Playground Days

Japan is FULL of the weirdest, cutest, and most wonderful things. Just yesterday we learned there is an actual word in Japanese that means “so ugly it’s cute”. But one of the things I have really enjoyed since being here are the children’s parks! And no, not in some weird creepy pedo way. Just the total difference their characteristics have from those at home.

Where you might find very manicured parks all over the US that seem to have been upgraded by those big bright bubbly looking play sets, here you find the most decrepit looking playsets ever… and kids STILL USE THEM! In fact, there are a couple I have seen where I am just like… woah, that’s creepy. In the winter time I always imagined stampedes of zombies coming at me from the bushes of these places. *shudder*

On the other hand, you have new parks that would NEVER pass safety specifications in the US. Now, it’s THESE parks that we frickin LOVE! More specifically, we love the SLIDES. There are 3 slides in particular that we have had the fortune to come across while in Japan.

1. The Roller Slide : Super long slides that have a roller like conveyor belt all the way down. There’s usually a little hut that stores these pads for your butt. The first time Kyle ever went on one he called me and was like, “Oh my God Tori! I just went on the coolest slide ever! It was so long! I can’t explain how awesome I feel!” Of course at the time I was like, “Womp womp, it’s a slide.” But, alas, I completely understand now.

The first roller slide Kyle ever went on in Tokyo!

The most recent roller slide we rode! (It's the long white one on the left) This is at the Tosamu Green Park at the Roadside Jusanko Kogen Station. It was raining like crazy, but we went on it anyway. The sides of the slide soaked our pants through, and it was frickin cold.

A butt pad hut

The entrance where you sit down. This is a smaller slide, usually there is just one big roller going all the way across rather then these two small ones.

Gettin a butt massage.

Now my turn

2. The Free Fall Slide : These have like, a vertical drop. They’re so intimidating and scary. You get to the top, hang by some bar and just let yourself go. You only fall for a few seconds, and the slide evens out. But it feels like a long time and it’s freaking crazy all the same.

Here's one of the smaller free fall slides we've seen. We saw this little gem when Kyle's parents came to visit us (which I will write about in a soon to be blog)

That last one was smaller, but this next one had directions... JUST IN CASE you tried to 1)stop yourself on the way down 2)Push someone off the cliff 3)Go barefoot 4)Try to effing climb UP (yeah freakin right)

HERE's the mother of all free fall slides:)

Us gettin ready to let go!

Lettin go.

Zoomzoom!

3. The Slide of Illusion: These are just those kinda slides that don’t look steep at all, just fun. So, you go on them expecting them to be fun and give you a little giddy feeling inside, like when you were 5. But instead, halfway down you realize how wrong you were, and begin to fear for your life. Words can’t really describe this last experience, so instead, we are providing you with two lovely videos:

We’ve visited these places with a dude named Alex Lozowski. He’s from Hood River, not far from our hometown. He totally gets us and has that North Westerner attitude about everything. Super laid back and down for whatever. So of course, most of these adventures have been in the company of Alex. It has been a fun ride so far, and we hope to continue to discover these awesome places with him!

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