If you’re traveling as a family and want some outdoor fun, Odo Park is a beautifully laid out park that offers a new adventure at every turn. Beaches, barbecue pits, at least a half dozen jungle-gym apparatuses, a wooded area for hiking, a shrine, stunning views of the ocean, and lots of grassy spaces, including an 18,500 square meter wide-open ground, are interspersed along a central pathway that winds its way through the park, making it a treat to explore and avail yourself of its many charms.
The park is situated on a coastal strip of prime real estate adjacent to the Fukuoka Yacht Harbor. The beaches are shallow and popular with kids. Clam-digging enthusiasts young and old dot the central beach when the tide goes out – along with your bathing suits and a change of clothes bring a trowel and a bucket! Ocean-side walkways ring the park, and the further along you go the more beautiful the stroll becomes. With Noko Island, sailboats and the surrounding bay in the background, the views are stupendous and it’s one of the most scenic places in the city this park-goer has been to sit down and have lunch with my favorite people.
If you fancy a barbecue there is a fairly large and very popular barbecue area. Food and drinks are all bring-your-own but you can rent grills, buy charcoal, paper plates and other necessities from the office if necessary. There is a fee of ¥100 per person above elementary school age to use the barbecue area.
If you’re looking to play, Odo Park delivers in a big way. With a variety of playground apparatuses designed for everyone from toddlers to parents looking for a challenge (it’s not uncommon to see moms and dads trying out some of the equipment, so come on ‘rents, let’s get to it!) there is something for everyone to climb up, swing on and slide down. There is also a blacktop-style basketball hoop, a softball/soccer diamond (available to rent in case you’re going with a couple of teams worth of players…), a workout course and many other little diversions to enjoy. Be sure to bring your Frisbees/soccer balls/badminton rackets or whatever you fancy playing to the aforementioned 18,500 square meters of wide-open grassy space and you’re guaranteed to go home a tired, happy park-goer.
On an interesting side note, Odo Park, established in 1942, is actually a private park owned by a corporation that engages in a variety of environmental-related services such as industrial waste treatment, sewer pipe construction and maintenance, recycling services, building construction and maintenance, and more. Even if you’re a cynic like me, it’s pretty cool that such a huge company decided to make this park for the general public to enjoy.