at Senshu Park

at Senshu Park

[ Sept.2018 ] In Akita city in Japan, we went to Senshu Park next.

This park was built on the site of the Kubota Castle where the Satake family lived, and Satake Yoshinobu was the feudal lord of the domain of Akita.

Kubota Castle was built in 1604 and was burned down in 1880.

The park was owned by the Satake family until 1984 and operated by the local government renting this site from Satake, according to the internet.

Because of the last Satake’s wish, now it is owned by Akita City.

The moat surrounding the park was full of lotus, which was really beautiful and we took many photos.

What we found around there was a middle-aged woman selling “BabaHera” ice cream under a parasol.

Baba means old woman in spoken Japanese and Hera is a pallet.

Because middle- or old-aged women make ice cream in the shape of a rose on a cone using a pallet, it is called “BabaHera”.

It is one of the specialities in Akita City and according to this woman we met, some high school students named it.

I had thought they were self-employed people, but apparently they belong to some ice cream companies.

After being trained a bit, they start working in the town.

The clothes she was wearing was the uniform.

They work from March to October and apart from some events in November, they are off in winter.

She said that nobody knows when and who started this business, but it has been here for decades.

She has about 20 colleagues in the same company and there are about 5 companies competing with them.

We bought one “BabaHera” and found that it tasted light, somewhere between ice cream and sorbet.

After that, we went up into Senshu Park and found a cage with an Akita Dog.

This is an attraction, “Let us touch an Akita Dog”.

In the cage, Hanako, the female Akita dog was lying down.

I was surprised to see how big she was.

The owner was there and he said “Lying there, she looks tired, but it is only temporary. When we have a walk, she shows great energy”.

Because she runs fast, he cannot walk with her, so he uses a motorbike for her walk.

He has a cage at home, too, to keep her.

Because Akita Dogs are large with a weight of 30-60kg and a height of 60-70cm, to keep one you need a big space.

So, fewer people keep that kind of dog and nowadays there are only about 2,000 dogs in Japan, according to him.

The famous faithful dog, Hachiko, that waited for the return of his owner at Shibuya Station in Tokyo everyday, even after the owner’s death, was an Akita Dog, too.

According to the information on the internet, Akita Dogs are very faithful to their owners, but they bark at and even bite other people.

In fact very recently in London, a friend of mine in the same hobby class was bitten on her arm by a dog and, apparently, it was an Akita Dog.

When I heard that, I remembered Hanako, who we saw in Senshu Park, and felt sad.

In the park, there were some old men who were voluntary guides.

We wished we had had enough time to ask them to guide us.