Where to go for a lark in the park

by Eric Johnston and Setsuko Kamiya

There may be no place better than home to haul in friends for a good grilling — if you have a big enough balcony or a garden. But for those lacking such spaces, or those who just enjoy getting out, here are some barbecue sites where your group may not be alone, but you’ll likely be in good company.

Kanto region

Tokyo

Hikarigaoka Park — Take your own grills, fuel and ingredients to the 3,000 sq.-meter camping ground in Tokyo’s northern Nerima Ward. Reservation required. For information call (in Japanese): (03) 3977-7638.

Kasai Rinkai Park — BBQ utensils are rented and ingredients are marketed at this park in Tokyo’s Edogawa Ward bordering Chiba Prefecture. Prices of ingredients range from 2,000 yen to 3,500 yen per person, depending on the package. A party can use the site for up to four hours. Use of personal grills must be mentioned upon reservation. For further information call (in Japanese): (03) 5667-1631.

Koganei Park — Bring your own grills, charcoal and ingredients. Use of the site in Koganei City in Tokyo’s western suburbs is free of charge. Reservation is not required, but users must report to the service center on arrival. For information call (in Japanese): (042) 385-5611.

Musashino Park — Bring your own grills, charcoal and ingredients. Reservation not needed unless you want to use one of the four large grills at the site in Fuchu City, also in Tokyo’s western suburbs. Users of these grills are asked to pay 500 yen to aid park maintenance. Otherwise free of charge. For information call (in Japanese): (0423) 61-6861.

Kanagawa Prefecture

Yokohama Seaside Park — Bring your own grills, charcoal and ingredients. Hours of use: 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 3-7 p.m. Cost is 1,500 yen on weekdays and 2,000 yen on weekends. For reservations call (in Japanese): (045) 785-0259.

Chiba Prefecture

Showa no Mori Park — Bring your own grills, charcoal and ingredients to this site in Chiba City. Reservations required and cost is 100 yen per person. For reservations and information call (in Japanese): (043) 294-1850.

Saitama Prefecture

Uchimaki Park — Bring your own grills, charcoal and ingredients. It’s free of charge to use this site in Kasugabe City, but reservations are required. For reservations and information call (in Japanese): (048) 736-1111 (ex. 2763).

Kansai region

Osaka

Nanko Chuo Koen Barbecue Plaza — Ten charcoal grills, with tables and chairs, at this site in Suminoe Ward in Osaka City. Bring your own charcoal. Reservations can be made for up to two hours, between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. For information call (in Japanese): (06) 6614-0569 (closed Mondays).

Tsurumi Nature Park Barbecue and Campground — Ten charcoal grills with charcoal are provided at this site in Osaka City’s Tsurumi Ward. Cost is 1,000 yen for two hours. Thirty charcoal grills are free of charge, but bring your own charcoal. For more information, call (in Japanese): (06) 6915-2551 (closed Mondays).

Expo Park Barbecue Corner — Bring your own grills and charcoal to this site in Suita City. Hours of use: 10 a.m.-2 p.m or 1-3:30 p.m. Cost is 500 yen. For more information call (in Japanese): (06) 6877-3348.

Oizumi Ryokuchi — There are eight different locations with grills at this site in Sakai City. Bring your own charcoal. For more information, call (in Japanese): (072) 259-8600.

Shiga Prefecture

Kibogaoka Bunka Park Barbecue Corner — Bring your own grills and charcoal to this site in Ryuo Town in Shiga Prefecture. Call (in Japanese): (077) 586-1100.

Hyogo Prefecture

Mount Rokko Country House Camp and Barbecue Grounds — Grills, tables and chairs are available at this venue in Nada Ward in Kobe City, or bring your own grills and charcoal. Cost: 1,000 yen for two or three people. For more information, call (in Japanese): (078) 891-0366.

Nara Prefecture

Mount Ikoma Campground — Five camping lodges are at this site in Ikoma City, as well as tent sites. Bring your own grills and charcoal. For more information, call (in Japanese): (0743) 73-5050.