Nukumori No Mori: The Ghibli-Inspired Fantasy Village Levels of charm (and cake!) like you wouldn't believe

    Welcome to ぬくもりの もり (nukumori no mori), which literally means "The Warm Forest." To the fans of Ghibli, Final Fantasy, Professor Layton, Zelda, or any Japanese thing that idealizes European things, you'll feel right at home in this charming village. If you're not ready for your charm meter to hit incredibly high levels, turn back now.

    playful nukumori no mori sign pointing in opposite directions

    Those gnarly branches holding up adorably rustic signs welcome you to Nukumori no Mori. Where will you go first?

    small squat building at ghibli village in japan

    Though the town was not constructed to explicitly be a "Ghibli village" and has no connection with the animation studio, the architect Shigeyoshi Sasaki designed the buildings with a fairy-tale, or Ghibli-like, atmosphere in mind. I'd say he was spot on.

    ghibli fairy tale village building with ivy and stone

    It's hard not to imagine Kiki or Pazu darting in and out of these buildings.

    I love little touches like the random clay pot resting atop the tiny brick platform.

    simple doorway with overhanging balcony at ghibli village in japan

    I wonder if they sell phoenix down.

    nukumori no mori two story building with plantlife

    The oblong proportions of this building are fantastical and kawaii at the same time.

    nukumori no mori display of pottery plants and wheelbarrow

    If you smash these pots, do you think there will be rupees inside? It's best not to smash them though. You can just look inside to find out.

    nukumori no mori village sign carved from wood
    nukumori no mori village buildings next to one another

    I definitely came here to see all the cute buildings, but I had a secreter, sweeter agenda. And it was waiting for me on the other side of this gate.

    okashi no mori cafe in japan stone patio area

    A charming cake cafe called Okashi no Mori (The Sweet Forest) is the heart of the Nukumori village.

    display of tiny japanese case at bakery in ghibli village

    When you open the door, your eyes light up. There are so many cake gems in the showcase window!

    strawberry shortcake rectangle and red cup of coffee at cake shop

    I couldn't just choose one, so I got a strawberry shortcake and a crème brûlée. The presentation on the cakes is just as adorable and well thought out as the village itself.

    okashi no mori pumpkin pudding and coffee order

    My friend got a pumpkin pudding. Both were very good. The chef-pâtissier of this café, Mr. Terada, won 1st prize at the "Galette des Rois" competition in Japan in 2010. He also won 10th place at "La Meilleure Baguette Galette aux Amandes" in Paris in 2012, which is the highest a Japanese pâtissier has ever placed in that competition.

    Nukumori also has a restaurant, some shops, and a classic car museum. But I was enjoying my cake so much that I ran out of time to look at the other places.

    Nukunomori Fantasy Village

    Pros

    • The sweets were good, but nothing particularly amazing.
    • Not too often you arrive at a place with that "fairy tale" feel.

    Cons

    • Accessibility isn't great. You can get here by combination of train and bus, but the easiest method is taking a car. If you're taking public transportation, take a bus to Kanzanji Onsen from Terminal

    Overall Rating

    6

    Accessibility Rating

    2

    Fun Rating

    7

    Uniqueness Rating

    7

    Additional Information

    2949 Waji-cho, Nishi-ku
    Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture 431-1115
    Japan

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