Japan Tourism and Shinrin Park: Musashi-Kyuryo National Park within reach of Tokyo

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Japan Tourism and Shinrin Park: Musashi-Kyuryo National Park within reach of Tokyo

Tomoko Hara and Sebastian Walter

Modern Tokyo Times

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The full name of Shinrin Park (Shinrin Koen) in Saitama prefecture is Musashi-Kyuryo National Government Park. If you are a tourist or reside in Tokyo, then it takes just under one hour from Ikebukuro train station. This means that this amazing park is in easy access and given the attractions and enormous size of this adorable park then it is a perfect day out.

Indeed, if you enjoy cycling then you have several delightful courses with the main course lasting 17km of splendid isolation. This applies to being free from cars, walkers and dogs. At all times you can cycle at your own leisure and pop off and visit the many beautiful gardens and quiet walks around the many ponds which are spread throughout Shinrin Park. You can hire bikes just before entering the park or from within the park, the option belongs to you and the same applies to taking your own bike. The sheer size of the cycle trail whereby you are surrounded by stunning scenery is a real treasure to behold. After all, it is perfect exercise and a fantastic way to explore this National Park.

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If you are a flower lover then you have flowers throughout the season which will vary based on the respective time of the year. Flowers within the park applies to amur adonis, aeginetia indica, camellia, chamomille, cosmos, dogtooth violets, gold-banded lily, Japanese apricot, Japanese cherry, kumagaiso, lupins, maple, mealy primrose, poppy, torch azalea and many more. Like stated already, much will depend on the season but the beauty of this park is that flowers can be viewed throughout the year. Also, the amazing backdrops and countless number of ponds mean that you have so many places to see.

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Special courses to follow include the 17 km cycling trial like already mentioned; wild plant course whereby approximately 150 different kinds can be viewed while enjoying a leisurely stroll; orienteering; and marathon and cross country courses. Alongside this, you have an athletics field and Japan’s biggest air trampoline which can be enjoyed by children and adults alike. For children, you also have a wading pool, amusement devices and a big dome in 50 different colors, and for schools and groups within the region you have activities related to environmental learning.

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The athletics field is located in the forest and this provides an amazing thrill because everything seems so natural. Also, this adventure course is a great way to keep fit while enjoying the fun side. It is also a place where children can experiment and do different types of exercises and likewise where adults can forget about all their stresses. Similarly, for family members who just want to enjoy seeing their respective children play, then it is a rare treat to see young kids enjoying beautiful nature and keeping fit at the same time.

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From a nature angle then Shinrin Park provides something different throughout the year. In the spring season you have Plum Forest whereby 600 plum trees can be found which cater for 120 different colors and varieties. Japanese cherry trees in late March begin to blossom and you have just under 500 of this species in one special part of the park. During the same time of year you also have spirea and golden forsythia. Meanwhile in the middle of July to very early August you can witness gold-banded lilies. While during the final months of the year you can view the dramatic colors of the 500 maples trees between the middle of November to the first part of December. Therefore, Shinrin Park caters for a whole array of adorable plant life throughout the year.

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The park opens at 9.30am throughout the year but closes between 4pm and 5pm depending on the season. Between March 1 and October 31 the park closes at 5pm. The park only closes on December 31, January 1 and the third and fourth Mondays of January. For full details then please visit the website of Shinrin Park at the end of this article. It is worth mentioning that this article only provides a small glimpse into this amazing place. Also, you have several places to eat refreshments and buy books and other goods related to the park and local produce. Overall, Shinrin Park is a real treasure for people who reside in Tokyo and Saitama prefecture and for tourists from far and wide.

Lee Jay Walker provided assistance to both main writers.

Modern Tokyo Times images

http://shinrin-koen.go.gp

If travelling from the Tokyo area then travel to Ikebukuro train station and go to the Tobu Tojo Line. It takes just under 1 hour by express train. Get off the train at Shinrin Koen and then the bus takes around 7 minutes. On Saturday and Sunday you have a direct bus service.

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

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