In America, when we go to a park, things are kept simple. You know where the parking lot is, you know where the bathrooms are, you know where the dining/BBQ pits are located.
And for the most part, everything is self contained and easy to find.
Japan parks (which are known as “koen”) are quite interesting because there are numerous parks that have paths that go off to unusual areas and you can find yourself lost, going up a steep hill, finding yourself in unusual terrain. But yet, because it’s a park, for us foreigners, it’s a bit unexpected to see so many unknown paths that deviate from the main path.
In Japan, Shakuji Park in Nerima Ward is one of those type of parks. And because of the unexpected, expect an adventure and that is why I loved visiting Shakuji Park!
Shakuji Park is one of the largest parks in Tokyo, after Ueno Park (which is huge) and established back in 1959. The park contains two ponds, Shakuji Pond and Sanpo-ji Pond, several shrines and the remains of the Shakuji Castle.
Supposedly the ponds were formed from underground water from the Musashino-dai Pond but the pond has started to shrink and now manmade pumps have been installed.
First, let’s look at the huge maps that are outside of Shakuji Koen.
Upon entering, everything looks so easy, with boats to the lake and flowers in the garden.
Should you go up the stairs or walk the main path? I decided to go up the stairs and it looks like I found bathrooms and places to let your pets run around. But go a bit further and you find a performance area.
If you keep going further, you will find bird sanctuaries and a pond full of koi fish and other types of fish.
But what lies beyond these ponds? Check out my video: