09 April, 2012

Wonderful park-day

Today we "discovered" a new park. Well, we went to a park that we hadn't been to before (Showa Kinen Park - or Emporer Showa Memorial Park). It is a little less than an hour's drive away and about half the size of this park that we also love. So it is a little more convenient, but still has lots of wonderful things to do.

I just love driving Tokyo streets at this time of year, though. Arounde very second corner you are surprised by beauty. Cherry blossoms are out and they are in all sorts of surprising spots around the city.
Even sitting at roadworks, we were delighted by the beauty at this spot.

Once we got there, though, we were delighted by tulips, daffodils, cherry blossoms, camellias, and a number of other flowers/flowering trees and bushes that I don't know the names of. I took nearly 100 photos, feast your eyes on this small selection:

This part reminded me of my hometown, Toowoomba, in late
September during their annual Carnival of Flowers.

I love the randomness of this bush that shoots out sprays of
flower-laden stalks.
And plenty of photographers, who are way better than me.
But boys wouldn't be happy if there wasn't play equipment. So we visited these too (in between gawking at flowers).
About 1/3 of the "rainbow hammock".
Hilly trampolines!
And a mysterious area supposed to be the "Misty Forest", but there
wasn't much forest and only the occasional mist.
We took a packed lunch and sat here:
A Japanese-style picnic spot where you remove your shoes and sit
on the floor. Most of us actually sat on the benches on the outside (you
can see David there) without removing our shoes.
And sakura (cherry blossom) flavoured ice-cream to finish off the day.

And special credit goes to CAJ for having this unusual Easter holiday (we've never before had Easter Monday off in the six years we've been there), which made it possible to get to the park on a weekday when there were less crowds.

After some pretty intense months (work-wise) and a bleak long winter, it is hard to express how delightful it is to get out into a park without shivering (oh, forgot to tell you it was the first day of the year that made it into the 20Cs) and seeing all these bursts of colour. 


April said...

The trampolines look particularly fantastic!

Wendy said...

Unfortunately the trampolines were festooned with large numbers of signs covered in rules. Typical Japan. Up until about noon there was a security guy there enforcing the rules (which included no bags larger than a tiny waist bag and no tennis balls on the hills). While we ate lunch the security guy walked away and wasn't replaced. We had more fun after he left! The rules seemed to imply that no one older than middle schoolers could go on, but after he left us adults had a good go at it too.

Deb L said...

Wow! The park looks awesome! I guess if you are going to have large numbers of children in small houses you have to put some money into building good parks. How long would it take you to get from home to that park?

Wendy said...

Depending on the time of day and traffic, about 45 min to an hour on a good day like yesterday. And about the same by train, except that there are three changes.

By the way, the more sinister side of the need for big parks in Tokyo is the need for evacuation spaces in the case of large earthquakes.

Deb L said...

There's got to be some kind of an "upside" to the constant threat of earthquakes, I guess. :)