Rushed along by the millions coming in and out of Tokyo every day, it's easy to overlook the fact that Japan's capital is actually a city of space. It really doesn't take all that much effort to find this space - usually no more than a stroll from the department store or at worst, a station or two away.
One such space that deserves some mention is the tree lined pond and public space of Mitsugi Park in Itabashi City. A very easy stroll from the station, Mitsugi Park is located right by the Ikebukuro Expressway but you would never know such is the pleasantry of the park and its pond.
Over two hundred plum trees have been planted which, along with the sakura cherry blossom trees, turns Mitsugi Park into an absolute delight of local enjoyment during the blooming spring season. With the calm waters in the background, the blooming trees make for splendid photography opportunities.
The pond itself makes up the vast bulk of the park's space with a pier on its northern shore. Weekends open up the pier to 30-minute boat rides. At only ¥240 per boat, they make a great little family friendly activity. As a matter of safety, only 2-3 people are permitted per boat while children cannot ride alone and must wear a lifejacket.
The pond also draws out anyone interested in fishing and a visit there will see a handful trying their luck with the smooth waters. A great way to relax, pass the time and hopefully pick up some light dinner for the evening. Just past the northern end pier lies the children's play area, a basic affair but one that affords some extra space for the kids to run around.
With its local atmosphere and beautiful pond and plum trees, turns out to be delightfully pleasant way to spend an hour so relaxing in suburban Tokyo.