HOME Hokkaido Hokkaido Sapporo / Chitose Japan's Fascinating Moerenuma Park: Isamu Noguchi's Stunning Living Sculpture
Japan's Fascinating Moerenuma Park: Isamu Noguchi's Stunning Living Sculpture

Japan's Fascinating Moerenuma Park: Isamu Noguchi's Stunning Living Sculpture

Date published: 17 July 2020
Last updated: 7 August 2020

Moerenuma Park, a landmark park in the outskirts of Sapporo City, was designed by Japanese-American sculpture artist Isamu Noguchi.

Opened in 2005 as a work of sculpture in itself, Moerenuma Park is renowned for its duality as an expansive art park and a place for the locals to unwind in the middle of greenery.

Here, we'll take you inside and share some of the ways both kids and adults can enjoy spending time at the park.

Table of Contents
  1. Moerenuma Park: Born from the concept of a "single unified piece of sculpture"
  2. Nature and ever-changing seasons at Moerenuma
  3. Top 5 can't miss spots at Moerenuma Park
  4. 1. The Glass Pyramid: A Monument One with Nature
  5. 2. Mount Moere: the landmark that oversees all of Sapporo City
  6. 3. Cool off when the day's hot at the Moere Beach and Aqua Plaza
  7. 4. Twin eateries “Takeout Shop panier” and “L’enfant qui rêve”
  8. 5. Rent a bicycle and dash through the scenery of Moerenuma Park
  9. How to get to Moerenuma Park: Access from Sapporo Station

Moerenuma Park: Born from the concept of a "single unified piece of sculpture"

Going beyond the traditional limits of sculpture, the designer of the park, Isamu Noguchi, was a sculptor whose landscaping and design can be described as "sculpting the earth."

The most significant milestone in his work on Moerenuma Park is the fact that the entire place is an artwork in itself. The land the park was built on was cleared to make it have synergy with the vast nature that surrounds the site, along with man-made mountains and fountains designed with geometry to create a massive work of art!

Moerenuma Park bears 4 distinct impressions according to the seasons where you can enjoy art and nature in equal measure encompassing an area of 188.8 hectares. The Moere marsh, an extensive drainage system, encompasses the park grounds and features 14 different unique monuments and zones.

*Japan is currently in the middle of nationwide anti-epidemic measures. Please visit the Moerenuma Park website for the latest updates.

Moerenuma Park Map. (Image courtesy of Moerenuma Park)
Image courtesy of Moerenuma Park

A symbolic monument of the park, the Tetra Mound. The three shafts stacked upwards together in the triangular shape of a mound strikes a powerful impression.

Image courtesy of Moerenuma Park

The "Play Mountain," according to Noguchi, is an avant-garde art piece that was created by directly carving the land. Do try climbing the 99 stone steps made from granite that came floating in the Seto Inland Sea from Inujima.

Nature and ever-changing seasons at Moerenuma

Nature and ever-changing seasons at Moerenuma
Image courtesy of Moerenuma Park

Due to being designed in unison with the surrounding nature, the ways you can enjoy Moerenuma Park change with the seasons.

For spring, the "Forest of Sakura" with over 1,900 cherry blossom trees is highly recommended! All of these cherry blossoms at Moerenuma Park will be in full bloom near the end of April, announcing the start of spring.

In the middle of the sakura forest, seven playgrounds are available. For some beautiful photos, you can try the cone-shaped slide "Slide Mountain." The unique and various playground equipment make for some photogenic shots!

Image courtesy of Moerenuma Park

In the summer, a refreshing session with water games is the perfect fit. In Moerenuma Park, there's no shortage of ways to play around with water.

The "Sea Fountain," which could even be called a water sculpture, is a stellar show due to the dynamic jettisoning of water. There are 40-minute full programs and 15-minute short programs that happen three to four times a day each.

Image courtesy of Moerenuma Park

Once mid-October kicks in, the greenery is slowly replaced with autumn orange, the interplay of the two colors making for an exquisite view. The heat also starts to die down, making this time the best for a leisurely stroll in the venue.

