VIDEO: Take a slide with Godzilla at Kurihama Flower World in Yokosuka

Photos by Takahiro Takiguchi
Photos by Takahiro Takiguchi

VIDEO: Take a slide with Godzilla at Kurihama Flower World in Yokosuka

by Takahiro Takiguchi
Stripes Japan

As the fine weather continues and the temperatures cool, fall in Japan is a good time to go out and enjoy some nature. At Kurihama Hana no Kuni, or Kurihama Flower World, visitors can do just that.

The large, scenic park famous for its seasonal flowers located in Yokosuka City is only a 20-minute-drive from the U.S. Navy base. In the spring, you can visit for poppies, but in autumn, the park gets a colorful makeover with the season’s cosmos blossoms.

We hopped on the Flower Train, a vintage steam locomotive-shaped bus running through the 1.3-mile-wide park, at entrance. The train took us all the way to the top of the hilly park, allowing us to enjoy a view of the expansive grounds.

After the ride, we walked to a British Victorian-style restaurant and garden. The view from the garden was simply breathtaking. From here you can see Kurihama Gulf, an historically important point where American Commodore Matthew Perry arrived way back in 1853. Across the blue sea you can also see Chiba Peninsula. An herb garden nearby has a greenhouse with over 150 different types of herbs.

If you’re hungry, drop by the restaurant, Los Marines Sky BBQ Garden Restaurant, for a barbecue set or a light meal like curry, pasta or sweets with a view.

Next, we visited the Adventure Land playground where kids can slide down the Godzilla’s tail on what is considered one of the world’s largest statues of the character. The structure stands at 29 feet and is a great spot for photos and fun.

Though it may seem a bit odd for a flower park to be home for a Godzilla statue, franchise fans won’t be. The area is close to Kannonzaki, which according to the 1954 Godzilla movie, was the first place where the giant monster stepped onto Japan.

In 1999, this slide-statue combination was installed to commemorate the 1954 original and also to replace the Godzilla slide demolished at Kannonzaki Beach in 1973. So, this isn’t just some random Godzilla slide, it is one that has broken a record and is steeped deep in movie history!

Though the centerpiece of the play area is the Godzilla slide, there are many other fun activities, including a 146-foot-long slide, a large-scale obstacle course with a zipline and a colorful rock wall for bouldering.

As we made our way back to the car, we decided to not use the park train and enjoyed a walk under the autumn sun and clear blue skies.

If you plan to visit, check the park schedule because at the end of the season the park hosts a flower-picking rally where visitors can pick cosmos flowers to take home.

Kurihama Flower World is a nice way to spend the day outside. There are a few restaurants, ice cream parlors and souvenir shops inside. Best of all, admission is free!

Kurihama Flower World
Location: 1 Shinmeicho, Yokosuka City, Kanagawa Prefecture
Hours: Open 24/7
Admission: Free (Flower Train (10 a.m. – 4 p.m.): adult 500 yen, ages 12 or younger 300 yen (each way))
Parking lots: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. (630 yen)

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