Cooling Down at 5 of Tokyo’s Mud Parks

Cooling Down at 5 of Tokyo's Mud Parks - Kodomo Yume Park Kawasaki

Unlike city parks with their tedious lists of rules, Tokyo’s adventure playgrounds are supervised, fenced-off plots of land where kids can play however they like. Wanna make a swing? Sure! Build a fort with a hammer and nails? Yes, you may. Cool off in a bucket of water? Absolutely!

Cooling Down at 5 of Tokyo's Mud Parks

Adventure playgrounds got their start in pre-World War II Denmark when landscape architect, Carl Theodor Sørensen, noticed how much children loved playing with scrap at construction sites. His first ‘junk playground’ was built in 1943, and from there they spread across Europe to the UK where they were rebranded ‘adventure playgrounds’. When these parks came to Japan, they were called ‘play parks’ (プレーパーク) by the Japanese community and ‘mud parks’ by the international community. This video gives a look back at some of the history.

Play your own way

Cooling Down at 5 of Tokyo's Mud Parks - Komazawa Harappa Play Park

Adventure playgrounds are simply more fun.

Free from the limitations of fixed play equipment, kids just find adventure playgrounds to be more enjoyable. Even adults comment on how relaxed they feel because of the vibe akin to day-camping. Although adventure parks have similar risks to camping, don’t let that put you off. Unlike conventional parks, adventure playgrounds are staffed with play-workers who are always on hand to ensure safety and to help—never to interfere—with the kids’ creative flow.

Summer is a great time of year to let your kids loose at an adventure playground—and the free entry just can’t be beat!


1. Nerima Kodomo no Mori


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