The park is only about fifteen minutes from our house, with entrances on all sides, though we took the route which follows the Takano River. There is a large play park for children (which we swiftly walked through.) In a few days, it will be Children's Day, so there were koi fish flags all over the park, waving their crisp colors in the wind. The park has a long, flat trail that winds all through its borders, so is also a nice place to go for jogging or a leisurely stroll. Near the center of the park is a large pond, where boats can be rented for up to ninety minutes. There are a few concession stands which sell chilled ramune (Japanese cider) or ice cream. Turtles, ducks and koi are all over the place. We set up our picnic at the edge of the pond and just relaxed under the sun. It was so nice and so needed.
The park is also the location of the Kyoto International Conference Hall, where the Kyoto Protocol was adopted. It's a pretty crazy building, architecturally. It looks like it should be a modern art museum or something.
After we'd had our fill or food and sun, we made our way back to the bicycle area. There were a few guys (yankees) setting up their motorcycles for a photo shoot, and a few geese too. I've forgotten how mean domesticated geese look. Just look at that face!
On the way home, we were starting to feel a bit overheated (maybe a bit of sun stroke?!) so we stopped at a cafe near our house for shaved ice. Ah, so good. Perhaps the one thing that will make the summer bearable.
Anyway, it was a great first day, even though I got a little sunburned. I think I'll mainly relax tomorrow, though I'll be able to see my friend from Cal tomorrow, Joshua, so I'm super excited!