The picturesque Inokashira Park provides solace for those wanting to escape the hustle and bustle of Tokyo, but up until a week ago no one knew that something sinister was lurking underneath the surface of its lakes.
Officials at the park located at the heart of Kichijoji were in for a surprise when they started draining the pond to remove harmful non-native fish. At the bottom of the lake was a trove of abandoned bicycles.
The Parks Department said they pulled more than 50 broken bicycles from the water, and they expect to find 150 more in the next coming days of drainage.
How dozens of old two-wheelers ended up there remains a mystery.
The trend is not entirely confounding, especially among the Japanese, who are never big believers in the saying “one man’s trash is another one’s treasure.”
It is common to simply throw things away in Japan when they are no longer needed, abandoning things in dark alleyways or deserted parking lots. It can also be an expensive hassle to get rid of large items. In this particular case, owners sent their old bicycles to the bottom of the lake to rust and decay.
Park authorities, now faced with getting rid of the heap of trash, said they never imagined to find a mountain of junk just lying around in the famous park.
Inokashira Park, covering an area of 383,773 square meters, is one of Tokyo’s prime cherry blossom viewing spots and consists of a shrine, a zoo and restaurants. It sits at the center of Kichijoji, a popular entertainment district in Tokyo.
By Maesie Bertumen
Image: Mark J P/Flickr