Here’s the thing about Hokkaido: it’s home to unique wildlife, waterfalls, mountains, and 6 national parks that take up about 10% of the entire island. In other words, it’s the perfect place for people who like nature and wide, open spaces – IF you can get to them. Because most of Hokkaido is not as industrialized as other places in Japan, the easiest way to go around is by car.
Here’s the thing about me: I love nature, BUT I can’t drive. I can be, however, really lucky.
So when I gave up going to Moerenuma Park because of the time it would take me just to get there by public transportation, lady luck intervened and gave me a free ride via my host who suddenly volunteered to take me there. After admiring the famous Glass Pyramid, which was unfortunately inaccessible because of a wedding reception, we walked aimlessly until we got to the Forest of Cherry Trees…
…which was completely green because we were 2 months late for the cherry blossom season. It wasn’t bad though because the forest had a lot of playground areas with giant slides, interesting jungle bars, and big mazes. It was also empty when we there so we have all the equipment to ourselves, which my host and her daughter seemed perfectly happy with ヽ(＾Д＾)ﾉ
After enjoying my win in the “who-can-jump-the-farthest-from-the-swing” contest, we went up Play Mountain to catch a view of the sunset. Even though it’s only 30 meters high it was really windy on top because there was a typhoon coming, but I got a better view of the park from the top and that was worth the chill.
The reason my host wanted to take me to the park, however, was not for the view or even the glass pyramid. It was for this:
Don’t let its unassuming exterior fool you…and don’t mistake it for a UFO parking spot like I did. This 48-meter wide structure is actually a fountain, which is situated right at the middle of the park. From April to October, the fountain shoots water up into the air and, at night, is lit up with a rainbow of colors. Although the show was a little too long and repetitive, it was as fun and interesting as many of the features in Moerenuma Park.
ACCESS TO MOERENUMA PARK VIA TRAIN AND BUS:
From Kanjo Dori Higashi Station (Toho Line), take a bus (higashi 69) to Ainosato Kyoikudai Station and Nakanuma Shogakko Dori.
Get off at Moerenuma Koen Higashigushi, which will lead you to the East Entrance of the Park.