May 21, 2011

Lazy Sunday in Yoyogi Koen

(A juggling team practices in Yoyogi Koen.)

Yoyogi Koen (Yoyogi Park) may be the fourth biggest park in Tokyo, but it's the biggest in the Tokyo Metropolitan area. It's Japan's Central Park, and in true Japanese fashion, it is tiny for what it is -- one-sixth the size of Central Park.

(An old man meditates in the sun.)

Like all great Tokyo parks on a good day, it's crowded as hell and a great source for people-watching. You can see happy babies in strollers, students drinking in large groups, couples on dates, and old people having a quiet stroll.  

Even nicer are the various groups partaking in their hobbies, like these drummers. Despite being a fairly small band, the beats they made could be heard halfway across the park.

This old man parked his Great Dane near the pond and waited for the fascinated to gingerly make their way to him. Large dogs are a rarity in Japan, so seeing this extra-large dog made people's day. When the dog let out a bark, everyone in the vicinity jumped.

A Dalmatian/Great Dane?

One drawback of Yoyogi Koen is the crows. They are a little bit too big and a little bit too plentiful for comfort. Here, they were trying to eat up all the tadpoles in the lake.

Not a tadpole, not yet a frog: the tail is still very much visible.

I hope they grow up to be cute green frogs.

Like all Japanese gatherings, there is a slight freakshow component. Like the Papillon owners at Showa Kinen Park, last Sunday was take-your-pet-rabbit-to-Yoyogi-Koen Day. A rabbit! In a jacket! In a stroller! With Peter Rabbit for a stuffed animal!

Rabbit owners, hangers-on, and fans. The strollers and boxes all contain rabbits.

Awwww. One rabbit was actually hopping around without a leash, not 200 meters from the Doberman by the pond. I was a bit scared for the rabbit's sake.

It was almost anticlimactic to see a woman walking her pet turtle.

But it was just ambling along at its own pace, oblivious to the staring bystanders.

No comments: