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Yoyogi Park, one of Tokyo's most popular gathering places also has a unique history. This was the site of the first powered airplane flight in Japanese history by Orville and Wilbur Wright's long lost Japanese cousins. The park later became an army parade ground, then housing for the U.S. military after World War II. During the 1964 Olympics, parts of the park were used for the Olympic Village housing area, and the park also housed facilities for Olympic swimming, diving and basketball, some of which are still in use and may even be used again again for Olympic events if Tokyo gets the 2020 games.
Yoyogi Park was established in 1967, and is one of Tokyo's largest parks at 134 acres (tiny compared to New York City's Central Park, which is over 800 acres). Today is a popular place for Tokyo's youth to play sports, listen to music, bike and just relax. The park area has a plaza that has frequent festivals and other events, as well as walking and biking paths, bike rentals, basketball courts, picnic areas, and restrooms.
Here is my video of crazy circus stunts at Yoyogi Park: http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/vv/6c96/
Visit Yoyogi Park on Sunday
If you want to see the Tokyo locals let loose, visit Yoyogi Park on a Sunday in the good weather. There, you will see the sidewalks lined with rock bands, 1950's era greasers break-dancing to boom boxes, martial artists fighting with sticks and other fun. The place will be crowded with families enjoying themselves or taking in the amusing sites. It's here where I saw my first robotic pet, in 1999.
...The crowd is a mixture of foreigners and Japanese, all taking advantage of the park's greenery to escape the noise and congestion of the city (in a relative sense, of course). There probably is no better people watching spot in Tokyo, the people-watching capital of the world.
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A peaceful park in Tokyo
Yoyogi is a large city park featuring wide lawns, ponds and forested areas. Once you are in the park, you free your mind from all your troubles and just enjoy the peace of nature. Of course, Meiji Shrine located in Yoyogi Park just completes the scene. You can spend hours in the park walking around or jogging if you would like to.
Yoyogi park is a nice spacious green park near Shibuya. Like many such places it is particularly popular during Cherry Blossom season, but is worth a visit any time.
Nice place for a picnic if the weather is good.
This park offers a bit of peace & relaxation, even though it's only minutes away from a few subway stations. The park has well kept lawns & a few fountains. The park was full of couples & families enjoying the peace & the sunshine.
Spring and other Seasons
In spring, most probraly the first week of April, is the Sakura fully blooming period.
Make sure that you come at the right time for it.
During that time, younng and elderly come to the park for a 'picnic'.
Other seasons, Yoyogi Park is still a great place for a stroll.
A walk in the park on Sunday after your delicious brunch will be a good idea if you worries of nothing to do and noone to talk to.
Come to the park and you will have a chance to see me.
(My house is 5 minutes ride from here).
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Weekend Cosplay in Yoyogi-Koen Park
Every weekend, a large group of disaffected teens in fabulously OTT costumes gather at the gates to Yoyogi-Koen park - why, I do not know, but they seem to love being photographed.
My guide explained to me that this was a scene originally started by bullied teenage girls, but it seems now to have spread to include generally disaffected youngster.
They sport all manner of costumes, from sinister military uniforms complete with swastikas, to baby doll/lolita efforts, to fabulous sci-fi craziness.
- Family Travel
Just next to Tokyo`s famed Yoyogi Park, you will come to a little concrete plaza, bordered on one side by the weirdly soaring form of the National Gymnasium (based on a samurai helmet and considered an architectural masterpiece) and the NHK TV studio.
Although guided tours of the studio are available, the real attraction here is the street performers - young people flock to sing, dance, and perform standup comedy and theatre in the hope that they will be "discovered" by the star-makers who work in the studios nearby.
Unfortunately though, most of the performers are pitifully untalented, making a walk down this boulevard of broken dreams both hilarious and a little sad.
On weekends, teenagers flock to the street to see the free entertainment (and laugh at the very worst performers). There are frequent festivals and events in the plaza area - everything form Thai foodfairs to hip hop concerts - as well as a biweekly flea market. And Shibuya is just a short stroll down the hill, walking past the NHK studios and away from the park, making it easy to stop by on walking tour of Shibuya,Harajuku and Yoyogi Park.
See "Yoyogi Park" for more street culture.
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Yoyogi Park - faded but still funky
Throughout the `80s and `90s Yoygi Park was Tokyo`s pop culture ground zero. It was here that young people would gather, to listen to impromptu rock concerts and dance in the streets, wearing their most outrageous clothes.
Originally the site of the 1964 Olympic Village, the site was cleared as a recreational ground (and emergency earthquake evacuaiton area), before being taken over by the city`s youth.
Rave parties would hapen every weekend in the woodland thickets, reggae soundsytems would boom out from near the gate, and a chaotic market covered the footpath outside - selling everything from fake designer Tshirts to mountains of plastic Pokemon and Astroboy trinkets and porno magazines.
But sadly,due to the shortsightedness of the city authorites, the illegal vendors have been moved out and the illegal parties stopped. The grafitti that once covered parts of the park, giving it the nickname "Tokyo Bronx" has been cleaned off, leaving it neat..and characterless.
You should still come on a weekend to see the last remaining remnants of that time - there is till a biweekly fleamarket and all kinds of festivals and events. African drummers converge on Sundays by the fountain. Wildly dressed Goth teenagers still outside the MeijiJingu shrine ( although now often outnumbered by camera-toting tourists shooting them),. And the dwindling ranks of the 1950s style Japanese Elvis impersonators who have famously danced here for decades are still rockin...but the magic that once made this park unique in all the world is sadly disappearing, and it seems only a matter of time before Tokyo`s exuberant creativity will erupt somewhere else.
See also nearby attractions "The NHK Building" and "Harajuku".
Yoyogi Uehara Garden
The park is opened through out the year. In winter, children practice baseball, in Spring, Sakura blossom, on summer young people lazing here for sun shine and in Autumn, young couple picnic here hoping to have closer relationship. How about spend a day for people watching?
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