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Waterpark at Oji Station
Price: 0 yen
The Otonashi Shinsui waterpark is just a few meters away from the north exit of Oji Station.
It is a small park designed with some water play. Kids can enjoy the small waterwheels or you can just do a nice picknick there. Especially in the evening when it will be light up it is very beautfiul and romantic. Just next to the Waterpark is a big park with a huge castleplayground on a hill.
Also for trainlovers, you can take a look at some old trains or just enjoy the view from the waterpark or hill to see the old arakawa tram line.
In the Area
Last year, I went to one of the most beautiful gardens in Tokyo. I was told that it is beautiful for all seasons. As autumn is already here and the leaves are starting to change, I remembered this beautiful garden and decided to share my review with everyone. This garden's name is Rikugien. It's pretty cool that you can find such a peaceful place amidst the concrete jungle that is Tokyo. Usually, I go out of Tokyo for flower and herb festivals. But little did I know that I didn't have to go too far. I went to Rikugien garden three separate times last autumn season. The first time it was raining (but still beautiful), the second time it was during the day (plus it was sunny), and the third time was night time (so I could see the leaves illuminated and reflected on the water). I mostly did photo walks here of course. It's a great place for people who like taking photos of nature, especially since there are some beautiful birds fluttering about, too! The park is pretty big, and you can spend maybe half a day there just exploring. There is a teahouse there, too, if you would just like to sit and observe your surroundings. The park looked different every time I visited. It was particularly packed when the illuminations are long but, knowing the Japanese, it's very systematic and organized as people line up properly to be able to go through the park. If you live in Tokyo, Rikugien can be easily accessed via train and is a 5 to 10 minute walk from Komagome Station (JR line/ Namboku line). It is open from 9 AM to 5 PM (last entry at 4:30 PM). Once illuminations are up for autumn season, however, the park is open until 9 PM. Surely, lines will be long so it will be best to come early. Entrance fee is 300 yen.
It's the time of year when colours are on the turn again. Besides Sakura season, Japan has an Autumn that is rich and full of greens, reds, yellow, browns, and pink.Rikugien Garden in Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, is one of the best gardens in Japan to view all year around. In particular during the Fall and Sakura seasons. It has traditional trees and Japanese plants, with a huge pond in the middle. During the day is amazing, and at night they illuminate the garden. The garden opens at 9am - 5pm. At certain special times of year, they remain open to around 8pm. They have tea rooms and they sell traditional Japanese snacks.There is also special group rates.There are no English speakers at the garden, however you shouldn't really need it as they provide English maps (and other maps in different languages). If you need to ask for a map because there isn't one available, then just say 'Eigo chizu are masu ka?' They will give you a map.This garden really is a photogenic spot. It makes great reports for any travel writer/blogger. People generally stay there for around 2 hours.
When you walk into the Dubliners in Ikebukuro, you could be walking into a bar in the centre of Dublin, only for the lack of people and atmosphere. The place looks the real deal, but it is sorely lacking the all important ambience of a real Irish bar. However, on the flip side, you can relax over a pint and a book here. They have a great selection of Irish drink and a small selection of some popular Irish pub grub, but they are missing the Sunday roasts which is something Irish people like to eat in pubs back home. They have an Irish fry, which is usually a breakfast but it is good enough to eat for lunch or dinner. I would never order an Irish fry at home in Ireland, but sometimes it is nice to go to the Dubliners to get that taste of home. The one in Ikebukuro is closest to me, but it is not the best in my humble opinion. They offer free Irish music performances usually on Thursday nights. The music is great in my opinion, but I am biased as it is the music of my homeland. The staff are friendly and speak some English. The manager there, who may also be the owner, has visited Ireland but didn't spend a long time there. He is interested in Irish culture though. The seats are generally wooden with wooden tables. You can pull tables together so it can accommodate larger crowds. You can sit at the bar too. There is a small outdoor terrace despite being in the basement.
The Fabric Town in Nippori is a long street with many small stores which are selling all kinds of handcraft materials. You can find a wide variety of fabrics, buttons, leather and many other stuff for your handcraftwork. Some stores also offering very reasonable prices like 100 Yen für 1 meter fabric. Especially the big store "Tomato" (you can find 3 of them there) offer a big 100 Yen selection. You can also find a big variety of typical old japanese fabrics or many very colorful "kawaii" fabrics.
When it came to buying a new car in Japan, our criteria was limited; used, K-car, and a budget which I don't want to write down here.After visiting a bunch of used-car dealerships in the Adachi area, we came upon U-CAR谷在家, a Daihatsu dealer.They had a decent selection of motors in our price range. When you pull up to these places in a car, they usually have one or two spaces available for visitor, or they may even park the car for you.We were greeted by a really friendly worker here who showed us around some of the motors that they had available. Now, this was all conducted in Japanese, and I don't think anyone here has the ability to speak English or any other language (and that's probably not their target), but if you can come with someone Japanese, I feel that you'll find the people here helpful and friendly. At no point did I feel they were applying pressure on us to buy. We were free to have look around, and inside, the cars that they had available. They switched on engines for us, and explained the finer points of each car that we enquired about. No test driving was available (as far as I could tell). When we finally decided to purchase, there was a mountain of paper work to get through. Staff here were helpful in getting us through this, and stayed in touch throughout the process. This dealership also took our old car off our hands for us for a minimal fee, where other dealers charged a lot more (our old motor was not worthy for sale, before you ask).With the form filling and payment, they were pretty relaxed, accepting a very small deposit. Coffee and biscuits were served in the building every time we had a 'sit down'. We bought our car just before the New Year period, and due to holidays, had to wait until early January to pick it up. We were in no hurry though, and a think at a 'normal' time of year, they might have had the car ready within a couple of weeks.In terms of the state of the new 'used' car, they cleaned it up nicely, and threw in a few freebies (rear view mirrors etc). Overall, this dealership created a really smooth, pressure-free experience for us so I'd recommend them if you're with someone Japanese. If not, better head somewhere else.