We’re not sure what they were thinking when they made this.

Tokyo is home to some truly beautiful parks, that are often huge with rolling green hills, rows of cherry blossom trees and plenty of awesome (and potentially dangerous) playgrounds for children. This little park in Kanda, central Tokyo, which recently went viral on Twitter, is sadly not one of them. 

Of course, not every neighborhood can have a big, grassy park, so you’d expect that the concrete jungle that is Tokyo would be dotted with small playgrounds…but we never really expected one to be as small–or as sad–as this one found by Twitter user Motose Koizumi (@m0t00).

This playground, which is in the Nishiki neighborhood of Kanda City, is made up of one, single, panda-shaped spring rider in the center of what looks like a spongy floor. It’s bordered by two tall, concrete walls, which frankly look a little old and dirty, and making up the rest of the park is a half empty bulletin board, a few posters and some extra signs for the restaurant next door, and that’s about it. There aren’t even any light poles or benches; nothing to mark it as a “park” except for the single ride. You almost wouldn’t even notice it was there if you weren’t paying attention!


It’s a bit of a mystery why they went to the trouble of just putting a single spring rider in this desolate-looking square. Judging from the amount of empty space around it, they could have easily put in at least one more, or perhaps a slide or something. At the very least they could have planted some trees! What’s more, this sad playground actually replaced a compact but pretty useful-looking exercise space, which was once complete with exercise benches and a small race track.

▼ Before construction on the left, after construction on the right

Sadly, this is the result of a total upheaval. Maybe the organization in charge of it ran out of money? One netizen found a similar-looking panda spring rider online that retails for 166,320 yen (about US$1,500), so perhaps the cost of one plus the installation and construction went over budget. It could also have something to do with safety regulations, but in that case…why even bother to choose this particular attraction?

Whatever the reasoning behind the choice, it seems like this panda is not the only lonely ride in town. The panda spring rider might actually be the go-to toy for low-budget parks, since it made another solo appearance somewhere.

▼ It’s unspecified where this is but it looks like a pretty similar situation, although at least this space has some lights and greenery.

Japan might have a penchant for tiny parks with single attractions, because there’s also this weird playground which consists of…a carrot and a…is that a tomato?

▼ This one might be even sadder, to be honest…

Well, at least kids have something to play on in the middle of Kanda’s busy business district, even if only one kid can play at a time. In all honesty kids can have plenty of fun with a cardboard box, so why not with a panda spring rider, too? As Koizumi wrote, you might need some creativity to enjoy this little park, but as long as you have imagination, you can make it work.

Luckily, for those who would prefer a little bit more greenery, the Imperial Palace Gardens are just a few minutes away from this spot, so there will be plenty of opportunity for residents to play in the grass. Plus, one of our favorite parks in Tokyo, Ueno Park, is also only a short train ride away. Truthfully there’s no shortage of beautiful parks and natural spaces in Tokyo, so we can’t complain too much!

Source: Twitter/@m0t00 via Hachima Kiko
Featured Image: Twitter/@m0t00