A Happy Coincidence
It was actually the JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Tests) that first brought me to this beautiful Ryokuchi Park in Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture. Although it’s not in technically in Tokyo, it is quite close (Shinagawa station to Kawasaki station is a 28-minute ride).
At one end of the park, is Senshu University – the place my test was being held. To get there from the train station, I had a pleasant walk through this surprising natural park.
A Day Out For The Family
The park has a great picnic area for the kids, that has a flat field where ball games can be played. There are also several old train carriages that have been modified to allow the kids to explore them.
Further into the park, if you follow the main route to the university, you will enter a small forest full of ancient trees that tower over. If you go in autumn like when I took this pictures, you’ll be able to see the beautiful autumn colours (紅葉) of the various trees in the park.
Ikuta Ryokuchi Park Has It All
Just before you arrive at Senshu University, you’ll notice a huge sculptor that kind of looks like a tooth with some children on it (that may sound like a bad description, but that’s really what I thought it looked like).
Here, you will find the entrance to the Taro Okamoto Museum of Art.
This isn’t the only museum the park has to offer, though. You can also visit the Japan Open-air Folk Museum, which is worth taking a look at even if you’re not planning on entering.
The Kawasaki Municipal Science Museum (located at the picnic area with the trains) is also another great option.
And next to the university is the Kawasaki City Traditional Crafts Center – although you’d have to look into what kind of activities they have on there.
If museums aren’t your thing, there are a few cafes and restaurants located at the museums that you can dine at, even if you don’t fancy paying the entrance fees.
So, how about it? Do you fancy a nice day out at Ikuta Ryokuchi Park?