Moerenuma Park in Sapporo, Hokkaido

First spring at Isamu Noguchi’s Moerenuma Park

“The whole park is a sculpture”, is what artist/product designer/sculptor Isamu Noguchi said about Moerenuma Park in Sapporo, Hokkaido. Moerenuma Park opened last July, 18 years after Isamu visited Sapporo for the first time to design this 189-hectare park. He completed the final model of the park in November of the same year but passed away a month later, on December 30th 1988. PingMag reports about the first spring season ever at Noguchi’s ambitious Moerenuma Park.

Written by Chiemi

Moerenuma Park: the Play Mountain in the very back and the Sea Fountain surrounded by larch trees in the front

The first thing you see when you get to this park is an artificial mountain called Moere Mountain. This whole park was actually built on reclaimed land under the tree planting project in Sapporo. The amount of waste used to fill this space between 1979 and 1990 was about 2.7 million tons. Who would ever expect this place to become such an amazing park in Hokkaido?

The 62 meters high Moere Mountain is now officialy on the map! You can ski and ride on a sled during the winter. Looks like fun, doesn’t it?

On the opposite side of Moere Mountain is a glass pyramid called Hidamari which is another symbol of the park. Hidamari means ‘sunny place’. It works like a green house in winter and uses snow from a snow storehouse for the air-conditioning in summer. There are shops, restaurants, galleries and an observation deck inside.

Hidamari – a glass pyramid designed as a light object with a clear surface.
Inside Hidamari: works perfectly as a sunny place
Akari Gallery with Isamu Noguchi’s light sculptures ‘Akari’. You have probably seen those in your favorite furniture select shops already! Those are the originals.

Stepping outside of Hidamari you will find the Sea Fountain. This special 25 meters high fountain expresses both: a calm and a rough sea relating to the relationship between earth and sea, or maybe also the sea and us humans.

Sea Fountain – unfortunately, if you don’t check the timetable of the program you will see only this

If you keep walking forward the Play Mountain will appear in front of you. This mountain was designed in 1933 for some big public project but unfortunately it never happened at that time. That means this mountain took over 70 years to finally be built.

Play Mountain retains some of its old stone structure. It is only 30 meters high, so why don’t you give it a try?

This amazing Tetra Mound (next to the Play Mountain) consists of a little hill and a 13 meters high triangular pyramid made with stainless steel. Each pillar has a diameter of 2 meters!

All you want to do here is to lay down and watch. Feels incredible!

Tetra Mound – Can you spot the people on the top of the hill?

Finally let’s walk though all the playgrounds called Forest of Cherry Blossoms. But although Hanami is long ago in Tokyo, the cherry blossoms haven’t bloomed in Hokkaido yet!

Forest of Cherry Blossoms
Forest of Cherry Blossoms

Isamu Noguchi said “Sculptures are to be felt with kids’ bottoms” – and this is exactly what you will experience here! Countless smiling kids riding, sitting and touching his sculptures in the playgrounds. Forest of Cherry Blossoms consists of 7 different areas, all of them have various types of playground equipment that kids can experience to the full.

Octetra
Play Cube
Play Sculpture

All of these play-sculptures are built from very simple wooden blocks. Isamu designed these for kids in order to experience the strong shapes and colors of sculptures.

Jungle Gym B
Jungle Gym D
Swing
Play Maze
Slide Mountain

Did you enjoy the little walk with us today? If you ever visit Hokkaido remember to visit Moerenuma Park!

  • http://www.somerandomdude.net P.J. Onori

    Amazing. I have a very strong desire to fly to Japan and head over to that park to frollick.

  • augustus

    So awesome. Americans would never do anything like this. :( :(:(

  • http://www.yussefcole.com carniceria

    wowwwwww. This is so awesome! Think about it, these children are going to grow up to be brilliant absract artists! I wish I had this kind of environment to play around in growing up…

  • http://www.gravestmor.com marcus

    We went to moerenuma park about ten months ago.

    It was one of the best days of our trip – riding around, climbing things, discovering hidden gardens…

  • http://www.bentong.net Ben Tong

    Simply Superb! I rememeber I been to a park similar to this in Hong Kong (when I was a kid), but definitely smaller in size. Great article! :D

  • http://methinksreally.blogspot.com Ced

    Amazing. I have a very strong desire to fly to Japan and head over to that park to frollick.

    Posted by: P.J. Onori

    I definitely agree. =)

  • http://www.l8k.com.ar/blog Germán W.

    Wow! I must visit Japan too some time!

  • http://www.mytophat.com Edouard

    I’ve never seen such a geometric play park… and that water fountain looks huge!

  • http://juancho_velascohotmail.com Juancho

    I wish be a children and live in front of this park. ok.

  • phat

    This park is really wonderful!!!!!

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  • http://www.small-architecture.com Tomi

    Noguchi Rocks…

    Tom

  • http://nil larry

    Noguchi actually designed several schemes of such scale for the Americans, but were turned down for many reasons, and some of his play sculptures were said to be unsafe for children too! how i wish more of Noguchi’s public works can be seen in other parts of the world. I am from Singapore.

  • Hara

    I was there last Sept, really amazing concept,but rather uncomfortable in the summer (hot, hot, hot, no shades, the play-sculptures are burning hot too. But still a wonderful idea and a great park.

  • http://www.istanbulmotokurye.com kurye

    Wow! I must visit Japan too some time!

  • ellie

    wow, so cool, anyone in japan fancy putting me up so i can visit.

  • http://mikel857earthlink.net supa smoof

    What a genki place!

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  • joan

    well, Noguchi DID do a project in the states–in Peidmont, Georgia in the 70s. from what I’ve heard, it’s undergoing a pretty big renovation.

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