日本での一年間

January 6, 2011

Inokashira Park

Filed under: Domestic, Tokyo places, Trips, Western Tokyo — Tags: , , — myyearinjapan @ 12:00 am

Despite living a mere 20 minute train ride away from the popular Inokashira park (井の頭公園) for a year, I had never been there. (Although I have been to the Ghibli museum, which is technically part of the park.) When I was there, the leaves had changed colors and the park looked very nice, but after living in the middle of nowhere for a while, the park’s natural setting felt very forced. As nice as the park is, there are a lot of much nicer places to walk right around where I live. But I’m sure the park would have seemed like a very nice place back when I was living in Tokyo. The park was opened in 1918 as Inokashira Imperial Park (井の頭恩賜公園). During most of it’s existence the park has been a pleasant escape from the city for Tokyoites (except for a stretch of 1994 after a body was found cut up in the trash can. [井の頭公園バラバラ殺人事件] They never found the killer and the statute of limitations ran up in 2009…)

Even though there are lots of hidden green areas in Tokyo, it never seems to be enough. Somehow the distribution doesn’t work out and people still end up going to odd places to get their nature fix. For example, the part of Tokyo I lived in had no public parks whatsoever and therefore the university campus was filled with families with young children on the weekends and older people on any sunny day. The kids came for a place to run around outside and the old people to paint or draw. (There must be so many drawings of the auditorium and library by now…)

fountain

A pleasant little fountain. It may not feel like you're in a natural setting, but I'm sure the sound of the water is relaxing.

couple

There were a lot of couples around. There was even a couple having a cat fight. I mean, that there were literally two cats hissing and swiping at each other while a crowd of people watched.

pond

Pretty sunset on the pond

bikes

Many bikes for many people

shrine

This shrine in the park is meant to be lucky for couples. This couple ringing the bell must be hoping for a good relationship.

ema

Ema, votive picture tablets, at the shrine. People write their wishes on these tablets and then hang them here by the shrine. I like seeing ones written in other languages. Can you find any other languages here?

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