When you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of daily city life, there’s always the public park to remind you that nature still exists even in the deepest urban jungles. Fortunately for Tokyo, there are many city parks around to enjoy the sun and trees and get away from the busy streets for a while.
There are many city parks within Tokyo, and some of them are huge and some are just the size of a small corner on a city block. The smaller ones are great for just relaxing and taking children out to play a little bit, and most of these places have bathroom facilities (which some city dwellers used to having to beg a Starbucks employee for a restroom key would find surprising). The smaller places also have reminders of Japanese culture, with the design and layout as well as the shape of their buildings, but they also have more of the usual playsets that children all over are familiar with seeing.
I wanted to mention a few exceptional parks that I have visited in my time here, but of course there are many others within Tokyo. The first, and possibly largest, is Yoyogi Park. It is located near the Harajuku and Omotesando fashion districts, and it is great during the ohanami season for its many sakura trees. It’s also one of the more popular locations for people who want to be noticed and sing live songs.
Kitanomaru Park is famous for the most notable attraction from within it: the Nippon Budokan arena, the famous place where such bands as the Beatles, Cheap Trick, and Morning Musume have played. Beyond that, however, Kitanomaru features beautiful and lush green trees, and the water around it has blooming lotus flowers in the springtime. The Science Museum is also within its grounds, and next to it is the National Museum of Art.
Ueno Park is located halfway between the University of Tokyo and the Akihabara area in – you guessed it!—Ueno. In the middle of the park is a lake where you can go out paddling with swan shaped boats and enjoy paddling.
The final one I wanted to briefly mention is somewhere between a large and small park, but has some facilities useful for people who like fitness. The Hamacho Park is located in Chuo district and is close to the Sumida River. It also has an exercise gymnasium featuring a training room and swimming within its building, and it’s great for those business people who don’t want to pay a great deal of money to join a club. 400 yen for a two hour exercise session is perfect for those who are on a budget but still care about their fitness.
I enjoy visiting all the parks and as I explore more of Tokyo, I hope I can visit as many as there are within the city.