Japan is famous for it’s many animal attractions, such as it’s many dog and cat cafes around the country, however one animal spot that’s not so well known is the Squirrel village in Gifu!
It’s pretty easy to find as it’s just outside the entrance to the upper station of Mount Kinka’s ropeway, or if you’re feeling fit and healthy you could always take one of the hiking trails up the mountain!
As far as Japan’s animal attractions go the Squirrel village (or Risumura in Japanese) is a bit on the smaller side but is still hugely fun for the whole family! The Squirrel village’s small size makes it absolutely perfect for a quick visit while you are waiting for the next ropeway to go back down the side of the mountain, although you may find yourself catching the one after you’d originally planned if you let yourself get caught up by the cuteness of the squirre. It’s really cheap to get in too, it will only set you back a couple of hundred yen. We went towards the end of the day after a trip to Gifu castle and it was a great time to go as it was really quiet so we got lots of attention from the squirrels! When we went in we were given special, thick leather gloves to protect our hands and then the staff poured some Squirrel food into our palms.
Immediately the squirrels were interested and began eating out of our hands! Not just taking the food though- they would jump up onto your arm to eat so you could stroke them, at least until one of the other squirrels jumped up behind and pushed them off so they could get a turn!
There are a lot of squirrels in the park and the lady working there made sure to never let us run out of food so the squirrels were always interested! If you stand a little far away from where the squirrels were stood they would do an impressive jump in order to reach you or, sometimes, simply run right up your leg and climb to the food!
It was a lovely way to end our day out and the squirrels were adorable! While Gifu castle is the most famous attraction up on Mount Kinka, the Squirrel village is by far the cutest!