Ikuta Ryokuchi – Rose Garden in Kawasaki
I am astonished by how many public parks people here have. For every neighborhood within a certain range, there is always a park for children to play and people with dogs to stroll around, or a worker who wants to take a rest for a while after an exhausting day.
Kawasaki, a city in Kanagawa-ken, has a 1.2-hectare park named Ikuta Ryokuchi. They have many places to visit such as Kawasaki Municipal Science Museum, Japan Open Air Folk House Museum, Taro Okamoto Museum of Art, Yomiuri Land, and Kawasaki Art Center. But the one that I will share here is the rose garden.
That day, my friends and I took a stop at Shukugawara station. Not the closest station to Ikuta Park, but we visited Fujiko F. Fujio museum before the park, which was only 15 minutes walking from the station. Around the station are small shops, convenience stores, and vending machines—as what you might expect from a typical Japanese neighborhood. Other than that, the surrounding area is occupied by houses. The neighborhood is very lovely; there is a small river with crystal clear water flowing. Autumn’s falling leaves on the water surface gracefully go wherever the flow of water take them. It’s a peaceful neighborhood, which I think would be fascinating if you’re eager to feel a living environment of a Japanese housing district.
The garden is open for the public during the blooming season in spring and autumn. Yes, it’s not a typical Japanese garden where people will come to enjoy cherry blossom tree in spring or momiji in autumn, nor that it has some Japanese ornamented building or bridge inside. This garden might not be famous but it’s certainly a lovely place to visit. The vast, well-maintained collection of rose and any other flower will entertain anyone. The visitors range from all ages and types. And of course, a place that has many beautiful objects will always have people wandering as they bring their camera and take photographs.
If you decide to come here, don’t forget to bring your camera (phone camera is fine, too!). The bright, blooming flowers attract people to come closer and take a photograph with their cameras. More than 500 roses are planted here. The roses will also attract you to smell them; the red, yellow, and peach roses tend to smell stronger than others.
My visit was in one of those autumn days, when the sky during the season tends to be cloudless and bluer than usual. Sharp shadow from sun exposure made the contrast between the bright green grass and sky looks pretty.
The flowers are blooming well because of the management from Kawasaki City and volunteers. It charges you zero yen to enter the park and enjoying moment in the middle of flower field. To reach the garden, you have to climb up steep stairs. There is a van transport service too.
The nearest station to Ikuta Park is Mukogaokayuen station (Odakyu Line), which takes approximately 15 minutes walking. Only five minutes by bus bound for Kajigaya station or Ida Eigyosho station from south entrance of Mukogaokayuen station. Even though Kawasaki is located in Kanagawa, it only takes 20 minutes by train from Shinjuku to Mukogaokayuen.