One of the things I always do when we get to a new place is seek out a park. Blame my dad for my obsession. He works in Parks and Rec (think Ron Swanson, but he actually does his job), so I feel it is my duty to document them all over the world for him. Maybe one day I'll make a book - who knows. I love seeing how different they all are across the world and how each culture uses them. In New York there are as many people napping as there are exercising. In Spain it's half circus half party. Parks in England are full of dogs and perfectly manicured gardens. I was ridiculously excited to see what Japan had in store for us. We found that the parks in Tokyo are incredibly tranquil & you feel a sense of peace almost the instant you step foot inside. Most are dedicated to a shrine and there is this beautiful energy all over. I loved it.
Here are the places we wandered:
1. Yoyogi Park (my favorite) :: Yoyogi houses the Meiji Shrine, Kiyomasa's Well, & these beautifully painted sake barrels in honor of Emperor Meiji (the wine barrels are a gift from France). We also happened to be there during their chrysanthemum festival, and if you know my love for flowers, you'll understand my cheesy smile.
2. Ueno Park. Also amazingly cool - and is apparently one of the more popular parks. It has a zoo (duh, amazing) and of course a really beautiful shrine (a Tōshō-gū). Can you see my panda excitement??
3. Imperial Gardens. This one is sort of a lie as in we weren't really IN the imperial gardens... we were just around them.
I am actively planning our next trip to Japan. I'm not sure when we'll have any sort of time to take any sort of trip in any sort of foreseeable future (how depressing is that), but I sure am ready.