Chuo Sogo KoenAt just over 200 hectares (around 500 acres), this new park has a lot of room to breathe in. The park increasingly serves as a cultural, athletic and recreational complex - with everything from the wonderful Mindscape Museum (Arts) to the Baseball stadium.
The park is divided into 4 (connected) zones.
SportsThe sports zone includes the city baseball stadium, a massive gymnasium, an impressive tennis complex, Kyudo and Archery ranges, sumo ring, and multi-purpose playing fields that can host soccer/football, rugby and other sports. More information and photos on the Sportspage.
CultureThe culture zone features the beautifully designed Mindscape Museum and its gardens. The Museum itself has a permanent collection and often hosts important exhibitions, both of Japanese arts and collections brought to Japan. It opened in July 1996, and was built into the hill, harmonizing with the landscape as the external structure and water feature follows the contours of the descending slope to a pond. At the top of the hill/building, there are eight wind-power generators and the mist from the artificially-generated "Mist Circle" installation near the upper entrance shows the direction of the wind. The area of the building that remains above ground frames a large atrium inside. Go inside and enjoy.
FamilyConnecting the zones are facilities for families (or anyone basically) such as barbecues. There is plenty of space for picnics, games (organized or spontaneous), and a bit of privacy.
NatureFrom the Mindscape Museum cross the pontoon bridge over the pond and you can begin walking a nature trail. The area close to the museum is somewhat manicured, but if you go further up the hill it develops into a nice hiking trail with quite a few options. The hilltops offer some good views if the weather is nice.