Autumn is here! I love this time of year in Japan. It is a relief to see the end of the humid summer and I’m ready to enjoy a few months of beautiful weather. One of the best ways to enjoy this weather is to spend some time in a park. I live and work in Sakai City（堺市）, south of Osaka. I am lucky enough to have three large parks close to my home in Nakamozu. Most weekends I will spend some time in one of these parks exercising, relaxing or spending time with my family.
The first park is called Oizumi Rokuchi（大泉緑地）. This has been a favourite meeting place for the teachers and students of Nakamozu Smiths School of English(スミス英会話 なかもず校). Each year for the past 5 years we have met in the park for a variety of school events. Usually these events incorporate a BBQ and a few cold drinks. Our usual meeting place is an area in the north of the park called Sakura Hiroba（さくら広場）. As the name suggests, in the spring there are hundreds of cherry blossom trees in bloom. It has many great kids play areas and a ring road around the perimeter that is a popular exercise circuit for runners and cyclists.
The second park is named Diasen Koen（大仙公園）. This large park features many open grassy areas, cherry and plum blossom trees, a beautiful lake and events area where you can sometimes find a farmers market or flea market. Daisen park is the location for the Sakai City Marathon (an event I completed this year with one of my English conversation students (英会話 月謝)).
In the park there is a beautiful example of a Japanese garden. It has a traditional teahouse surrounded by a lake that is stocked with giant colourful koi that are able to be fed by hand.
The park is located directly across from a historically significant site also. The tomb of Emperor Nintoku（仁徳天皇）. This huge keyhole-shaped tumulus with an overall length of 486 meters and an area of approx. 460,000 square meters is alternately surrounded by three moats and two green belts. The mausoleum is the world’s largest tomb. Bigger than King Khufu’s Great Pyramid in Gizeh, Egypt. Access to the mausoleum is a 10 minute walk from Nankai Nakamozu station (南海線中百舌鳥駅and地下鉄御堂筋線なかもず駅)
The last of the three major parks in Sakai is Hamedera Koen（浜寺公園）. Only 2 weeks ago I spent a great public holiday in this park with some of my family visiting from Australia and some students. In this park there are baseball pitches, tennis courts, a fantastic swimming facility for the warmer months. My favorite thing about this park is the many Japanese pine tress that for me, is one of the symbols of beauty in Japan.
Smith’s School of English Nakamozu – スミス英会話 なかもず校 （月謝）
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