Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Little Wander about Town: Saturday 16th October

Peter Here:

One of the many images that I had in my head before coming to Japan was that of perhaps a somewhat more 'provincial' style landscape, inbetween the Shinjuku and Shibuya skyscrapers. However when I arrived I quickly saw that Tokyo itself had taken the western style buildings and planted their own images and 'flavour' on them with very few historic buildings existing outside of a touristic setting. At a very casual glance, it would appear that the Capital looks like any other western city, only to have the location confirmed on closer inspection.

On Saturday I was training with Richard at his Seritsu High School as a practice for the Sugito Town Tournament. A couple of days previously I noticed a raised park area near Oji, and asked him about it. He told me how to get to it and as it was only a short walk away and I had the rest of the day to myself I decided to head that way. I was incredibly glad I did.

On the way there I passed some market streets which had an international festival feel about them.

Amid the metropolis, next to a mainline railway and out of sight of any tour guide book, my image of Japan reappeared. A small water park, leading under a bridge and up to Oji Temple via a stairway. It was beautiful, well worth the walk and even more valuable for discovering it without any previous recommendation.

This wasn't the main event though; that was a small walk away, over the main road connecting Akabane to Ikebukuro. in Asukayama Kouen (飛鳥山公園)- which contained a few walkways, a marketplace area (which had a flower market on that day) and a beautiful childrens playground, containing a full-size steam train!

Further in was a set of plaques next to villa buildings and a beautiful landscaped woodland and garden area. I walked around for at least two hours here. A decent blog post that describes the park better than I could is found here. It looks like it will be a lovely spot for the cherry blossom season so I'll be keeping it in mind!

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