The blog for inspired travel with children

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Delightful Cephalopodic Playgrounds of Japan

I’m not sure I would plan an entire trip around playgrounds - especially a major trip to a faraway land like Japan.  However, it’s one of the first things I look into whenever we go anywhere - it’s just good to know where we can go blow off steam and run around if we need to.  

Japan looks to have some awfully neat playgrounds worth keeping an eye out for - and a surprising number of them incorporate one of my favorite cephalopods - the octopus!  The play structures, most of which were built by the Maeda Environmental Art Co., are common and are typically found in neighborhood parks - nothing spectacular about these sites.  But sometimes a little stop at a neighborhood playground is just what you need when you’re on the way to something more spectacular!

There's a lot to love about these structures. The organic, amorphous shapes are very conducive to sliding, climbing, and slithering.  The faces of some these creatures are alternately slightly scary, poignant, or goofy.  While clearly octopi, the structures do not demand that the nature of your play be aquatic - they're suggestive but open-ended.  For more examples (and there are many, many more), click here.

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