Shinrin Koen

Shinrin Koen

Last weekend, we headed west for the first time, taking the Tobu Tojo train to Shinrin Koen (Forest Park). There’s a pretty awesome Forest Park back home too and times like these feel like we’re back in the great, green Pacific Northwest.

We rented bikes and rode most of the 17 kilometer (about 10.5 miles) path around the park. The paths wind through the trees, and around ponds, fountains, arboretums, playgrounds and art installations. A great day trip and definitely on the list of places to return again and again.

Shinrin Koen South Gate

Fountain at the south gate of Shinrin Koen

Fountain Gnomes

These gnomes protected the fountain at the south gate of Shinrin Koen

Tree Climbing

These kids were learning how to rope climb

Ponpoko Mountain

Ponpoko Mountain—We should have known this wasn’t a real mountain when we had to climb downhill to get there

Memorial Plaza Fountain

The fountain at Memorial Plaza in Shinrin Koen. Snack shack had rose ice cream. Delicious!

Bike basket

I’ve always wanted a cruiser bike

Bike selfie

Kids: Do not try bike selfies at home

Cycling map

Map of the cycling course at Shinrin Koen

Walking path

We had to walk a couple kilometers from the train station to the park. Stay on the walking path… or meet your fate!

Empty train

The train emptied out a couple stops before the park. We’ve never been on a train this empty in Japan.

Rice fields

We passed this recently flooded rice field on the way to Shinrin Koen. The growing season is just starting.


  • Reply Pugs May 16, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    Looks like you had a great day. Lovely looking park too. How does it compare to Forest Park in Portland?

    • Reply Robert May 16, 2014 at 8:13 pm

      The last time I was at Forest Park it was to train for a trail run half marathon, so this was a lot less running. The trails and the greenery just give a sense of Oregon.

  • Reply Sarah May 19, 2014 at 11:43 am

    I would have stolen one of those gnomes, for sure.

    • Reply Robert May 19, 2014 at 1:14 pm

      I’m pretty sure they were ninja gnomes (or should I say “gninja”)!

    • Reply Viktoria May 20, 2014 at 11:35 am

      We totally thought of you when we saw them!

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