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 Morioka is a town blessed with rich nature, so you can enjoy all kinds of seasonal activities. From spring to autumn, many people go outdoors to enjoy leisure activities like mountain climbing or camping with their family and friends.  In this issue, we will introduce facilities in and around Morioka where you can interact with nature. 

 
  Morioka Sotoyama Forest Park                      Website

 In Sotoyama Forest Park, you can experience camping or nature-based activities, and eat the famous local speciality, ‘Sotoyama soba (buckwheat noodles)’.  There's also an athletic facility and an observatory in the park so that visitors can interact with the great natural environment. In the campsite, the barbecue facility has a roof so that visitors can enjoy barbeques even in rain.  You can buy a ‘barbeque ingredients and equipment set’, and tents or other tools can be rented. So, you don’t need to bring anything to enjoy camping! Nature-based activities include mushroom-picking or pizza baking experience.  Many hands-on experiences are available to help you to enjoy the outdoors. 


  
 
  Tonan Tsudoi no Mori Forest Park  (Website
 Many different kinds of activities in Tonan Tsudoi no Mori Forest Park help you make the most of the four seasons.  You can enjoy watching flowers like cherry blossom in spring, athletic or camping activities in summer, mushroom-picking or ground golf in autumn, and playing in the snow in winter.  You can camp not only in tents or cabins but also in bungalows equipped with a kitchen, bath and restroom.  There is a tennis court, the Tonan History and Folklore Museum, and the Forest Creation Practice Building in the large premises.  So, you can enjoy even more activities together with barbeque or camping.

 
 
Morioka Zoological Park Website

 Morioka Zoological Park is one of the popular local spots to visit. There are about 100 species, a total of 700 animals and birds living in the large area.  On weekends, many events such as catching insects, playing in the fields, or feeding snow monkeys and African elephants are held. Also, there is a Kodomo Dobutsuen, (children’s zoo) where children can touch sheep and goats, or hold rabbits or guinea pigs.  An animal ride corner, where visitors can pony-back riding, is also open on weekends.  In Victoria Corner, based on the theme of Victoria, the twin city of Morioka, you can meet animals from Canada.

 
 
 Making Camp Fun

 Camping in nature is fun, isn’t it? You can really get away from daily life. In this article, facilities with campsites are introduced, but there are 3 important things you should be careful of enjoying camp.

 
 

 Heat prevention is important when you camp in summer. To prevent heat stroke, it is important to carry water and drink it often. You should also find a shady area to pitch your tent. If it is directly in the sun, the heat is trapped inside and raises the temperature.  So be careful not to expose your tent directly to the sun. 

 
 

 You should always be aware of the possibility of being attacked outdoors by insects, like ticks, hornets or mosquitoes, or by snakes. When playing in the grass, you must wear a long sleeve shirt and long pants, and use insect deterrent spray on exposed skin parts. If you are stung badly by an insect, feel sick, or are bitten by a snake, please go straightaway to the nearest hospital.

 
 

 Fire is indispensable for camping, but it must be handled with care. If a cooking stove is used inside a closed tent, there is a serious danger of carbon monoxide poisoning, or of the tent catching fire.  In the worst case, it would result in death. When you extinguish a camp-fire, put water on it and confirm that the fire is completely put out before leaving the area. 

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