Sunday, April 15, 2007

Obligatory 桜 (sakura) Post: 総合レジャーランドときわ公園 Lost in Tokiwa Amongst the Flowers, Sculptures and Monkeys (Monkeys? Yes, monkeys)

It is my duty as a blogger living in Japan to post about the sakura season even though the flowers are almost finished falling to the ground and almost every other blogger in Japan has probably done at least one post about the cherry blossoms. Hey, I planned to do this earlier.
Anyway, if you live in or have visited Ube, you've probably heard about Tokiwa Park (ときわ公園). If you're going sightseeing in Ube, it really is the only place to make an effort to go see. Cynical and jaded as I am, Tokiwa Park is always a nice little diversion. On with the show!
This is the entrance to the park (note that it also has Korean, English and Chinese on the sign; no doubt for that influx of tourists from Seoul we always get here):

One wonders if the staff resented having to seat the one person on the roller coaster:

It was sunny that day:


One of Ube's nicknames is the City of Sculptures. There are roughly one million and two hundred twenty six sculptures in Ube. Give or take a million. I added the numbers up from the two sculpture maps you can get at the Ube City Office. Tokiwa Park alone has over a hundred sculptures.

Tokiwa also has a Coal Mining Museum which features a short walk through what a coal mine was like back in the day. Judging by these wax figures, coal minin' ain't easy. I'll just say that the Museum is pretty damn scary.

Ube and Tokiwa are famous for Katta-kun (カッタくん). He's a bird. He and I don't talk much anymore.

The park has a lot of birds. The park must also have lots of potential lawsuits since we can apparently go wherever we like.

But we all know what we're here for. Monkeys!

And more monkeys!

Apparently Tokiwa Park wants the monkeys to relax in their natural habitat of a small concrete boat. Just like home! Monkeyboat!

Seriously, why the monkeys? I've never figured it out. People I ask don't know either.

Whew! That was long. Hope everyone else around Japan had a good time watching the cherry blossoms!


Kaspian said...

Man, that is a lot of monkies. Were they evil monkies?

lostinube said...

I didn't even show the pictures of the monkeys in the cages on the side. They weren't evil monkeys. Just kind of depressed. Like, "Dude, we know we're monkeys in the middle of park in southern Japan. Stop taking pictures of us. We want to scratch each other's butts in peace."

YETTE said...


those were beautiful pictures... i sure do miss japan...

and i agree with kaspian's comment... that was a LOT of monkeys!! but cute fellas...


lostinube said...

Thanks for the compliment but really, as long as you have the right spot, it's hard to take a BAD picture of the cherry blossoms.