Neighbourhood: Komazawa

Text & photography by Natsumi Oh (Popeye Magazine)

I’m so glad that I live in the neighbourhood of the Komazawa Olympic Park where the 1st Tokyo Olympic Games were held in 1964. Not to mention its grounds for the occasion, it still facilitates an active tennis court, indoor gyms, baseball field and more athletic this and that. It’s so sporty that I can easily see myself happily without it. It would have been so much nicer if the jogging track was just a road instead of this very functional neat road perfect for the daily joggers. However so, I enjoy having them around. Having to acknowledge the school kids playing tennis or lacrosse is certainly a notion to me. A notion that reminds me of how healthy the body is, how healthy the mind becomes.

Komazawa Olympic Park

Komazawa Olympic Park

I’d take a morning stroll every now and then and feel the gradual warmth at sunrise. The slight wind will touch my skin softly. Although it’s very early in the morning I am not alone. The wind carries the joy of small children playing and having inspired by everything they see. “Let’s hold hands!” so I hear and realize how nice to simply speak out of mind. When did it become so difficult for us? A boy reads a book sitting on the bench next to an old man reading. How often do we see a scene like that? A wandering dog without a leash doesn’t frighten anyone here. That’s how safe and clean the park is managed. I’d smile to a surprised looking toddler who realized he has mistaken me for his lost mum. Immediately then, I look forward to my next visit. This place is a shape of peace that I’ve been looking for. It is a place to visit when my rustling mind needs a little care.

“So little did she know about the whole dark truth about the park,” so the devil side of myself warns me. But I take no notice of it. I know things always end up much less than expected but I intend to deliberately stay innocent and naïve about it so my peace in mind will stay. Just for a while longer.

From N˚5: Arrival.