Children love nature: the dirt, water, animals, bugs, potential for danger at every turn. Parents? Maybe not so much. And for pretty much exactly the same reasons.
Luckily in Japan there is lots of Nature Lite. You can enjoy your nature minus the wilderness aspect and usually only a short walk from a train station or bus stop. Or that’s how things are in the Yokohama/Kawasaki/Tokyo area.
Having grown up surrounded by a good dose of actual nature, and having the scars to prove it, I gotta say I like the Lite version.
Over the weekend,the kids and I went to the Kodomo Shizen Koen (Children’s Nature Park)in Yokohama’s Asahi Ward. It isn’t the kind of place I would usually take the kids to without another set of hands to help, but a good friend invited us so I decided to give it a whirl.
This place is HUGE and we only managed to see a small portion of it before getting thoroughly tuckered out and heading home.
We managed to have a picnic under the cherry blossoms, try to catch some of those horrible huge Japanese carp, (FYI PIL says they taste like ass,) and terrify the baby chicks and guinea pigs at the petting zoo. Much to Me Too’s disappointment, there were no bunny rabbits. She’s got a serious obsession going on and has been drawing pictures and talking incessantly about rabbits for several weeks. Damn Easter. Couldn’t just keep it Christian and had to bring in the fertility gods stuff.
When I was a teenager we had loads of rabbits that Dad raised to eat. Their cages were right outside my window and being nocturnal they made the most awful racket all night. So you’ll have to pardon my lack of bunny induced enthusiasm. And yes, I do know what a rabbit cry sounds like and am happy to perform for others after a drink or three.
But back to Nature Lite.
The big drawback to this otherwise fantastic park is that it was a l.o.n.g. walk from the station. On the way back we just happened to catch a bus. I don’t know if God can be bothered with tired moms and cranky kids, but I think I saw the bus driver’s halo. He certainly had heavenly timing.