Tokyo Dome City Attractions @ Kōrakuen

Trudging around my studio, I had been wincing and sighing. It felt like I was a deep-sea diver with lead boots on. After last night’s hockey practice, I was again, a complete wreck. One of great qualities Hubbie possessed was he always knew when to keep his mouth shut. Instead of reminding me that I may be too old for this kind of physical challenge, he just gave me a knowing nod and carried on eating his dinner. Even after 24 hours, every bit of my body aches and I just can’t shake off this annoying fatigue which drapes over my shoulders. Gee, am I really too old to take up the sport one more time? A feeling of doubt raises its head and it bothers me. Oh well, I am not gonna throw in a towel. Not just yet…

Enough moaning.
Let’s turn the clock back to the mid January Tokyo time.
The aforementioned super cute Moomin Bakery & Cafe was situated in the middle of an amusement park called Tokyo Dome City Attraction. This park was used to be called Kōrakuen Yūenchi (後楽園ゆうえんち) which opened its gate in 1955…

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Various rides and attractions were crammed into a confined space.

A merry‐go‐round was built on top of the restaurant and they were wrapped around by a canal for a water slider…

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It was a normal weekday and therefore the park had only a handful of visitors.
Despite the temperature hovering just above 0 degree, some people were boarding “Wonder Drop”…

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Just before each ride ended, there was a final steep descend which catapulted the craft to hit the water so hard that it splashed cold water all over the poor passengers! I guessed they would have to take a refuge in one of the cafés until their clothing became dry.

Another noise which broke the stillness of the under occupied park was a roar of the roller coaster “Thunder Dolphin”…

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Mum was never a big fan of amusement park attractions. We visited Tokyo Disneyland years ago and I remembered her steadfast refusal to climb aboard any ride. No matter how hard she was coaxed – “Mum! You don’t know what you are missing!!”, she never joined the queue. I wouldn’t have minded trying the roller coaster if the weather wasn’t so wintry. My teeth would be chattering with the cold air rather than with fear, I thought…

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Once we finished inspecting the park, we visited an adjacent shopping mall, LaQua.
The view of the park from above…

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The mall was rather unremarkable. Most of their merchandise was not very memorable or original. The only thing which pulled my attention was Shūgi-bukuro (祝儀袋) envelopes on sale…

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Aren’t they cute?
The decorative envelopes are used to wrap cash gift for newlywed couples.
The ones I knew were more traditional kinds – just red & white. Even mum was astonished by the amount of new designs!

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A view of the Tokyo Dome from LaQua..

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This all-weather baseball stadium is the first of its kind in Japan and nicknamed as Tokyo Big Egg. The stadium serves as a home ground of Yomiuri Giants the baseball team and also hosts various sports events as well as trade shows throughout a year. I am yet to step into this air-supported structure but visited the predecessor ballpark, Kōrakuen Stadium as a child. When mum & I were there, they were hosting a nationwide ekiben (boxed lunch) fair. We were tempted by it but didn’t fancy walking around the area over 112,456 m2 (27.788 acres) so headed home.

I feel bad about my blog slacking off recently. Once my body is used to a new fitness regime and I feel less exhausted, I shall log my blog more frequently. Thank you for your patience and understanding. X

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

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