Cherry blossoms at Showakinen Park + Coca Cola Factory Tour – Day 186

久しぶりですね!

WOW! It’s been almost 2 weeks since my last blog post! Don’t worry – I haven’t abandoned my blog, but I didn’t have anything interesting to write about and I didn’t want to bore you with random trivial things I got up to, hence the lack of posts. Sorry 😦

After my last blog post on Malaysia, even though I was there for another week I didn’t have much to write about as I did more or less the same thing.
It was sad to leave my grandma but I’ll be seeing her next month when she comes to Japan! Yes, that’s right, I’ve got about 11 (?) relatives coming to Japan next month for a holiday including my parents and one brother, so expect some interesting blog posts in April!

Arriving back in Japan last week was a bit of a shock to my body as it’s so much colder here than in Malaysia. Before going away I had this cough (I’ll spare you the details but I’ve got a lot of nasty stuff in my throat…) and it hasn’t gone away since then and it’s been 3 weeks now. I’ve had quite a few headaches this week and it’s like I’ve got a cold 😦 ah well!

ANYWAY!! Luckily I’ve done some fun stuff since I got back and I wanted to share my experience and photos with you all!

Main entrance of Showa-Kinen park (this was the free section)

Main entrance of Showa-Kinen park (this was the free section)

First of all, I went to Showa-kinen park in Tachikawa. It’s this HUGE park that has lots of gardens, a lake, children’s playgrounds etc. A small section of the park is free but you have to pay 400 yen to enter the main park. As you all know, I’m so stingy and normally I wouldn’t pay to enter a park but there’s a reason why I did this time – you can cycle around the whole park!! There’s 14km worth of cycle paths that take you around all the attractions, and it feels like a little cycling village as it has roundabouts for cyclists.

Cycling path (have to pay to enter this area)

Cycling path (have to pay to enter this area)

You can walk around the park instead of cycling but it’ll take you much longer. I used my own bicycle to cycle around but you can rent bicycles, like tandem ones, so it’s makes a great day out with friends.

Cycle path scenery

Cycle path scenery

On my mama-chari bicycle!

On my mama-chari bicycle!

I really like this park (not just because of the cycle paths) as there’s so much to see and do. You can go on boat rides and play tennis since they have courts. There’s even a BBQ garden where you can rent bbq equipment and have your own little party!

BBQ equipment rental area, I think

BBQ equipment rental area, I think

High school kids having a bbq party

High school kids having a bbq party

It’s very child-friendly as there are so many playgrounds like this area which is like some big out-door bouncy castle! There were signs that said that only children in middle-school and below are allowed to jump on them, but I definitely saw adults on it so next time I’m going to have a go.

Out-door "bouncy castle" thing!

Out-door “bouncy castle” thing!

There are lots of sculptures and statues dotted around the park so there’s plenty to see.

Sun Pyramid

Sun Pyramid

View from the top of the pyramid

View from the top of the pyramid

Another shot from the top of the pyramid

Another shot from the top of the pyramid

The biggest attraction of the park has got to be the Cherry Blossom garden. Everyone was there with their professional cameras. Not all the trees were in full bloom but it was still very beautiful.

DSCF1481 DSCF1482 DSCF1480

I’m definitely going back to this park again when the weather gets warmer!

Boat rides!

Boat rides!

Now for the next part of my blog – the FREE Coca Cola Factory tour. I was looking up free stuff to do around this area and TimeOut Japan suggested going on a free tour of the Coca-Cola factory. There’s one about 35mins away by bicycle from the dorm so I signed up online and headed out for the 10am tour.

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I’m not a big fan of fizzy drinks but I thought it might be interesting to learn about the history of Coca-Cola and see how they make everything, and the tour was FREE!!! I didn’t realise the sheer number of products that Coca-Cola in Japan makes – from coffee to sports drinks, to juices and loads of other fizzy drinks apart from Cola – they produce a huge variety of beverages!

In actual fact, I wasn’t technically allowed to join in as I turned up by myself on the day. When you book, the minimum group size is 2 people – they don’t allow individuals to book. I asked someone to go with me but since the tour started at 10am we had to leave at 9am, which was too early for my friend. So I went alone, hahaha!

The tour guide was so nice though as she made an exception and said that I could join in, although it’s actually against the rules (health and safety I think). I’m so grateful that she let me in as I really enjoyed the tour.

Entrance of the factory tour

Entrance of the factory tour

First of all there was a video, then we got to look at some of the products, and then a quick tour inside the factory itself. They actually rotate the products they make on a daily basis, so when I went we saw sports drinks and coffee cans being produced. The whole tour was an hour long and I found it fascinating to watch the machines working.

My souvenirs from the tour!!

My souvenirs from the tour!!

While we were watching the video we were given a free bottle of Cola in the original glass bottle which I took home with me. Also, at the end of the tour we were all given towels as a souvenir and the tour guide gave me an extra one for my friend who couldn’t make it. I really want to go back again since the tour guide was so friendly and maybe next time I’ll see how they make a different product!

Last thing, we had Sukiyaki last night in the dorm which is a bit like hot-pot but with thin slices of beef. It was my first time cooking it myself but it turned out pretty good! Here are some photos! 🙂

Sukiyaki prep done

Sukiyaki prep done

Yum yum! SUKIYAKI!

Yum yum! SUKIYAKI!

That’s it for now! I hope you all enjoyed reading this post. This weekend my friend Ria, who I’ve known since secondary school (almost 8 years now!) is coming to Japan for just over a week!! We have so many things planned to do, like going to a Maid Cafe, a day trip to Tokyo Disneyland AND a trip to the Ghibli museum. I’m going to have so many blog posts lined up that I’ll have to space them out over the course of the next few weeks since we’re going to do a few things every day!

THANKS FOR READING!

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This entry was published on March 13, 2014 at 8:29 am. It’s filed under Japan and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

One thought on “Cherry blossoms at Showakinen Park + Coca Cola Factory Tour – Day 186

  1. twnteo on said:

    N asked if you guys are not too old for Disneyland ??….of course not, I replied….have fun and get rid of your cold and cough.

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