Just scrolling through Google Maps and clicking on the sight icons is a slow but painful way of looking for interesting places to visit. That is exactly how I found out about this park though, and seeing that it was just 14 kilometres away from the Tokyo Fox Global Operations Centre in Itabashi meant that it was ideal for a bike ride.
Back in April I took the 60 minute cycle ride up into Saitama Prefecture one warm Spring morning. The park is located between Minami Urawa and Warabi stations on the Keihin-Tohoku Line. Accessing them on foot takes 16 and 22 minutes respectively. I have since noticed that you can briefly spot the back of the gorilla when travelling south on that train line.
This urban park (definitely no grass here!) is located under an elevated highway and is a fairly spacious environment. It is open 24 hours a day and there is a children’s playground nearby but it is of course the giant Gorilla bending a clock and standing tall as king which is the symbol of the park.
Taking pictures where there’s a very visible clock is certainly not good for continuity so eagle-eyed readers will notice how exacctly I’ve shuffled the photos around. All-in-all it’s a pretty cool idea to have the gorilla holding the clock stand in his left hand.
It goes by the name of Big Joe and its eyeballs supposedly move from side to side every now and again. There is a lot of attention to detail in this statue.
There is no sunlight at all in this park so that means it’s a cool place in the summer but is also popular on rainy days for the many dog walkers who come to this location.
The parks main use is as a BMX course and there are a load of rules concerning its use including only riding anti-clockwise, wearing a helmet, not wearing sandals or shorts, cheking the course condition before riding and keeping your pets in your arms. Presumably that last one is not for when you’re riding!!
- Gorilla Park is located at 4341 Shiba, Kawaguchi, Saitama-ken.
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