Japan Parks & Gardens: Umekoji Koen, Kyoto
Umekoji Park 梅小路公園
Though maybe not on most visitors' Kyoto itineraries, Umekoji Park, which opened in 1995, is a pleasant space to stroll or play ball games with some interesting sights including the Umekoji Steam Locomotive Museum (Tel: 075 314 2996), the Midori-no-kan garden, teahouse and restaurant and the Inochi-no-Mori garden and small ponds.
There is a large grass space popular with soccer and baseball players, a walking course as well as a children's play area with swings and slides.
The entrance to Kyoto Aquarium on the northern edge of Umekoji Park
The northern part of Umekoji Park is the location of a huge aquarium built by Orix Corp. There was large public opposition against this development from local Kyoto residents but the facility opened on schedule in March 2012.
The eco-friendly Kyoto Aquarium has nine zones including a Dolphin Stadium with bottlenose dolphins, a Rivers of Kyoto Zone, which includes a collection of Japanese giant salamanders, the Penguin Zone with Cape penguins, the Ocean Zone with an impressive coral reef area, the huge Main Pool with 500 tons of water, the Event Hall, the Beauty of Nature Zone, the Sea Animals Zone, and the Countryside of Kyoto Zone.
Access To Umekoji Park
Open 24 hours
A 15-20-minute walk from Kyoto Station or a 15-minute walk north from Toji Temple. Kyoto buses #33, #205 & #208 run from Kyoto Station to the park's main northern entrance.