It’s the beginning of March and it looks like Spring has arrived in Nagoya! The days are getting a little bit longer, the weather a little warmer, and the trees are starting to blossom! Since Mike and I have been trying to conserve money the last two weekends we’ve been getting creative with how we spend our time outside and luckily the weather has been on our side!
First up we went to the free Nagoya Agricultural Center which in our opinion has the best Plum blossom trees around, with over 800 different trees and 12 different kinds its hard to top that! We spent the day ogling at the beautiful trees, making funny noises at the farm animals, and eating delicious homemade ice cream. ** Grand total of the day 2800 yen ($28), which included our 1200 yen for round trip transportation and 600 yen on ice cream, and 1000 yen between lunch and snacks!**
The following weekend we decided to get a little exercise so we chose to use our bikes as the main form of transportation. We rode our bikes to Meijo Park which was surprisingly bigger then we hoped it would be, and there was even a Dutch inspired windmill made in 1988. We had packed a picnic and a brought a book to read so we picked a nice spot to hang out and people watch for the afternoon. ** Grand total of the day 1000 yen ($10) which included beer and lunch supplies! **
On Sunday we decided to see how much fun we could have with only 1000 yen ($10)! We jumped on our bikes and rode 6 km=3.72 miles to Tokugawa Garden. The garden was celebrating it’s 300 birthday so guess what..it was free!
Along the way we actually had to bike parallel to the Nagoya Womens Marathon which we found out is an international 42 km event throughout Nagoya that Olympic athletes run! We even saw a few woman dressed in costumes, one was even dressed as a bride..get it runaway bride!! Rumor has it that every woman who crosses the finish line receives a Tiffany Bracelet! Now that’s worth it!
Upon arriving at the garden we met an Aichi Goodwill Guide who volunteered to give us a tour of Tokugawa for you named it…FREE! Luck was on our side! Thanks to him we know now many fun facts about the garden:
- It was the gardens 300th birthday
- The garden used to be 10x bigger but due to urbanization it has been reduced
- The garden has 3 themes local village, deep mountain, and ocean.
- The garden was destroyed during world war 2 and was reconstructed only 12 years ago. However they used all of the same stones and material from the first garden.
- A crane on top of a turtle signifies longevity, and every true Japanese garden has that symbol in it.
I think what amazed me the most was how much thought went into every single aspect of the garden. Every tree, flower, stone, pond, stream and waterfall had a significant meaning that contributed to the entirety of the garden. I asked our guide what his favorite month at the garden was and he responded ” Every day! You can enjoy and experience something new and different every day of the year.”
On our way back home we rode down a street that was lined with absolutely stunning plum blossom trees on both sides. It was straight out of a fairy tale and I’m afraid the picture didn’t doesn’t do it justice.
Since we had spent the day biking and exploring and hadn’t spent a single dime we decided to spend our entire 1000 yen on lunch at a local fast food chain restaurant that serves gyudon (beef bowl) called Yoshinoya. Not my absolute favorite but Mike enjoyed it and it fit our budget and filled us up! With our daily budget spent we biked on home and called it a day!