At Tokyo 2020 (2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games), Japanese athletes achieved excellent performances in skateboarding, BMX and sport climbing, which are newly added as urban sports. Their high-level performance attracted global attention, and the popularity of these sports is increasing mainly among the younger generation.
In April 2021, a skate park opened in Kasama City in Ibaraki Prefecture. Japanese top competitors also visit this park to practice.
Murasaki Park Kasama is situated in the Kasama Art Forest Park Playground, and the total area of the facility is approximately 17,800 m². It is one of the largest skate parks in Japan, where international competitions and events are held.
The full-concrete skate park has various sections, including the park zone for the experienced, the street zone that recreates slopes and railings seen on the street, and the flat and beginner zone where anyone can skate because it is flat. There is also an indoor park and night skating facilities that can be used on rainy days and at night, and it also has a shop selling skateboards and BMX equipment.
For beginners, skateboarding and BMX training and lessons are organized on a regular basis, where lectures are provided on how to ride correctly in a basic way and how to take advantage of the park depending on their level. The zones for beginners and the experienced are adjacent to each other, and this apparently makes beginners improve quickly because watching acrobatic techniques of the experienced can inspire them.
There are several events of BMX, and Murasaki Park Kasama is designed for freestyle, in which riders compete for points in techniques and jumps. Importantly, you can rent helmets and protectors as well as a skateboard and a BMX bike to try urban sports casually.
After taking pleasure in activities, you can visit Crafthills Kasama situated also in the Kasama Art Forest Park Playground. Kasama City is a production district of Kasama ware, and you can experience ceramic art using an electric potter’s wheel. Your own original earthenware made in the home of pottery will be a wonderful memory of your trip.
Kasama City, which has flourished as a shrine town since old times, also features Kasama
Inari Shrine, one of Japan’s three major Inari shrines dedicated to the deity of agriculture.
It is said to have been founded in 651, and many fox statues welcome visitors.
There is a street in front of Kasama Inari Shrine, and although its distance is short, the street is lined with restaurants and souvenir shops, where its nostalgic atmosphere is fascinating.
On the street in front of the Shrine, there are many restaurants where you can enjoy a local delicacy called inarizushi. It is also delightful to try and compare the signature inarizushi of each restaurant, such as soba inari from Tanukian Tsutaya, made of Hitachi Aki soba noodles from Ibaraki instead of rice, and inarizushi from Futatsugi, full of fragrant walnuts and sesame.
Ibaraki is the largest producer and has the largest cultivation area of chestnuts in Japan, with Kasama City being the major producer. At La Kuri, Kasama’s chestnut specialty shop at Roadside Station Kasama, you can savor homemade chestnut desserts all year round. The limited edition La Kuri filo is a first-rate dessert, which is not too sweet and notably has a delicate natural taste of Kasama’s chestnuts.