April 5, 2009
I decided that having smaller posts on individual Susono Parks filled in the Susono adventure category might make things easier to read. Earlier today I went to the park with my son. Here is a brief review.
裾野市運動公園 （すそのし うんどう こうえん） (Susono-shi Undo Koen) or Susono Sports Park is far away from the center of Susono. You really need a car (or someone else to drive you) to get there!
When I first started working as a Susono ALT I hardly ever went to the Undo Koen. Now though, I have a car and a son so have both the means and a good reason to go there!
There are some great sports facilities there. For example an athletics track with football pitch; a baseball ground; tennis courts; and a large grassy park. I take my son to the park area because that’s where the most fun for kids is to be had.
There are two big roller slides. One gentler and shorter than the other. It’s fairly painful on your backside if you ride the slide unprotected. Typically Japanese parents and kids make a sledge type contraption out of thick cardboard. Mr Matsuyama from the Board of Education kindly made one for my son and I the last time I popped into City Hall.
Undo Koen map
April 4, 2009
I just bought a new dual line stunt kite over the internet. It arrived yesterday so I have been out and about in Susono looking for good kite flying locations. As a Susono ALT I’m wondering if I’ll have enough leeway to go out and fly my kite during my free periods.
So far the best places I’ve found are the school grounds as they are wide enough to fly my stunt kite without hitting any power cables. The one challenge I face though is that the playing fields, while wide enough to fly my kite, are often surrounded by either trees or buildings. This makes the wind less reliable and harder to control my kite.
I’ll definitely introduce my son to kite flying as he gets older. In the meantime I will be on the look out for a more open flying location. I’ve also started keeping a stunt kite flying blog.
April 1, 2009
Susono is famous for 自然いっぱい（しぜんいっぱい）(shizen ippai) – having a lot of natural beauty. So it’s no surprise there are a number of parks. As long as the weather is reasonable my son and I usually go to at least one of the following parks each weekend.
中央公園 – Chuo Koen – Central Park
This park is just behind Nishi junior high school. It is famous for 五竜の滝（ごりゅうのたき）(Go Ryu no Taki) – Five Dragon Waterfall. There are 3 prominent waterfalls and two others hidden behind some trees.
The Susono ALT working at Nishi junior high school usually has a few chances to visit throughout the year.
Chuo Koen is pretty peaceful although kids sometimes disturb the tranquility. My son chucking stones into the river being one of them. Let’s face it, it’s more fun being noisy.
Each May, Midori festival is held in Central Park. There are a variety of stalls selling all kinds of Japanese foods. The local taiko drumming group also puts on a performance.
One of the highlights of the park is its suspension bridge over the river. From the bridge you can get a perfect view of the waterfalls.
Central Park is closed on Mondays although it’s easy enough to jump the gates although as a responsible ALT I would never do anything like that!
More to follow…