Island Park History

Nokonoshima Island Park began with the dream of one young man.

When he was 19 years old, Kosaku Kubota, the founder of Island Park, gave up farming on Nokonoshima, deciding that he cannot compete with the low-cost, high-output production of the city. He had invested much in his dream, but he chose a different path to follow it.

He thought that from that time on, concrete buildings will rise in the city one after another, and people who work there will seek nature to bring rest to their weary minds. Nokonoshima is not far from downtown Fukuoka. Thus Mr. Kosaku started to develop a park on the island, taking advantage of its scenery, and through trial and error started building Island Park from scratch.

Founder: Kubota Kosaku
(19 years old at the time)

April 1969, the 44th year of the Showa Period. Island Park opens!

A park that makes full use of the natural environment – what needs to be done to make it a reality?
In order to create a park that would best utilize the wonderful views and terrain features, an expert was hired to draw up a plan.

Then, on the land that only sweet potatoes used to occupy, rhododendrons, lawn grass and other plants were grown by hand. On the 2nd of April 1969, the 44th year of the Showa Period, Nokonoshima Island Park was opened to the public.

Kosaku holding construction plans, fighting for his vision
(35 years old)
Many guests arrived on opening day.
In an age with no cars, cows were used for transport.

No roller coasters or other amusement rides! The vision is a nature park with flowers and trees!

At the time when the park opened, other similar places usually set up rides such as roller coasters or Ferris wheels. Island Park only had plants, so some visitors voiced their disappointment that “there’s nothing to see.” However, the founder would not abandon the idea to forgo amusement rides, maintain the natural scenery as much as possible, and make the park infinitely distant from an artificial construct.
Island Park right after opening.
sland Park now (during the spring season).

Let the children run around to their heart’s content, let families eat their boxed lunches together and may everyone spend time at their own pace, surrounded by nature.

It made Kosaku happy to see visitors enjoying themselves, whether it was a father rolling around on the grass in his sleep or children playing joyfully. He thought to himself that it was not a mistake to pursue the dream that started when he was 19.
After developing the rough land, planting trees and sowing flowers, the newly constructed park became a beloved place where among nature many visitors could slow down and relax, a true nature park.
Relaxing on the grass.
Flowers in full bloom.

アイランドパークは懐かしさはそのままに少しづつ進化していきます

アイランドパークは、オープンして40年以上が経ちました。
その間、コスモス畑や花壇をつくり、福岡博覧会で展示された町並みを移築した「思ひ出通り」をつくり、宿泊できるコテージや西島伊三雄先生の作品を集めた美術館、レストランやカフェ、ミニ動物園、オリジナルスポーツ「のこのこボール」など、花と緑に囲まれながら、大切にしていきたい懐かしさを加えつつ現在に至ります。
これからも、創業時の想いを受け継ぎ、自然や景観を大切にしながら、お客さまにいつまでも愛される自然公園「のこのしまアイランドパーク」でありつづけます。
Kosaku and his wife, walking through live together, keeping faith in the dream.

Timeline of Nokonoshima Island Park (Kubota Tourism Company)

1941 The family of the founder (Kosaku Kubota, 7 years old at the time) moves to Nokonoshima.
1941 Nokonoshima becomes a part of Fukuoka City administratively. New Chinese characters are chosen for the name of the island.
1952 First electric lights on the island.
1953 Kosaku (19 at the time) decides to abandon agriculture in favor of developing a tourist park.
1953 Sweet potato fields are gradually removed while rhododendrons and juniper are being planted.
1956 Lighthouse Camping Village (a predecessor of the current Camping Village) opens.
First private cars and three-wheelers are purchased on the island.
1958 Kosaku Kubota and Mutsuko get married.
1966 The Kubota Tourist Company is founded.
1967 Lighthouse Camping Village is moved and renamed “Odomari Camping Village.”
1969 Nokonoshima Island Park opens.
1971 City Ferry starts cruising.
The “Nokomaru” is put into service.
1974 The writer Kazuo Dan moves to Nokonoshima.
1976 Kazuo Dan passes away. (The following year a monument celebrating his writing is erected and memorial services commence).
1978 Youngsters Carnival starts (currently known as Spring Vacation Sketch Competition).
1979 Cosmos flower field is created in Island Park.
1979 The free-standing lodging complex “Village of the Sakimori” is constructed.
1983 To celebrate the 15th anniversary of the park opening, the “Memory Lane” is born.
1983 First all-night live concert takes place on the cosmos field.
1984 “Isao Nishijima’s Warabekan Gallery” is constructed.
1984 Nokonokoball is born.
1984 Kosaku is awarded the Medal of Hakata Merchant Culture.
1988 Nokonoshima is linked to the Nishitetsu bus system.
1996 Nishinippon Newspaper publishes “Developing the Island,” a series Kosaku’s transcribed memoires.
1998 “Shimaya” is opened in commemoration of the 30th park opening anniversary.
1999 New president of the company (Kosaku Kubota becomes the chairman of the board of the directors)
2005 Chairman Kosaku Kubota passes away
2007 Expansion of the recreation complex: Nokonoshima Camping Village and beach.
Nishinippon Newspaper Transcribed Memoirs Series
“Developing the Island”
by Kosaku Kubota
The changes on Nokonoshima leading to the creation of Island Park are described here in detail.
The book is sold at the entrance to the park.

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