Sunday was the perfect day for an afternoon picnic, especially when it meant catching up with my favorite creative girl from New York while she was in town.
The great thing about Shinjuku Gyoen is that it’s never too crowded (well, maybe except for hanami season) and it really is a green oasis in the middle of the city. The warm fall sun and cool breeze felt amazing as we spent the afternoon chatting away.
I wish I had more days like this. It’s so relaxing and nothing beats being with friends.
But all too soon, the melody signifying the park closing began to play…so we packed up and stepped back outside into the city.
Just a side note, did you know that the song that notifies people of facilities closing here sounds like Auld Lang Syne, but it’s actually the Farewell Waltz from the old movie Waterloo Bridge? I mean, that song is also based on Auld Lang Syne so technically it’s the same thing. But who knew that this tragic movie was so popular in Japan that the soundtrack was used as a way to let people know that something is ending?
The things you learn when you’re fact checking your blog post.
Anyways, I didn’t really take all that many photos (too busy talking as always) but here are a few smiles from our picnic 🙂
Did you think all there is at the Hitachi Seaside Park were rolling hills of Nemophilia flowers?
Nope, nope, nope.
This nationally operated park is fairly large and has everything from barbecue corners to cycling courses. There is also a playground of sorts in an area called Pleasure Garden. (*insert innuendo of choice here*). It’s actually a pretty popular spot, though random, with anime themed attractions, semi-roller coasters and even a bmx course.
But we were only interested in one thing…the Omoshiro Tube!!!
This orange tube of fun (which is literally what the name means) is over 400 meters long and it twists and turns around this corner of the park. It is part obstacle course, part observation deck and we had tons of fun on it, as the name indicated!
So if you’re ever at Hitachi Seaside Park to see the flowers, do so. But take some time to see other areas as well. Like the ferris wheel or the beach area by the ocean that we didn’t have time for. It’s definitely worth visiting.
On our way back to Tokyo, we stopped by a parking area on the highway that had a giant Hello Kitty vending machine. Naturally we had to take a photo of it…but just as we were snapping pictures, a man with five dogs walks by.
I’ve seen two, maybe even three, dogs but this man had FIVE.
Hello Kitty vending machine took to the back burner and we were all over the dogs, which according to the nice owner were a mom and her kids. They were so well behaved and sweet as can be, my friends and I were smitten.
You just never know who you’ll meet on the highway! x
Here are some photos: