This memorial park was opened for public in 1995 so that the future generations would never forget the achievements of Chiune Sugihara, a humanitarian who represents the town of Yaotsu.
The park, just a five minute drive from Downtown Yaotsu, sits on a hill with good visibility and offers a clear view of the town of Yaotsu and downstream Kiso River.
It consists of four main areas, the Memorial Zone, Access Zone, Culture Zone and Amusement Zone.
The Amusement Zone spreads higher than the rest of the park. In a corner of this zone there is Kodomo Hiroba (Kids’ Square) which includes bigger playing equipments such as roller slide and Tarzan rope. It’s exciting for the kids to climb to the top of these equipments and look down at mom and dad. The ground around the play area has well-maintained law so kids can run and play and even fall down without worrying about pain.
There are two monuments in the park.
One of them is the Symbol Monument. This monument also goes by the name 'Peace Singing Monument'. It is designed in a semi-circle resembling a pipe organ wherein the pipes are made up of ceramic, a major industry in the region. The fountain show is performed once every hour on weekdays and every 30 minutes on weekends, along with music box versions of songs like ’My Neighbor Totoro’ and ‘Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind’. The gentle sound fills the air all around. Altogether there are 160 pipes, which stand up to 6.85 m tall. This is the number of countries that were members of the UN at the time this park was built. The message being, “Let us preserve peace together as one.”
The other is the “Visas for Life Monument”. Three triangular towers stand for the piles of the thousands of visas that Sugihara had issued. The three towers convey love, courage and spirit. Each of the towers has a bell and visitors are allowed to ring them freely. The deep tone that spreads through the air conveys a message of humanity to those who ring it and who hear it.
The stone statue at the entrance of the park was written by Hiromu Kajiwara, governor of Gifu prefecture, who has also named the park.
Also, the monument of honor standing inside the park was a gift from Waseda University, Sugihara's alma mater.
Sugihara is honored in the nooks and corners of the park as a commemoration of his memories.
The park is not excessively organized, allowing you to fully enjoy the surrounding nature. It’s a perfect place for adults to stroll around and have a think. Feel the ups and downs, the highs and lows as you explore the park. And of course, don’t forget to stop by the Chiune Sugihara Memorial Hall in the part of the park.