Since Josh had a long weekend, we were able to get out a few times and explore! One day we spent walking (and paddle boating!) around Showa Park.
We were under the impression that Showa park was like many of the other parks in the area- small, free, beautiful… but we were surprised to find a MASSIVE park complete with several ponds, soccer and “bowling” fields, flower gardens, and a museum just to name a few! The park costs 410 Yen/adult (around $4.00) but is totally worth it.
Immediately upon entering the park, we saw people paddling around in the lake and decided we needed to give this a try! We payed the machine, got in the boat and headed out. There were several ducks on the lake, and you could see baby ducks dive under and come up with a little fish in their mouth! They were great fishermen (and women).
When we first got out on the lake, we saw little ripples coming toward us on the flat glassy water…. as if something underneath were just skimming the surface. When it got closer, we realized it was a big fish! These fish would swim up along side us and follow our boats along with their heads poking up out of the water every now and then to see if we had a tasty morsel for them! They were SO close to the boat! Josh said they are called Koi Carp.
They have tons of special bike paths through the park, witch in retrospect would be the way to go since the attractions are so spread out! Also… they have TANDEM bikes… So, duh… we are biking for sure next time!
A picnic blanket it a must. Not only will you be the only person there without one… but there are several open areas perfect for laying under the trees or enjoying lunch. They also have a “Barbecue” area which consists of rows and rows of tents where the locals gather with their families and friends to grill out!
The paths were lined with trees that dropped gum-drop-sized fruit that were tangerine in color and contain a large seed. It was fun to walk down the path and feel the fruit pop under your feet! Oddly, the fruit smelled like feta cheese… so it was a pungent experience.
Along with the soccer fields and basket ball courts, the have what was labeled as a “bowling green.” We stopped, fascinated at what was going on- and watched the men, rolling their little “bowling balls.” After a bit of observation we decided it was a lot like Bocce Ball – but contained within a type of “bowling lane” that was covered in a thin layer of moss-like grass. These guys were really cheering for the good rolls!
There were also large sculptures being made in the park with all sorts of wood, sticks, bamboo and other natural materials. It would be fun to see what the finished product turns out like!
Have you ever paddle boated?
What is your favorite park in the whole world?