Strange Happenings at a Local Park
It had been about four years since arriving in Tokyo. I was still adjusting to my new home and trying to familiarize myself with the city. Although a friend of mine kept inviting me to go,I had been hesitant to visit Tetsugakudo for the longest time because of the rumors I’ve heard about this place. There were stories of ghost sightings and other mysterious phenomena surrounding this place that made it a place not on my list of must-see attractions.
I eventually decided to visit with my friend on a lovely sunny day. I don’t know what happened to me but something happened to me that day that I still cannot explain or understand.
*All photos taken by myself unless otherwise noted.
My Visit to The Philosopher’s Park
There are two entrances to the park one of them being the Spector Gate. Two wooden statues of supernatural beings stand guard on either side of the gates hidden and protected by barbed wire. If you don’t look closely, they are easy to miss. As we entered the Spector Gate I immediately felt the air get thick and noticeably heavier. As I walked around the park, I felt as if I was walking through water. My feet felt heavy and it was an effort just to walk.
As I looked around, I was immediately attracted to a lone Ume (plum) tree. It certainly wasn’t the most beautiful tree I’ve seen and it looked like it was withering. I stood under the tree mesmerized by the sad beauty of the tree. All of a sudden I began to cry. I felt a terrible sadness wash over me as i stood beneath the tree and I had no idea why. My friend came over to ask me why I was crying and all I could say was that I felt sad and although he kept asking me why, I had no answer. I didn’t want to leave the tree and felt like I needed to remain there as long as I could. It almost felt as though I was being asked to understand something that I couldn’t no matter how hard I tried. In the end my friend had to practically drag me away. After we exited through the same gates we came in, I immediately felt the sadness disappear. I wiped my tears away as I wondered what made me feel that way. I couldn’t explain it and decided not to think about it too much.
As soon as I got home, I fell ill and came down with a high fever. I would be sick for a whole week.
A Second Visit to Tetsugakudo
I later told this story to a couple of my friends who proceeded to tell me that Tetsugakudo was quite known by locals for being haunted. Some claim to have seen ghosts while others say they have seen fire balls or orbs at night.
After that first visit years ago I recently went to pay a second visit to the park that made me cry. My second visit turned out to be a nice one during the cherry blossom season and I had a good time watching families enjoying picnics under the sakura trees. I walked towards the same plum tree that had made me cry and noticed a sign telling me the name of the tree. The tree was surprisingly called Ghost Tree. I stood under the tree trying to focus on my feelings but this time I only felt calm and serene. I looked up at the beautiful plum blossoms hanging from the branches of this tree and felt as though the tree was happy to see me again. Perhaps the tree was lonely when I last visited the park. On this particular day, the tree seemed to be in happy spirits.
I sat myself on the ground right beside the tree and enjoyed the beauty of the park. Haunted or not, I find myself coming to visit often to pay a visit to the beautiful plum tree.
Check out my visit to the park on my YouTube Channel.
A Park Full of Mystery and Beauty
Tetsugakudo is a park located in the Nakano ward in Tokyo. The small park was established by Dr. Enryo Inoue as a center for “Mental Training based on Philosophy.” In this rather unique park, buildings,monuments and sculptures are all related to philosophy, and ponds and landscaping visually express the world of philosophy. The park contains 77 spots that symbolize different doctrines. On the top of the hill are six Meiji-era buildings that are open to the public during cherry blossom season.
The park is open from 8 am, to 6 pm between April and September. Hours are from 9 am to 5 pm during other months. Last admittance is 30 minutes before closing time.
Would you like to visit the spirits of Tetsugakudo or would you rather stay away? Does visiting a philosophical park sound interesting? Please feel free to share your thoughts.
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