parks

Japan’s weeping plum trees are so beautiful they’ll bring tears to your eyes【Photos】

Mie town’s garden opens its gates after nightfall so guests can see the gorgeous blossoms in a whole new light.

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A wild Sneasel appears! We discover a rare Pokémon hot-spot in Nara Prefecture

The park is known for its colorful flower gardens, and now for its abundance of Pokémon too!

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Japanese gang of elementary-school-age bamboo thieves let off the hook for heartwarming reason

Childhood is notoriously short in education-and-work-come-first Japan, but these tykes’ throwback idea of fun got them out of trouble with the law.

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Jaw-dropping Japanese “sea of clouds” is a great reason to visit Tokyo’s northern neighbor

Just a few hours outside of Tokyo, but visually worlds away.

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We investigate Tokyo’s “haunted” phone booth in Mizumoto Park【Haunted Tokyo】

For decades, locals have said a woman’s ghost appears in the park at night, and our visit ended with frightening female fury.

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Japanese thrill-seekers zip through the air after flying down 60-metre long slide in the rain

The slide is more like a catapult, sending daredevils hurtling through the air and along the ground in full force.

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This downtown Tokyo park just might be the city’s best-kept secret for Pokémon GO players

Rare Pokémon and everything you need to catch them are waiting at Hamacho Park.

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“To protect the world from devastation!” Real-life Team Rocket cleans litter in Pokémon GO park

Team Rocket’s blasting off again… to make the world a cleaner place!

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Happiness is these two dogs playing on a park slide in Japan

Watching the adorable pups take turns sliding down the slippery dip is guaranteed to put a smile on your face!

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Over 20 Museums, Galleries and Zoos in Tokyo are free for today only!

Today (October 1) is Citizen’s Day in Tokyo, celebrating the independence and welfare of the area’s residents. And what better way to do that than by giving them free access to over 20 of Tokyo’s cultural attractions from museums to art galleries to gardens and even zoos.

Now, considering it’s Citizen’s Day you might be thinking that such a deal is only open to people living in Tokyo, but no! Anyone who can get out here today and today only can get free admission to the following places.

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Yamanashi zoo’s roly-poly resident raccoon is ridiculously round, remarkably cute

Many of Japan’s tasty regional delicacies don’t exactly qualify as low-calorie dining options, such as Fukuoka’s pork stock ramen, Osaka’s deep-fried kushikatsu skewers, and Nagoya’s miso pork cutlets. However, Yamanashi Prefecture’s local specialty, hoto, is relatively healthy, as it’s primarily a vegetable stew with miso broth.

With that in mind, the fact that a zoo in Yamanashi is home to a raccoon who’s so plump he’s almost spherical is a little ironic…and also pretty adorable.

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Anime’s Tetsuwan Atom/Astro Boy shows up on a pedestrian walk signal in Japan

For many newcomers to anime and manga, it can be hard to tell characters drawn by the same artist apart. In general, Japanese designs use fewer lines, especially in the faces, than those of Western comic books, and even some artists themselves, such as Touch creator Mitsuru Adachi, have been known to get their own cast members mixed up.

That’s not a problem with Atom, though. Also known as Astro Boy, Osamu Tezuka’s beloved mighty robot is instantly recognizable, whether in the pages of the manga where he debuted, onscreen in one of his many anime adaptations, or, in his most recent appearance, a pedestrian walk signal in Kanagawa Prefecture.

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Crimson-covered Hitachi Seaside Park: Beautiful, awesome, and easy to get to from Tokyo【Photos】

Last year, we sat amazed as we looked at pictures of Hitachi Seaside Park, where every autumn a hill covered in kochia shrubs turns a dazzling shade of crimson.

Then we sat crying as a storm on the day we’d planned to visit the park washed out our travel plans.

After 12 long months of moping, this week we finally got a second chance, and this time the weather was perfect. Interested in making the trip for yourself? Read on and we’ll tell you how.

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“No ball games” & “No practicing comedy routines”: City Parks in Japan let you do less and less

If you’re like me and enjoy riding a bike while smoking a cigar, kicking a soccer ball around, with a group of friends and your dog while also shooting off a bottle rocket or two when going to the park, you’ll be hard pressed to find one that will accept you.

But you don’t even have to be nearly as obnoxious as I am to be denied entry into some of the thousands of municipal parks across Japan. In recent years, the number of bans on a vast range of activities ordinarily done it parks from riding bikes to walking dogs have been getting banned at an alarming rate.

At least, they would be, but alarms are also probably banned in many parks.

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How many abandoned bicycles can fit in just one Tokyo pond?

One of the odder problems you run into living in Japan is how to throw large things away. Say you’ve just bought a new bicycle, for example. In many countries you could find a charity to donate it to, or perhaps a relative or friend of a friend who’s just starting college or a career.

Japan’s predominantly middle-class society and general dislike of used durable goods means you’re unlikely to find someone willing to take your old bike off your hands, though. Trash collectors won’t haul off something that big unless you shell out an additional fee, either. In some cases, people will simply abandon their bike somewhere, such as a back alley or deserted parking lot.

Or, apparently, in a lake in one of Tokyo’s most beloved parks.

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Top seven Tokyo oases providing shelter from heat of the city

In the great city of Tokyo, the summer heat is particularly pervasive. Everywhere you look, people are bustle between crowded buildings and the hot pavement. The heat and the tension get trapped within that city bubble. You might think there’s no escaping it without a trip to the countryside, but as it turns out, there are a few grand oases within Tokyo’s boundaries. Here are seven such spots, guaranteed to bring the temperature down while raising your city-worn spirits up.

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