It is rare to find a place in the city where children can play in the mud and get dirty, so I was surprised to chance upon the Nerima Children's Forest (Kodonomori), a farm converted into a play space. Kiwi, chestnut and some vegetables are still grown but most of the space is dirt, not concrete. All play equipment are rustic and rudimentary, which really, is the best kind of play equipment to encourage kids to use their imagination. The most popular section is the wood working table where kids can use real hammers, nails and saws to bring their ideas to life. Kodomonomori is fully staffed and open every day including Saturdays, Sundays and holidays (which makes total sense as these are the days when parents have time time take their kids here) from 9:00 to 17:00. Entrance is always free. Bring an extra change of clothes, boots (if your child likes splashing in puddles) and a plastic bag to put dirty stuff in.
The Nerima Children's Forest is an 11 minute walk from Hikawadai Station served by the Fukutoshin and Yurakucho Lines.
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For Sherilyn Siy, Asia is home. Born in Hong Kong, Sherilyn spent time in the Philippines, China, and now lives in Japan. She speaks English, Filipino, Chinese (or putonghua), and Hokkien, her family's local dialect. Running is one of her favorite ways to explore Japan. She proudly finished the 2015 Tokyo Marathon -- her first ever full marathon -- in 4 hours and 37 minutes. She was absolutely psyched when she got selected again to run the new Tokyo Marathon route in 2018. She hopes to complete other races in Japan.