which often has seasonal events. One of the most popular ones being the particularly child friendly illumination.
Less than 5 minutes in the car is Ichigo No Sato, a roadside station, that has a farmer’s market, stalls and booths, some of which are eateries, an Udon restaurant, a bakery and a lovely little playground. Between both parks is a strawberry picking area. And not far off you can enjoy the unusual 100 Caves of Yoshimi sightseeing spot, which is across the road from Iwamuro Kannon. Hatchoko Park, the Ghibli-esque Herbal House, child friendly Natural Cafe Sora and Anrakuji Yoshimi Kannon are all also within driving distance.
Some of the attractions in Yoshimi mentioned in this post: