Find refuge in the middle of Asahikawa by visiting an attraction known for its tranquility. It is always open and ready to soothe the most ragged nerves.
Ranked in the top 100 city parks in the country, Tokiwa Park in Asahikawa on Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido envelops its visitors with serenity. The calm feeling is present when standing near one of the park’s two large ponds. Willows along the shore dip their drooping branches into the stillness of the water. Watch golden koi swim lazily in the shallows, while ducks glide above them along the surface.
Walk the tree-lined paths and admire various sculptures throughout the park creating the appearance and functionality of an open-air art museum.
An actual museum, Hokkaido Asahikawa Museum of Art, is located in the park, showcasing works from this northern region of Japan. The museum’s theme Shaping Wood demonstrates the choice of this medium from local artists and woodworkers based on the abundance of trees found in this part of the country.
The venue is popular for holding entertainment events. Fireworks occasionally light the sky from the opposite shore and reflect in the Ishikari River that flows past the park. Linking the shores of the river not far from the park is Asahibashi Bridge, one of Hokkaido’s biggest bridges, built in 1932. Come to the park in February when it is the center of attraction during the Asahikawa Winter Festival. Wander around to view the snow sculptures, a very popular feature of the event.
Each season has its own beauty, with cherry blossoms in spring, willows in summer and brilliant and fading colors through fall. September has the culinary event Eating Around. A number of happenings occur in winter as well. Laze past Plover Pond and watch the ducks scurry out of the way of oncoming paddleboats and rowboats. While away the time at Swan Pond when it is festooned with water lilies.
Find Tokiwa Park in the center of Asahikawa, a 10-minute bus ride from Asahikawa Station.