Home > Focus on Japan 2007 > Asukayama Park

Asukayama Park

December 1st, 2007

Sachi and I took another of our weekend walks to nearby neighborhoods today. It’s becoming a bit of a new habit of ours; we started with an evening walk to nearby Otsuka Station, and got more ambitious with a walk back from Rikugien, then a walk around Meiji Jingu and Harajuku. Today we followed up by going to Oji, mostly walking around Asukayama Park before walking back home via Meiji Boulevard. Using the Google Maps Distance Calculator, I figure that we walked 4.5 miles (7.2 km) all told. Not bad. As usual, I have photos.

We started by taking the train in–we figure that it’s best to leave the long walk for the return, so we can avoid getting too tired too soon. This time, we used the Toden Arakawa Line, a light rail line that goes from Waseda, through Ikebukuro, all the way over to Arakawa near Minami Senju. The light rail is run like a bus line, with a single price no matter how far you go, paid at the door. Even the interior looks like a bus, from the money box to the stop buzzers.







Asukayama Park, along the west side of Oji Station, is a very nice, largish park with tons of trees (including lots of Cherry Blossom trees, should be pretty in Spring). There’s a historical residence and garden, a large playground for kids, and some nice paths through green-filled areas. They make very good use of what space the park has. And we are still enjoying the Autumn colors, of course.



We spotted some grandpa leading his granddaughter around on a leash.


And there was a little kid running around shooting pigeons and passers-by with his two guns.


Wearing his gang colors, I presume:



There was also a group practicing Taiko drumming:


And we spotted what has to be the nicest-looking public restroom ever:


Then there were the birds. Pigeons all over the place, but we spotted one doing something bizarre in a pond:


The bird was wading in the pond, its belly fully in the water, and was constantly taking one wing and extending it fully over its head, until it rested over its other side. It was like some kind of pigeon yoga. At first we thought it was injured, but it showed no other signs of injury, and alternated between left and right wings. It was really weird to watch.



When we got to the small pond set against the eastern slope of the park, we saw dozens of Mejiro (Japanese White-eyes) and Shijugara (Great Tits) bathing and drinking.





To close out, a snapshot of Sachi and me at the park.


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  1. December 2nd, 2007 at 01:25 | #1

    Thank you for allowing me to accompany you on your walk. I deeply enjoy it!

  2. December 2nd, 2007 at 18:28 | #2

    I stumbled upon your web site by accident (well, I had an email about Steorn), but stayed to read. I’d like to say how well you write and how enlightening. And a good sense of humour (demi-sauce …).

    I plan to visit Japan at the end of April. I have been in dialogue with a friend who lives near Tokyo, and she says that accommodation may be tricky during Golden week. I assumed that this may be so, but should be OK in smaller districts. Would you have any idea about this?

    Some photos of Japanese friends here in Cardiff :



  3. ykw
    December 3rd, 2007 at 04:55 | #3

    Cute Couple !!!

  4. Brad
    December 7th, 2007 at 16:44 | #4

    Awww, cute photograph there at the end!

  5. Paul
    December 17th, 2007 at 19:49 | #5

    As a white guy dating an Asian gal, I hope you’ve seen this video…

    It’s a bit long, but funny. Unfortunately, I identify with the pasty white blonde guy in the movie. Ah well. 😉

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