Empty Parks

Springtime + beautiful weather + pre-walking baby = a lot of time spent in parks. And so, for this week in Show Me Japan, I'm featuring photos I took in our local, empty park.

And I know, parks, right? How interesting can that be? A park is a park is a park. But hear me out. First, as it was the week after Golden Week, and everyone is back in the office, I was struck by how empty the parks are. Like, ghost town empty.

The BEST slide ever. Rock climbing wall on one side, supercrazysandy slide on the other.


Also typically Japanese, the level of politeness that one must exhibit to all people at the park: children, crazies, and bums alike. Kids line up at the swings, waiting their turn. And when you see someone lingering, that's your cue to get the hell out of there and stop being a hog.


no one waiting here. 

Homeless people, and others who are generally a bit strange hang out in the park. And these guys are not menacing as their counterparts in North America would be. Just a bit strange. I've noticed that the mothers who supervise their kids in the park talk to these guys if they happen to initiate conversation, and are sure to bid the homeless dudes farewell before running off after their kids. Imagine that happening in North America.

Empty and forgotten. 

Kids take off their shoes in Japanese parks. Even if it's, like, five degrees outside. There is no perceived danger of stepping on hypodermic needles, or broken beer bottles, but there is the risk of leaving your shoes behind. 


There are always handy little taps for feet washing when playtime is over. Because, you know,  you can have fun, but you've got to be clean. 


The playground equipment is well used, and charmingly old-timey:


Still empty.

Nobody there.


And although there is a clear man-rules-nature vibe: everything is stylized and controlled, unlike our wild and natural North American parks. 


Swan boats on a man-made lake.  

So, that's my view of Japan for this week. Now, head on over to Budget Trouble for more Show Me Japan.