I rode to the park today. I can't tell you how nice it is to just walk out of the house in shorts and a t-shirt and ride. I grew up in a place where shorts and t-shirts are what I wore a lot of the year (when I wasn't at school or church). They are my comfort zone!
I spotted these gorgeous blooms along one of the paths I rode getting to the park. Anyone know what they're called?
I sat on my bike next to this park here while waiting for a set of lights to change. It's a typical little Japanese urban park that my kids outgrew really quickly. What you can see is pretty much all there is. But someone's taken the trouble to make it very green and keep it neat. That "hedge" across the back is all hydrangeas, that are getting ready for a riotous season of blooms.
This is one section of Koganei park (the name of the big park). In fact it is almost the only part we knew about when our kids were little. The playground. A bit unique because of that hill. There are slides on two sides of the hill and the rest of the hill is covered in bushes. So much so that our family called this park "the tunnel park" for ages, because children have been playing in amongst those bushes for many years and there are "tunnels" between them that adults generally don't go down. The kids love it.
Here's one section of "tunnel" bushes.
And a closer look at tunnels in a different part of the park.
This wasn't a busy day. On weekends and in the holidays there are hundreds of bikes here along with many people.
Azaleas are out in bloom everywhere. They're a popular hedge in Tokyo.
Just so green!
Here are the seats. I didn't sit here today, I found a more secluded corner.
Poppies. I can't help wonder if I'd missed the best of them, though, there was a lot of green without many flowers in this large flower bed.
My ride back included a stretch along the river that is about 150m behind our house. It too is gorgeous.
Some houses butt onto the walkway. Some of the locals tend gardens along the path beside the river, it makes for a very pleasant long-skinny recreational area in our corner of Tokyo, we often ride to and from things along here and appreciate the beauty we've got.
The river is very shallow here and only about 50m from this spot is a flat bank-area where people picnic and wade. More adventurous kids come up this far. A great, free activity for the hot weather. I don't fully comprehend, but my boys have never been super interested in playing here.
I'm so thankful my schedule allowed this today (and the weather was cooperative too, we've had some strong winds recently and then it's probably going to rain tomorrow). I'm also thankful that we live in a place that has so much beauty to find. Tokyo was not on my list of places I ever wanted to live, but this isn't such a bad corner of this big city.