Connect with us


Baby Blue Eyes in Toneri Park Revisited

During mid-spring, a gentle sea of baby blue eyes blankets a hillside within Toneri Park, the third biggest park in the Tokyo Metropolis.



Baby blue eyes are back in Toneri Park. (©JAPAN Forward by EH Kinmonth)

Until early May of 2023, I knew Toneri Park as a pleasant but rather mundane park for families with young children. When my two sons were preschool and elementary school age, we took them to this park numerous times. Aside from its play areas for children, its most distinguishing feature is a large barbeque area, something that is relatively rare in fire-conscious Japan, particularly in Tokyo. My image of the park was changed by a visit planned by my wife who wanted to see a hillside in the park that was covered with baby blue eyes (nemophila).

The hillside of baby blue eyes at night. (©JAPAN Forward by EH Kinmonth)
Visitors enjoy the sea of baby blue eyes. (©JAPAN Forward by EH Kinmonth)

Park hillsides dedicated to a single flower are common in Japan. I have written about one example, shibazakura (moss phlox) on a hillside near Chichibu, for JAPAN Forward. But I was unaware of the baby blue eyes at Toneri Park. It was, so to speak, hidden in plain sight.

The hillside of baby blue in the late afternoon. (©JAPAN Forward by EH Kinmonth)

As it was in 2023, the hillside is covered with baby blue eyes with the added bonus that numerous late-season sakura are still in full bloom. 

Toneri Park is dog friendly and people were taking photos of their pets with sakura. (©JAPAN Forward by EH Kinmonth)

Moreover, the park has added an evening (6 pm–9 pm) light-up running through May 7.
Toneri Park is very easy to get to. It surrounds the Toneri Park (Toneri Koen) stop on the Nippori-Toneri Liner that connects with JR-East lines at Nippori and Nishi-Nippori.

The ride on the elevated, driverless Liner is interesting in and of itself because of the views it offers of the Sumida and Arakawa rivers. There is no admission charge and the park is not gated.

Illumination in front of Toneri Koen Station with the theme Flowers and Moving Light. (©JAPAN Forward by EH Kinmonth)


Author: Earl H Kinmonth

Photographs by EH Kinmonth. Find other stories about Tokyo and nearby areas by Dr Kinmonth.