Moerenuma Koen - Isamu Noguchi Park in Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan
After having been disappointed by the artworks at the Isamu Noguchi Museum in Astoria, Queens, New York, I wasn't expecting much from Noguchi's Moerenuma Park in Sapporo, Japan. Isamu Noguchi drew up plans for the park in December 1988, and soon after died. The park took seventeen years to complete, and opened in 2005.
The first thing I noticed when I saw the main artificial hill-mound was how colossal it was. It is roughly the size of Glastonbury Tor. Scaling it was quite a thrill, and the view from the top was beautiful - one can see the extraordinary mountains lining the horizon behind the city of Sapporo.
Descending that main mountain, I was struck by the regularity of the pines planted on its north side.
There is a stony triangular fountainscape in the middle of the complex, where many of what I think were Japanese kites (birds) were wafting around quite close to me and the ground, and crying that hawkish screech which sounded quite nice.
The stone-clad pyramid-shaped mound caddy-corner from the hill is rather stunning, and reminded me of the Pyramid of the Sun at Teotihuacan in Mexico. It is only about half as high as the hill, but still quite high.
Of the other features of the park, that which stood out most was the substantial circular fountain in the middle of a circular grove of trees.
Overall, Moerenuma was an amazing experience, and goes to show just what an artist can accomplish when he has backing!
It was really cold - it felt like Siberian winds were blowing down from the north.
Bike rental near entrance.