Mino City, Gifu - Japan Preschool Exchange
ABOUT THE PLACE Mino City, Gifu
Mino City is located approximately one hour by car from Chubu Centrair International Airport. Nestled amidst the clear waters of the Nagara River and surrounded by mountains, it has a rich history as a town known for Mino washi paper production. At the heart of the town, you'll find well-preserved streetscapes, and the local residents continue to uphold their traditions while living here.
Throughout the seasons, Mino City offers a multitude of pleasures and charms. Spring brings festivals and wild vegetable harvesting, summer invites river activities, autumn is perfect for mountain hikes, and winter offers a crisp and invigorating atmosphere. As you stroll through the town of Mino, you'll notice strong connections between people, to the extent that you may be greeted by locals, reflecting the warmth and closeness of the community.
ABOUT PRESCHOOL Mino Preschool
Located within a temple, Mino Nursery is unique. It is also notable for its "Wood use education" activities. With strong community connections and a nurturing environment amidst a rich social network and urban landscape, children grow up with a sense of openness. Mino Preschool Official Website (Japanese)
Thoughts on Japan Preschool Exchange MESSAGE Positioned in the southern part of Gifu Prefecture, surrounded by the pristine Nagara River and lush mountains, lies Mino City. This town is renowned for its UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage, "Hon Mino Paper," and its central area boasts an impressive townscape adorned with traditional structures.
Certified childcare center "Mino Preschool" has been overseen by generations of the town's temples, embodying the spirit of "growing deep roots and extending slowly," while generously watching over the children's growth.
In this Japan Preschool Exchange program, "Mino Preschool" will welcome families from all around the country. Families will have the opportunity to reside in this region for approximately 1 to 3 weeks, experiencing the unique aspects of the area through "Mokuiku" (wood education) activities and daily life in the town's traditional setting, all facilitated by the abundant nature nurtured by the Nagara River and Itadori River.
This program aims to provide children and families with a distinctive experience rooted in the local community.
Japan Preschool Exchange in Mino
Embracing Nature and Culture, Thriving in Freedom,
The Allure of Mino Nursery.
Nestled within the local temple grounds, Mino Preschool provides a spacious environment for children to play and explore freely.
Sometimes, they venture into the forest or harvest seasonal vegetables from the garden. They have regular encounters with nature as a part of their daily routine.
Teachers at Mino Preschool are incredibly nurturing. Deeply connected with the community, children enjoy a relaxed atmosphere enriched with meaningful relationships and the town's landscape.
Touching the Trees, Learning from the Trees,
"Mokuiku" (Wood Education) at Mino Nursery.
In Mino City, where approximately 80% is covered by forests, trees are an integral part of daily life. The city has been an early advocate of "Mokuiku," or wood education.
The nursery building itself is constructed from locally sourced natural wood, and children roam around barefoot on wooden surfaces. The play area is filled with wooden toys, allowing children to engage with wood every day. Through this interaction, they feel the warmth of wood, nurturing a sensory-rich connection with the natural material.
Furthermore, the nursery likens children to "acorns," encouraging them to grow like trees, extending deep roots and gradually developing. This philosophy emphasizes nurturing a sense of growth and rootedness, much like a tree.
Expressing Themselves with Their Bodies, Vibrantly Playing,
The Allure of Mino Nursery.
At Mino Preschool, every day is filled with expressive play that engages the whole body and all five senses, within the spacious nursery premises.
Following the philosophy of "unlocking and relaxing children's hearts and bodies, reclaiming their natural flexibility and suppleness, in order to stimulate creativity and nurture a richer sensibility," activities are designed to foster children's imagination.
In this nurturing environment, children actively engage their bodies to express themselves, promoting both physical and creative development.
Let's Dig In Together!
The Allure of Mino Nursery.
At Mino Preschool, preparing and sharing meals is valued as an important activity.
Children engage in the process of preparing their meals and coming together to eat. They harvest vegetables from the nursery's own garden and enjoy locally sourced ingredients, fostering a sense of gratitude towards food.
By actively participating in meal preparation and experiencing the connection between food and nature, children develop a strong appreciation for the nourishment they receive.
Unleash Your Wild Spirit, Engaging in Local Activities.
Amidst the mountains surrounding Mino, a plethora of outdoor activities await that allow you to fully embrace nature.
At the "morinos," a comprehensive forest education center, children can immerse themselves in the wild by venturing into the woods, getting muddy, capturing insects, and enjoying experiences that liberate their connection to the wild.
Furthermore, by stepping into the crystal-clear waters of the Nagara River—one of Japan's three great clear streams—you'll experience a sensation that clears your very core.
During weekends, families can immerse themselves fully in nature and revel in the experience together.
Strolling Through the Impressive Townscape,
Life in Mino City.
The "Impressive Townscape" in Mino City features traditional streets lined with merchant houses built during the Edo to Meiji periods.
This area boasts a variety of establishments, including long-standing diners, Italian restaurants, barbecue joints, bakeries, and more—offering numerous family-friendly options.
As you walk through this welcoming town where people from children to adults greet each other, you'll feel like a resident. Take a leisurely stroll and soak in the warm atmosphere.
Living in Harmony with Mino's Nature, Accommodation Options.
You have two accommodation options to choose from for your stay in Mino City, nestled alongside the lush mountains and located adjacent to the roadside station: the hotel "Fairfield by Marriott Gifu Mino" and the nearby "Ogurayama House" close to the impressive townscape.
"Fairfield by Marriott Gifu Mino" offers connecting rooms with two separate spaces. Baby cribs and child-friendly amenities are also available for rent (limited availability) to ensure a comfortable stay for your little ones.
"Ogurayama House" provides a whole house for you to stay in, allowing you to experience Mino just like a resident. The house is equipped with a kitchen and workspace, and it's recommended to explore nearby "Ogura Park (Ogurayama Castle Ruins)" with your family.
Fairfield by Marriott Gifu Mino (Japanese) Ogurayama House
Whole Town Shared Office Space!
Remote Work Environment
As a remote work environment, you can make use of the renovated 'WASITA MINO' shared office space, which is located in a 150-year-old traditional townhouse.
Moreover, families participating in preschool study abroad programs can take advantage of a plan that allows them to work at various cafes and restaurants throughout the town, in partnership with 'WASITA MINO.' When you visit affiliated establishments with your tumbler in hand, you'll receive a complimentary drink. This way, you can spend your working hours while immersing yourself in the local community. See the facility
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