Slow tour comes to Japan: Day 5

Tokyo

Whenever we are in Japan we try to attend Brompton in Palace meets. They are wonderful group of people with a common desire to ride their Brompton bikes. Brompton in Palace used to meet during Palace Cycling, which is when roads near the Imperial Palace in central Tokyo are closed each Sunday to enable safe cycling.

Disappointingly, bureaucratic intervention has meant that Brompton in Palace had to move to a new location in western Tokyo. It is a great shame that Palace Cycling has lost a group of supportive and friendly cyclists. But, I am here to report that Brompton in Palace is still going strong and as enjoyable as ever!

Meeting in western Tokyo opened our eyes to some of it delights that, despite of our many visits to Tokyo, we have never seen including Showa Kinen Koen. On day 5 we rode (and walked) around 17km.

Show Kinen Koen is:

  • a massive national park in Tachikawa.
  • known for its beautiful ginkgo row of trees.
  • the most beautiful in autumn, with the maple and ginkgo trees blushing in fiery red and yellow.
  • located a few minutes on foot from JR Tachikawa and Nishi Tachikawa Stations. 
  • one of the nicest park I’ve ever seen in Japan. 
  • a lovely park with bike and walking paths, a lake for boating, a formal Japanese garden, water parks and, in winter, an outdoor skating rink and Christmas light show. 

Tachikawa Cultural Factory

The formal part of the Brompton in Palace Meeting is held in the grounds of the Tachikawa Cultural Factory.

Tachikawa Cultural Factory is an activity base for cultural creation where professionals gather using valuable resources such as the school building and gymnasium of Tamagawa Elementary School, which was closed in 2004.

Utilizing this wonderful environment and the place of learning of a former school, Tachikawa Sogoya has four businesses: Incubation Center Business, Film Commission Business, Cycle Station Business, and Community Design Business. As a pillar, we will develop a wide variety of programs while walking with people in the Tama area and people who are responsible for the culture, as well as local people, and will disseminate them widely in cooperation with each facility.

This formal part of Brompton in Palace is about meeting people and learning how they adapt and use their Brompton. This meeting also had important briefing about insurance and riding in Tokyo. Unfortunately, I didn’t understand too much of that briefing!

Informal part – lunch and park

Following the formal meet, the group breaks up – some stayed at the cultural factory for lunch others went to good fast udon (I want one of these restaurants in Adelaide PLEASE!). The group that remained then went to Showa Kinen Koen, which as the internet quotes earlier in this post points out is one of the most amazing parks I’ve seen in the world.

The park comprises of a number of different parks within a park, which is connected by both walkways and dedicated bikeways. It is a fantastic place for a family to safely go cycling.

Mayumi is the key instigator of Brompton in Palace. I know that everyone values her effort and dedication to Brompton in Palace. Helen and I thank her for making us feel welcome.

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