In the Tokyo metropolitan area, where nearly everything is crammed for space, about 40,000 square feet of land is designated for Nishi Rokugo Park, one of the strangest and most innovative playgrounds world-round—made nearly entirely out of tires.
Nishi Rokugo Park is filled with more than 3,000 rubber tires recycled from the nearby Kawasaki manufacturing plants. As you enter, an enormous, two-story Godzilla made from stacked tires will greet you with a cheesy set of canine teeth, a walk-through 66-foot tail, and human-sized hands at the end of its tire-studded arms.
After walking atop an endless row of half-submerged tires, playground-goers will find even more peculiar sculptures, including a 16-tier tire rocket and a quirky tire robot.
Naturally, there's a giant tire swing, which hovers in the middle of the park. Further along is climbable jungle gym of multicolored poles with—you guessed it—tires wedged in between. Perhaps the most fun (and adult-sized) activity at Nishi Rokugo is the tire slide, where sleds are replaced with stray tires that can be ridden down a concrete tire tubing hill.
Unlike most playgrounds, Nishi Rokugo Park is not used solely by children; elderly Japanese men and women often frequent the park to enjoy the scene and admire the tire sculptures. Free and open around the clock, Nishi Rokugo will never tire out your sense of fun.
If you liked this, you’ll probably enjoy Atlas Obscura’s New York Times best-selling book, which collects more than 700 of the world’s strangest and most amazing places Atlas Obscura: An Explorer’s Guide to the World’s Hidden Wonders.