Coincidently, while I was doing my research in Japan, I experienced golden week. Golden week is a week long holiday that is usually held at the end of April. This year, the golden week lasted for ten days and felt very special, because it overlaps with the succession of the Emperor Akihito to his son Emperor Naruhito. This succession also signifies the end of Heisei era, and the start of Reiwa era. Succession is usually done when the current emperor passes away, but Emperor Akihito wanted to rest from his status and give it to his son. This is a new history in the long 200 years of Japanese history.
This long Golden Week is a period of time in which families and people of Japan enjoy a holiday. Almost all vacation spots and public parks are filled with people. Just imagine that almost everyone in the country go outside at the same time. It was also at this time where I struggled to find a place to stay. It is troublesome because I constantly move from one place to another in this research. At the end of April, I was still in Osaka. At last, at the start of May, I was no longer able to find a hotel in Osaka. Almost every hotel was full. A friend of mine made a joke that Golden Week is like black week because it is crowded everywhere.
I was stranded in Hirakata, a small town 20 kilometres away from Osaka. There is still a comfortable hotel there. I immediately booked a room through internet and went there. What is interesting in this small town? I had to leave my luggage here while waiting for the Golden Week to pass, although I still wanted to be in Osaka.
Surprisingly, the uncomfortable condition made me able to find an interesting place. Yes, this small town is famous for Hirakata Park. This park was built in 1912 and is the oldest standing park in Japan. Long story short, I decided to go there and record the crowded park in Golden Week.
Hirakata Park was very crowded that day. People kept coming from the Hirakata-koen Station like an unending baseball supporter. After waiting in line for an hour, I was finally able to go inside the park. This park is 16 acres wide.
This is the recording of how crowded the park was that day. Sounds of happy children accompanied by their parent, and the sound of roller coaster, merry go round, and other rides can also be heard. The scream of the children who were riding the roller coaster can sometimes be heard. Laughter and happiness can be heard, although there are the occasional whining and crying. The sound came from everywhere. The Golden Week is very hectic here.