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Scene, Sunday, May 20, 2007

It’s been a long week. And all you want to do is relax, or maybe take in some of the beautiful scenery Japan has to offer.

But it’s the weekend, and your kids have other things in mind, like running and jumping and just having fun.

No need to worry. Just a couple of miles from Camp Zama is a park that allows you to relax and enjoy the sights. But it’s also a kid’s paradise, complete with a playground featuring trampolines and monkey bridges. And it also has a petting zoo.

Sagamihara Asamizo Park, a quick 11 stoplights from the back gate of Zama, is a great place for families to enjoy the outdoors.

The size of roughly a dozen football fields, the park is great for picture-taking, as thousands of plants and flowers fill the landscape with bold colors, some arranged to depict cartoon characters. There’s also the Kanagawa Green House, where you can enjoy a walk through some lush greenery. And if you want to take the whole park in, there’s an observatory tower more than 100 feet tall that offers a breathtaking view.

Sagamihara Asamizo Park is open daily 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Parking is free. Directions are available at Outdoor Recreation on Camp Zama.

If you’re not driving: Take a bus bound for Joshi Bijutsu Daigaku from the Sagami Ono train station on the Odakyu line and get off at Sogo Taikukan Mae. Or take a bus bound for Sobudaimae station from JR Sagamihara station and get off at Sogo Taikukan Mae.

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