Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Tsukayama Sakura in Yokosuka snow storm...Kenzie chasing petals 
A couple weeks ago, while Kris and I were hanging out with friends in Yokohama, I was told of this beautiful place covered with sakura.  I thought the sakura season was over for our Yokosuka area.  No, no, no....there were a few more places, hidden around the city, that were still shaded by the pretty pink and white blossoms.
Off to Tsukayama park!!  So, from Chuo Station to Anjinzuka Station we went!  I wasn't quite sure which park was the correct park on my map, so I found one that looked about 15 minutes from the station and we started walking.  My kids are cute...and, they are smart...which means they question every road I choose because they know I like to go on 'adventures'...they like to call these 'adventures' getting lost, eh, tomato, tom-ah-to.  I do have to admit that as we were walking down these little alleyways even I was questioning whether we were going in the right direction. it turns out...we weren't.  😊 However, these wrong turns meant we found this awesome little park tucked back into a quiet little neighborhood.  I mean...who couldn't love a park with gigantic lizards and elephants?!?!

The kids played here for about 15 minutes while I tried to figure out which park I was going to try next.  I found a green spot and put a pin on it, then we started making our way there.  So, I managed to turn a 15 minute walk from station to desired park into a 45 minute walk from station to wrong park to desired park.  Oops...

Me: "Look at this hill, kids!"
Kids: "Uuugghhh...can we rest a minute?"

I'm so glad it was a beautiful day.  The kids and I took a leisurely stroll through the streets of this hilly town.  And, when I say leisurely, I mean that there were some crazy hills that made the kids ill-tempered, hot, thirsty, tired, sore legged, sweaty....I'm sure they mentioned other adjectives to describe their 'adventure'.  For the most part, they took it all in stride.  Since it was a beautiful day and we had nothing scheduled all day we could take our time walking around the little city.  We took a lot of breaks and checked out every nook and cranny we found along the way.  "Mom...what do you think is down that street?"  "I don't know, do you want to find out?" "YES!"  "Okay, let's go!"  That was usually Garytt....Kenzie wasn't so impressed with walking down every side gets out around 2 and she needed to be home so she could hang out with her friends.

Turns out, the birds weren't living,
breathing birds, but little statues.
Up the hill, around the corner, and down the street a little more and we found a set of stairs.  Garytt:  Look!  There are birds sitting on the rails up there!  Me:  Wow!  Garytt:  Can we go up there and see what's up there?  Me: Yes...yes...yes!!!!  

The Boy was up the stairs in no time, excited to see the birds as well as what would greet him at the top.  Kenzie, however, moaned, groaned, whimpered and whined her way up each stair with feet that seemed to weigh 25 pounds each as they stomped slowly up the hill.

We found ourselves at another little park.  This one was a normal looking park...slides, swings, monkey bars.  So, while I walked around looking at trees and flowers, the kids were having a blast (yes, even Her Highness discovered she could have fun at the top of this hill).

Such a beautiful day.  The sunshine made all the newly green trees absolutely stunning.  And, for a change, there is no hazy, city-smoggy cover to the sky.

After about 15 minutes or so at this park, we made our way back out to the main road and, once again, climbed a hill to the park I was praying was the correct park.  I'm not sure Mackenzie would have even taken one more step if this was the wrong park, again.  At the top of the hill we rounded a corner, walked up some stairs and then found ourselves face to face with the 210 Yokosuka toll gate we drive through on our way north.  Kenzie broke into tears....we are SO FARRRRR from home!!!!! It's okay, kid, the park is right ... up another hill ...

Woooowwww......the trees!!!!

The kids weren't impressed.  So, I gave them sandwiches, chips and cookies to nibble while I walked around and took pictures.  Once their little bellies were filled they were a little more excited about looking at the trees again.  

It's amazing what a five minute sit on a bench and a little food can do to their attitudes.  :)

Park Map and Area Map
The park is actually a pretty good sized area.  If you walk in and take a slight left toward the sakura grove you can walk under the clouds of blossoms.  There were about half a dozen couples on blankets eating lunch and relaxing.  We quietly walked through this area, took some pictures and then meandered toward the back of the park.

All of the trees here were at full bloom.  It was a bit surprising since all the trees on base at this point had lost most of their petals.

We found another path that led to stairs and, of course, we followed them!  

The first set of stairs led to a beautiful view of the sakura grove below.

More stairs!

This last set of stairs led to the top of the park where we had a gorgeous view of the city and the bay.  Unfortunately, there were too many clouds in the distance for us to be able to see Mt. Fuji.  But, the rest of the view was phenomenal!  

While I took pictures from the top of the hill, the kids played Minecraft.  Since they were getting along so well, I took full advantage of the peace!

We walked down the hill on the back side and found ourselves at a pavilion where the kids set up shop, playing peacefully, while I walked around snapping more pictures.  

Up another set of stairs I found a little memorial park for William Adams, a British explorer who landed in Japan around 1600 and was trusted and employed by Ieyasu Tokogawa, and his wife.  

Sidewalk or road ... ??? ... We followed it to
the end and lived to tell about it!
After filling my camera with pictures, and at about the point where the kids were starting to get tired of each other, we started to head toward home.  I decided to take a different route home, through a different station.  From where we were there were two train options that seemed to be about the same distance away.  It took about 20 minutes to walk to Hemi Station from the park.  Of course, it started with lots of:  are you sure this is the right way, this doesn't look like the right way, mom please don't get us lost, this is not a road!  😂 They were right....the road we were on didn't look much like a road, but eventually it led us to a recognizable sidewalk....a steeply angled downhill sidewalk....but, a sidewalk nonetheless!  We found a cool walking tunnel, which means my son put his hands to his mouth and did a good, loud "Hellooooooooooo"  Like father, like son.