Do you know about Japanese parks? Otonashi Water Park is located in Kita Ward, Tokyo, developed on the old channel of the Shakujii River. At 4T-AMKY, Teachers and Students write about Japanese culture, food, history, many spots to visit, and other stuff. Enjoy reading and knowing about deeper Japanese culture!
Otonashi Water Park
The Shakujii River, which flows through Tokyo, was once called the Otonashi River in the Kita Ward area, and was crowded with cherry blossom viewing and holidaymakers. It was a scenic spot that was depicted in many Ukiyoe paintings of the Edo era.
Eventually, the river became polluted with water for domestic use, and the channel was changed due to renovation work that began in the 1960s.
The river now flows under Asukayama Park and the JR tracks in a culvert from the Otonashi Bridge area. The remaining old stream channel was used to restore the former mountain stream, and the park was opened as Otonashi Water Park in 1988. It has been selected as one of the 100 best urban parks in Japan.
The first thing you see when you come out of the “Water Park Exit” of the JR Oji Station is a very nostalgic and tasteful view. I felt like I was in a hot spring resort somewhere.
The former site of the river has been utilized as it is and developed as a waterfront facility. Walking along the stream between the stone walls and the greenery of trees, you will come to an arched bridge, Funakushibashi, with a water wheel underneath. Stone pavements are placed on both sides of the stream, and there are waterfalls, large rocks, and large trees, giving the impression of walking along a mountain stream.
The stream is about 20 cm deep, and the circulating water flows through a filtration system. So, it is said to be a great playground for children in the summer.
Otonashi Bridge that has three gracefully curved arches made of concrete crosses directly above the park. It was October when I visited. The scene of the gentle autumn sun shining on the bridge was so beautiful that I was mesmerized by it for a while. The greenery of the trees surrounding the area was very pleasant. I was very much healed by the rich natural environment, which I could not believe I was in the middle of the city.
They say that cherry blossoms can be enjoyed in the spring and autumn leaves in the fall. Here is a highly recommended spot that I’d like to visit again and again.