Image courtesy of Moerenuma Park

Lastly, the winter has its own unique experiences as well, from skiing to walking in snowshoes or playing in the snowy landscape with a sled. You can rent the appropriate equipment from the first floor of the pyramid-shaped glass building.

Top 5 can't miss spots at Moerenuma Park

From here, we'll be showcasing some of the place's most prominent landmarks and activities!

1. The Glass Pyramid: A Monument One with Nature

1. The Glass Pyramid: A Monument One with Nature
Image courtesy of Moerenuma Park

Without a doubt, the "Glass Pyramid" deserves to be the first featured here, in light of being near synonymous with the park's image. On the weekends, the venue schedules regular concerts and other exhibitions, making it an excellent spot for those who appreciate the arts.

Restaurants, an Isamu Noguchi gallery, and a museum shop can be found here as well.

2. Mount Moere: the landmark that oversees all of Sapporo City

2. Mount Moere: the landmark that oversees all of Sapporo City
Image courtesy of Moerenuma Park

Up next is Moerenuma Park's most significant creation: the 62.4-meter tall "Mount Moere." Although man-made, it is the sole mountain in the Higashi-ku district and even has its own triangulation station.

3. Cool off when the day's hot at the Moere Beach and Aqua Plaza

3. Cool off when the day's hot at the Moere Beach and Aqua Plaza
Image courtesy of Moerenuma Park

The Moere Beach is not a natural one, but rather, a water park designed like the seaside for the children to play in the sea-less city of Sapporo.

Image courtesy of Moerenuma Park

In the valley between the Moere Mountain and Play Mountain lies the "Aqua Plaza," with a gently shallow 20 to 40-cm water depth and smoothly flowing waters. Soaking your feet in the middle of your walk is one way to ease your lethargy away.

4. Twin eateries “Takeout Shop panier” and “L’enfant qui rêve”

4. Twin eateries “Takeout Shop panier” and “L’enfant qui rêve”
Lunch box (750 yen), filled with fresh greens. For warmer days, the soft ice cream (380 yen) is the perfect companion. (Image courtesy of Moerenuma Park)

Inside the iconic Glass Pyramid is the "Takeout Shop panier," where you can order lunch boxes, soft cream, curry, onigiri, drinks, and much more. You can even buy some to eat outside in the summer for the picnic feel!

Image courtesy of Moerenuma Park

Lunch box (750 yen), filled with fresh greens. For warmer days, the soft ice cream (380 yen) is the perfect companion.

5. Rent a bicycle and dash through the scenery of Moerenuma Park

5. Rent a bicycle and dash through the scenery of Moerenuma Park
Image courtesy of Moerenuma Park

Want to experience drifting through the vast park grounds? Bicycles are the best way to do so! Not only are they being a great way to go around the park, but cycling at the park in itself is also its own enjoyment! The rental service can be found at level 1 of the east side of the park.

Image courtesy of Moerenuma Park

How to get to Moerenuma Park: Access from Sapporo Station

You can get to Moerenuma Park via subway and bus. Here are the smoothest ways to get there:

● Take the subway from the Subway Toho Line Sapporo Station towards Sakae and alight at Kanjo-Dori-Higashi Station.

● Take either the Chuo Bus 'Higashi/East 69' toward Ainosato-Kyoikudai Station or the Chuo Bus 'Higashi/East 79' towards Nakanuma-Shogakko-Dori and alight at the Moerenuma Park East Gate.

It is advisable to purchase a day pass to save money on the subways, especially if you will be doing a fair amount of sightseeing. You can get one at Sapporo Station's subway.

Depending on the period, a seasonal-limited bus service, the "Sapporo Beer Museum-bound Shuttle," is available. It operates daily between April 29, 2020, and November 3, 2020.

Text by: Minna no Kotobasha

*The above article is based on information from May 2020

*This information is from the time of this article's publication.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.

Share this article.

Search