When we first moved to Fukushima City, my son was three years old.  Of course, I didn’t know anything about the city or about our neighborhood, so our first day my husband pointed me in the direction of the nearby local park.  It’s very close to our house and it is a wonderful park.

Well, one attraction of the park (called Shinhama Park) is this fun and enjoyable playground equipment.

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See?  Fun and enjoyable.  I was always so worried my son, or another kid, would fall off it…but that hasn’t happened (yet.)  It’s made entirely of concrete.

I once saw an older boy go head first down the slide (on purpse–dumb kid) and wham his head on the concrete.  He was dazed and I think he was hurt, but he shook it off and I think was all right.  But let’s just say he will never again go down headfirst on a structure made of concrete.

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There are metal steps in the back so kids can climb up.

Anyway, I have always wondered about this playground equipment.  Is it common in Japan?  What’s the deal?  Then I saw this in the kids’ newspaper recently.

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Apparently octopus shaped concret play structures are a thing in Japan.

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Different ones in different parts of Japan.

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Here’s another one in Fukushima City.  This is a park at Mount Shinbu, about a twenty minute walk from my house.

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My son actually did hurt himself on this one!  He went down it wrong while a toddler and ended up bleeding.  But he was okay.

This one is smaller than the white one, but you can definitely see its octopus shape.

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So what do you think?  Would you like one of those octopus cement things in your local park?