[Feature] Shelter Inclusive Place copal! New playground facility for children
On April 18, 2022, the new children’s playground facility Shelter Inclusive Place copal opened in the southern part of Yamagata City, so I immediately went to visit.
With three pillars, copal aims to be a “playground of the future where all children nurture the power to live.”
① Zest for life
We value curiosity and sensibility and develop the ability to think for ourselves.
We will respect a person’s personality and create an environment where they can play and learn with others.
③ Community symbiosis
While experiencing the nature and culture of Yamagata, we will build a place for interaction with everyone in the community.
1. Shelter Inclusive Place copal
Yamagata City Southern Children’s Playground Facility Shelter Inclusive Place Copal, commonly known as “copal,” opened on April 18, 2022.
It is an inclusive playground where children with different backgrounds and characteristics can play together, regardless of gender, age, race, nationality, or disability.
This is how copal looks from the outside.
When viewed from the front, the roof is built along the ridgeline, and you can feel a sense of unity with nature.
On the premises, there are dreamland areas sure to be very exciting for children, such a large playground and a gymnasium where you can enjoy sports such as basketball, and five open spaces where you can play in the water and use recreational equipment.
Slopes are maintained both inside and outside the building, so children in wheelchairs can fully enjoy themselves.
Then, I will introduce the facility in detail for each floor!
2. First floor area
This is the entrance.
The first thing that comes to your eyes is the dome-shaped gymnasium that spreads out in front of you!
For children, it is the one that makes you want to start running as soon as you enter the building.
The presence given off by this gymnasium is amazing, but please be careful not to forget the procedure at the reception (^^)
copal is filled with many gimmicks that tickle children’s hearts.
There is a small tunnel in the lower shoe box, and when you go through this…
Discover the hidden copal mark!
These are marks that imitate the copal logo.
These hidden copal marks are hidden in various places in the building, so please look for them.
Just in front of the entrance is the big gymnasium!
You can experience various games such as basketball, building blocks, playing with balls, table tennis and badminton.
There are many playsets that children love inside the building (^^)
The gallery is set up so that you can see the gymnasium and keep an eye on the children.
Since you can see the gymnasium from places other than the gallery (such as the surrounding slopes), you can rest assured when kids are playing in another place.
The gymnasium can be used exclusively (chartered) for a fee.
It can be used by nursery schools and kindergartens during the day, and by sports and children’s associations for events in the evening. Please contact the facility for details.
③ Large playground
A large playground spreads to the right from the entrance.
Again, when the children eill see it, they’ll let their emotions explode and jump out (^^)
You can use the stairs, run up the slope with bare feet, and your friends in wheelchairs can use the slopes… so that you can play according to your child’s growth and your own strength.
This is how it looks from the back on the other side.
You can go up to the net in front of you on the right, and you can enjoy walking and jumping.
It is deep and unstable, so it’s a thrilling experience!
You can also go under this net through a tunnel.
This space is a little dark and calm, reminiscent of the bottom of the sea.
There is also another area opposite of the slope.
It is separated by toy case benches so that even small children can play with peace of mind.
There are many toys in this area, including a wooden ball pool, where you can feel the warmth of the wood!
Cute pastel toys will surely raise the tension of moms playing with them.
④ Library corner
After playing dynamically with your body, how about relaxing with your child and reading a book?
(Rather, it’s only when you don’t take a break somewhere (^^;))
There is a library corner in the immediate vicinity of the gymnasium.
The number of books on the bookshelf is over 1,000!
You will surely find your favorite book.
There are chairs and tables, so you can sit back and read a book.
It seems that these chairs are handmade, and their height changes depending on the direction in which they are placed.
This is interesting!
⑤ Media room
There is a media room on the north side of the gymnasium.
At first glance, it looks like a normal room, but you can enjoy movies, music, and digital attractions (for a fee) inside.
Images can be projected on the walls and floor.
It seems that you can experience the four seasons through games such as soccer and quizzes, and videos.
This room interests me a lot!
Rehabilitation, which is usually painful, allows you to move your body happily while playing, such as touching the wall while watching pictures, or changing them with the volume of your voice.
⑥ Workshop area
At the workshop area next door, you can freely and enjoyably experience manufacturing.
You can draw pictures and shape your thoughts with various materials.
I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of works will be produced by imaginative children (^^)
3. Second floor area
① Slope to the second floor
The gentle slope leading to the 2nd floor from the large playground also has a lot of gimmicks that make children happy!
The entire wall surface is covered with glass and you can see the blue sky and the Zao mountain range in the distance.
There is also an information board with names of the mountains so please try to find them on a sunny day (^^)
And the shape of the handrail is characteristic, which is also interesting!
The wooden balls are studded, but these wooden balls can be moved around and played with.
Children who like these toys can play endlessly!
I enjoyed it even as an adult (^-^)
There is lighting in the lower part of the slope.
I was surprised to touch it!
It was soft and safe.
It had a fluffy feel, so it is likely to be a toy for children.
