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Do As Tokyo Does Tokyo's Nonhuman Denizens - Turtle vs. Frog
(Entered Apr. 02, 2010)
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Tokyo admittedly has a lot of parks. Some are big and famous (Yoyogi, Ueno), some are beautiful (Korakuen, Rikugien, Shinjuku Gyoen) and some are none of these things. Generally the ones where you have to pay to enter are the ones that are well kept and the most attractive, but there are also countless 'mini' parks scattered over the city which, though free to enter, have umm... seen better days.
I recently discovered one of the small ones near my apartment (that I'd never even known was there until a few weeks ago) that had a small concrete sided pond overflowing with turtles, murky water and trash.

stack of turtles

There was also one lonely frog in the pond who seemed more bothered by the turtles than the garbage. Whenever a turtle got too close, he'd swim away, and seeing how there were like 20 turtles and the pond was only the size of a small onsen, he pretty much had to swim constantly. When a piece of plastic floated into his eye though, he didn't even blink. Poor guy must've been exhausted. Why swim from the gentle turtles though? Well he had good reason.

frog in dirty water

Do turtles attack and eat frogs? Maybe this one just died of natural causes (no surprise in water like this), or maybe the toxic water drove the turtles mad? Along with a few fascinated young boys, I watched the turtles battle over the dead frog for about 20 minutes before the muck and haze of disturbed sediment completely covered up the contest.

turtle eating frog

I'm not sure what the moral of this story is though. Clean up the small parks in Tokyo? Toxic water breeds killer turtles? Turtles and frogs are mortal enemies? I guess you can take your pick.


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