I recently took a trip to Gifu prefecture for my brothers birthday. The area is beautiful, with loads of natural scenery and lovely sights. While there, we took a trip up to visit Gifu castle. The castle is located on top of a mountain, and you can chose to walk up or take the cable car. We chose the easier option and boarded the cable car. The views on the journey up were fantastic – it was great watching the mountain, and the city unfurl before us.
When you step out the cable car though, there is a very special place you can visit (besides the castle) – Squirrel village!
This place is amazing. Its a large enclosure that’s home to a number of furry fiends that are much friendlier than the ones in your back garden! When you arrive, the owner will give you a big protective glove for your hand, then fill up you palm with squirrel food.
*Top tip: be sure to wear full length sleeves when visiting. I made the mistake of wearing 3/4 lengths and got a wrist full of scratches from their tiny claws!
The squirrels have lots of things to climb on and run across, and most of them will tread their little feet onto your hand – and all over your body! We spent most of our time either covered in squirrels, or coxing them onto our hands again. The animals were all pretty tame here, we didn’t see any fighting or biting (of each other, or the visitors), and they were very comfortable around people.
Entry works pretty much the same way as cat cafes. You pay a small fee for a set period of time inside the enclosure. Be aware though, the village closes at 16:00, so you’ll need to head inside by 15:30 at the latest. I recommend visiting the castle up the hill first, then the squirrel village on the way back down. It’s right next to the cable car station, so you can jump straight into a car when you’re done!
Trip Advisor Page – http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g298112-d6759482-Reviews-Mt_Kinkazan_Squirrel_Village-Gifu_Gifu_Prefecture_Chubu.html