While Kiyose City may be best known for hosting Tokyo's largest sunflower festival, the city's natural spaces turn out to be a pleasant discovery of local charm and character. Hidden almost in plain sight though they may be, here is an introduction to some of the parks of Kiyose and how to reach them.
Sitting along the east bank of the slim Yanase River, Daidaundo Park is a very simple public space with some basic play equipment. However, its real charm is on full display during the spring season when the park's river-lining cherry blossom trees are in full bloom. Drawing out the locals in force, the park is a lovely example of local celebration.
A 7-minute taxi ride from Higashi-Tokorozawa Station on the JR Musashino Line.
Kiyose Seseragi Park
An almost accidental strip of verdant greenery along a tiny tributary of the Karabori River, Kiyose Seseragi Park is an flora and fauna lover's dream spot. Absolutely natural, the tiny waterway is home to crayfish while amongst the brocade of wildflowers and brush along the banks can be found butterflies, beetles and many species of wild birds.
A 6-minute taxi ride from Akitsu Station on the Seibu Ikebukuro Line.
Kiyose Kanayama Ryokuchi Park
A lovely spot on the northern banks of the Yanase River, Kiyose Kanayama Ryokuchi Park features a camping ground as well as a large pond in the centre of the park. Plenty of water and space means plenty of wildlife with both ducks and turtles a common sight. Come spring time, the park's river bank area becomes a charmingly isolated cherry blossom picnic spot.
A 12-minute walk from Higashi-Tokorozawa Station on the JR Musashino Line.
A green space with trails, it is hard to imagine that walking amongst the trees of Gotenyama Reserve that you were still treading about in Tokyo. Nonetheless, it is still a relatively small natural space but its vibrant grass coverage cut through with cute little trails makes the reserve a nice location for a local day time stroll.
A 15-minute ride on the no. 63 bus from Kiyose Station on the Seibu Ikebukuro Line.