These days we hear a lot about recycling to reduce waste and ease pressure on the environment. Nishi-Rokugo Park, also known as Tire Park, is a great example of turning waste items into something both useful and fun.
In this suburban playground/park, more than 3,000 tires are repurposed into whimsical shapes and playground equipment to be enjoyed by both children and adults.
Of course, Japan is quite good at turning junked tires into something useful, as it long ago developed a method of finely chopping tires to create sealed yet porous walkways and playground surfaces, but what makes this particular park so interesting is the fact that the tires are basically being re-used in their original shape.
There are two separate Godzilla-like assemblies, the taller one standing two stories tall, with little arms and claw-like hands.
Although climbing on the Godzillas themselves is discouraged, the larger one has a long tail of split tires that is made for climbing all over.
In fact, most of the park is made for climbing all over, with jungle gyms, and bridges as well as tires, tires and more tires. Some tires are shaped into various objects while others are jumbled into seemingly random piles.
In an homage to old-time used tire play, there are tire swings of several varieties, alas none of them swing out over water to drop onself in on a hot summer’s day (can’t have everything!).
The park also contains a giant robot made of tires (an homage to the Michelin man, perhaps?), some kind of slug-like critter also made of tires, and a tire tower. Truly there’s something here for everyone!
For kids, and those who are kids at heart, there’s hours of playtime here. There’s also lots of fun to be had just wandering around the park and admiring the clever structures and tire arrangements. Someone spent a lot of time in loving deep thought to create such a fun space from what would otherwise be considered junk.
Nishi-Rokugo Park is a 12 minute walk from JR Kamata station or a 10 minute walk from Keikyu Zoshiki station. The walk from Zoshiki is recommended because it leads through a classic shotengai (neighborhood shopping street) of the type that has been disappearing from Tokyo for the past two decades–a chance to experience local shopping. Meander through on your way to or from the park and enjoy checking out various local shops and eateries.
© 2019 Jigsaw-japan.com and Vicki L. Beyer
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