August 27, 2020

Backyard Tourism Vol. 7

Found at the foot of Tokyo's ever-iconic Rainbow Bridge, Shibaura Minami Futo Park has been one of my go-to spots when I need a place to think.

An aerial shot of Shibaura Minami Futo Park, Tokyo's iconic Rainbow and Tokyo Tower

Oh man… It feels like I haven’t penned a piece since Nam or something. The past few weeks are the first time since I started producing content that I’ve allowed myself to fall off the wagon. Lately, my mind has been mired in a maze of conflicting priorities and opinion such that it’s been nigh impossible to discern what it is actually believe. Of course, any confidence in a conclusion has been utterly undermined by the fact that we live now in “interesting times” as per this traditional Chinese curse. Behind me is a pack of hungry wolves and before me is the unknowability of this unprecedented age.

Anyway, while I am not yet up to doing a lengthy exposé on some unknown part of Japan, I do want to take a swing at getting back to weekly writing. Though we may never actually be able to go back to a pre-coronavirus world where people can regularly travel as they did, producing content is rather therapeutic. So, on that note, I’d like to share a spot that I recently stumbled upon during a particularly long walk across Tokyo. Since then, it has become my go-to spot when brooding on solutions to the conundrums of meaning, purpose and life in Japan.

So, without any further ado, allow me to introduce Shibaura Minami Futo Park. Located on the mainland side of Rainbow Bridge, this little slice of heaven is a much welcomed escape from the madness that is life during one of the worst pandemics to ever plague humanity. Protruding right up to the very edge of Tokyo Bay, Shibaura Minami Futo Park is also a welcomed reprieve from the smothering heat of summer. What’s more, Tokyo’s iconic archway passes directly offer the park, thereby affording it one of the best views around.

While Shibaura Minami Futo Park is indeed home to a small field for sporting endeavors, I don’t recall actually seeing anyone ever using it. In fact, the seaside getaway is far more popular with fisherman who flock there to get away from the stress of city life. I think I’ve been to Shibaura Minami Futo Park a total of five or six times now in the past few weeks and every time, there’s always a host of fisherman without fail. Given the view though, it’s easy to see why anyone would want to make Shibaura Minami Futo Park their favorite spot for fishing.

Before moving on, to the logistics of visiting Shibaura Minami Futo Park, I have one tangential item to note. Simply put, if you have never read one of my Backyard Tourism articles before, know that I don’t feature these spots as something that you absolutely must visit. Instead, my goal is to prove that with good story telling and even better digital marketing, just about anywhere in Japan can have potential. That said, if you do find yourself nearby any of the spots that I feature in this column, I’d encourage you to check them out as they do have some unique appeals.

Getting to Shibaura Minami Futo Park

The Yurikamome Monorail tracks that pass by Shibaura Minami Futo Park

While not exactly what I would call hard to get to, Shibaura Minami Futo Park is a bit of a pain to access. All of the convenient options for train lines require that one hoof it for around ten to twenty minutes. By the by, Hinode Station on the Yurikamome Monorail is the closest but taking this necessitates that you first go to Shinbashi Station. Because of this, I think that the slightly less convenient Tamachi Station on the Yamanote Line is the more expedient option. Though you’ll need to walk a bit, likely this route is quicker overall.

Either way, once you reach your destination of choice, you’ll want to head towards Tokyo Bay. Your goal will be this point. Shibaura Minami Futo Park’s entrance is a bit hard to find but rest assured, it’s there…

Attractions Near Shibaura Minami Futo Park

Tokyo’s Shibaura Minami Futo Park and the entrance to Rainbow Bridge

One of the other neat things about Shibaura Minami Futo Park is that it is also home to one of the many pillars that support Rainbow Bridge. From this column, you can access the iconic archway that spans Tokyo Bay. Though there are rigidly set hours (and I don’t think it’s open at night), you can actually walk your way over to Odaiba via Rainbow Bridge. Given that Shibaura Minami Futo Park is at its best at night though, it might make more sense to do the reverse and make your way back from Odaiba by way of Rainbow Bridge. That way, you can savor the view from Shibaura Minami Futo Park until closing time at 9 PM.

Until next time travelers…