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Tamashii no Tokyo part 7 - Stay on Target

Todays excursion brings me out to Omiya, a town maybe 45 minutes outside of Tokyo. The primary purpose is to visit a toy store (of course) but I am far enough out of the city that I might as well find some things to do while I am out there. There's a big park in Tokyo, and it's supposed to be good Sakura blossoms there, so I will do that as well.

45 minutes outside of Tokyo it still looks like Tokyo. Crowded, congested, but its an organized chaos. The train ride is smooth, clean and quiet.

I find my destination with ease, a vintage toy store called Senshutei. You can read all about it here.

From there I grab lunch in a crowded McD's and then i'm back on the train to go up two stops to Omiya Koen.

Omiya Koen is a nice, large rural park, with lots of paths and ponds. As I enter the park I see a gaggle of girls huddled around a fence. Of course, I go see what the fuss is about, all the while trying not to look like a creepy foreigner. Luck would have it that there is a traditional Japanese Archery school here, and they were in the middle of some kind of competition. It was so graceful, and oddly enough, all girls.


I venture deeper into the park and it is not long till I am approached by a group of people in old garb playing music and singing. They pass me a flyer and in their best broken english explain that there is also a museum of history and folklore in the park. I take the flyer, but never get to visit.

Advertising for a museum

My path takes me around to a pond, and then the path begins to be lined with festival food stalls. Octopus Balls, Meat on sticks, noodles, candy, skill games etc..

Japanese Festival Food

I can see the Sakura up ahead but I am tired already, so I go over and sit on a bench near a bunch of old ladies painting the scenery.

Painting Sakura in Omiya Park

My feet are killing me, this trip is taking its toll already. The Sakura blossoms over my head smell sweet.

Sakura Blossoms

A Father and his sons come over to the edge of the pond and begin throwing bread into it. The water churns with activity and I think I see... fish? There are giant Koi in this pond, and the Koi are fighting over the food. Its pretty crazy, and it is at this point I really wish my family was here with me. It is here that I miss home.

I regain my strength and began to walk through the main fair grounds. People have gathered under the trees on blue tarps and are having parties. These Hanami parties are a big deal in Tokyo, and they are held pretty much wherever Sakura blossoms bloom. They stake out their place with the tarp the night before, and then show up in the morning with coolers full of beer and food, and then drink and eat all day.

Hanami Party Omiya

Omiya Koen Hanami

I walked through the park, watching all the parties, but I felt like I was watching TV. I wanted to be at one of those parties, but I was too chicken to approach anyone and just sit down.

On the other side of the park I visit Hikawa Jinja, a really beautiful shrine. Very red, with a very picturesque bridge overlooking a koi pond. The shrine supposedly has a 2400 year history.

Bridge at Hikawa Jinja

Hikawa Jinja

So, from the shrine I decide I'd better be getting back to Tokyo. I stop off at Akihabara, hit a few more stores, and head back. For dinner I eat at a place called Freshness Burger, and its not bad. Worth nothing is that the tomato slices are like an inch thick.

Posted 19 May, 2009 - 19:40 by JoshB


2 comments posted
vintage toy store called Senshutei

vintage toy store called Senshutei link above is not working. Thanks- great documentary so far!


Grandzinga's picture
Posted by Grandzinga on 16 November, 2009 - 12:55

Link fixed!

CollectionDX Admin

JoshB's picture
Posted by JoshB on 16 November, 2009 - 14:15