< class="pagetitle">Posts Tagged “park”

What do you do if you run a preschool and you want to take your charges out to the park?

Why, you pile them in one of these, of course.

Our school doesn’t use them because we don’t take kids to the park until they can walk properly on their own, but I seem to recall seeing them pretty full with about eight kids in there at a time.

If you look closely, you can see there are separate bicycle hand brakes for each of the large wheels on the sides, and the four small wheels are just swiveling casters.

It also looks like the center piece opposite the handles opens up to let kids in and out, but I’ve only seen kids lifted in and out, so I don’t know for sure.

I took these two pictures last week at the park near MSP, when another local preschool brought a large group of kids at the same time our bilingual classes were there.

I don’t really know for sure, but if I had to I’d guess that preschools in the US don’t take their kids off premesis at all. What do you think about these things?

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It’s spring in Japan, and that means enjoying the cherry blossoms (花見 – hanami). You’ve probably heard the Japanese word for cherry blossoms before; it’s Sakura (æ¡œ), and it’s also used as a girl’s name here. These trees are all over the country, and the small flowers that cover the trees make them look like little clouds on dark knurled columns.

Without the flowers, the trees aren’t very attractive. They have sort of a dark mottled bark, and when the flowers bloom, the contrast is surprising, to say the least. There’s a lot of variance in flower color, too- everything from deep red to pure white, though light pink seems to be the most common here in Matsuyama.

On Sunday, I went to Dogo Park, and it was an absolute madhouse. I think it was a national holiday weekend of some sort, and half of Matsuyama’s residents were in the park. Every reasonably flat surface was covered with blue tarps and roll-up mats where people were enjoying the beautiful day. There was a general festival atmosphere, with booths set up along the main footpaths selling everything from cheap plastic toys to cooked food to “fresh” charcoal.

People were playing games in open spaces, and it was really neat to see all the families and friends just out having a good time. It’s days like this that make me appreciate the Japanese sense of family. However, it’s also days like this that make me wonder if maybe some people might be happier if they weren’t in the thick of the throngs all doing the same things at the same time, if they considered breaking from the pack.

As I mentioned, hanami is a popular pastime, and people often bring their whole family or group of friends to the park to grill meat over small barbecues. The first picture shows some of my friends out at Dogo Park enjoying the day. The rest are from trips to Matsuyama Castle and Matsuyama “General” Park.

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