In the middle of the slope, there is also a peephole from where you can peek at the gymnasium.
copal is great!
The slope was not just going up and down, it was a place full of temptations to tickle the hearts of children (^^)
② Xylophone benches
When you go up the slope, there are two benches for resting.
When I thought about it, two strange sticks were hanging…
Do you already know who has a good intuition? ??
Actually, these benches are xylophones!
This is also interesting!
And you can think of it well (^^;)
There is no scale like a normal xylophone, but each note and pitch is different, so you can play your own melody.
It’s probably difficult to sit down and relax, so let’s have fun with your child!
At the back of the xylophone benches, there is a wooden tunnel that is perfect for a hidding spot.
You can also go inside and expose your face through the round hole.
Please be careful not to get your head messed up (^^)
The end of the slope leads to the large playground introduced earlier.
It’s a slope all the way up to this point, so you can turn around in a wheelchair.
4. Outdoor area
At copal, you can play to your heart’s content not only inside the building but also outdoors!
There are five open spaces outdoors, Tsuki-no-Hiroba, Tani-no-Hiroba, Yume-no-Hiroba, Kaze-no-Hiroba, and Mizu-no-Hiroba, as well as swings and fitness playground equipment.
Mizu-no-Hiroba and the swings require passing through the reception for admission, but the other four open spaces and the fitness playground equipment can be used freely.
copal official homepage quote
The slope continues gently, so you can also enjoy a walk in a wheelchair or stroller.
You can slide down, or grab a protrusion and climb up.
There wasn’t anybody before the opening, but I am sure children will have lots of fun there.
Such an attractive point!
It will surely be a popular spot for children (laughs).
At Mizu-no-Hiroba, you can enjoy the water fountain and mist sprayer in the summer.
② Swing area
A swing area that children love!
So many unique swings…
A facility with various kinds of swings is rare, isn’t it?
The inclusive design (design that suits everyone regardless of disability or age) that copal is aiming for has expanded.
The blue swing in the foreground firmly supports the upper body with a belt, so even children with disabilities can play the swing with confidence.
Different generations, such as parents and children or siblings, can enjoy facing each other in the black swings.
Both swings can be put in a spot or fixed with a belt, so even babies can enjoy it (^^)
This black curved swing allows you to enjoy shaking while lying down, or to have multiple people sit side by side.
Children with various characteristics can play while interacting with a wide range of generations.
And this is a swing that you can ride in a wheelchair as it is!
copal is the first facility were such swing has been installed!
With copal as a trigger, it is likely that inclusive design playgroungs and spots will spread in Yamagata prefecture and all over Japan (^^)
③ Fitness playground equipment area
Admission is required to use copal, but anyone can freely use the fitness playground equipment area along Prefectural Road 51 without passing through reception.
If you are nearby why don’t you stop by for a walk or jogging in the morning?
5. Other great services
Up until now, we have mainly introduced playgrounds, but in addition to them, there are many services that are good for the child-rearing generation.
① Baby room
There is also a space for changing diapers for babies, a milk preparation device, and a nursing booth in a private room.
Of course, dads can use it too (^^)
② Parenting advice room
If you are raising children, there is no end to worries.
This is a space where you can discuss such concerns about child-rearing.
③Changing rooms & Shower room
After playing outdoors, your clothes may get wet or dirty.
Here there are facilities that will be very helpful in such a case!
Not only changing rooms but also a shower room is available.
At the nutritional education café “little JAM” you can enjoy safe and secure meals using Yamagata vegetables, rice, and fruits.
It is a luxurious café where you can see how rice is cooked in a cauldron through the glass.
Adults alone and children alone are not allowed to enter the facility, but this space is accesible to adults alone for placing outdoor orders.
The menu has a wide lineup from rice ball sets to pureed food.
It is also good to take advantage of the small rise near the entrance, or take out dishes to eat at the outside plaza when the weather is nice.
6. Tourist information corner
Yamagata’s sightseeing videos are played and pamphlets are available at the tourist information corner opposite the reception.
Take a look and bring back some with you if you want to read them carefully at home.
7. Parking Lot
There is a huge parking lot.
Itcan be accessed from two entrances, the south side and the east side.
The number of parking spaces is 300!
There is also a parking lot for people with disabilities near the entrance.
The painted spaces were completed during an Universal Paint Event.
8. Basic information
① Opening hours & closed days
Exclusive use of the gymnasium (9:00~22:00)
(Until 16:00 from October to March)
2nd and 4th Tuesday of every month (or the next day if it is a national holiday)
② Precautions for use
Use of the indoor facility is currently restricted to residents of Yamagata City due to COVID-19, and advance reservations are required.
Finally, Mr. Irobe, the director of the facility, gave a message to everyone who is reading VISIT YAMAGATA.
“Thank you very much for your patience!
Shelter Inclusive Place copal is finally complete.
As an inclusive facility, we will do our utmost to make it a comfortable place for everyone.
We look forward to welcoming you. “