Park goes to the dogs

The Hitachi Seaside Park, about 100km north of Tokyo, has kick-started celebrations for the upcoming Year of the Dog in a big way.

It has put together a gigantic image of a Japanese shiba inu dog and two pups using around 1,100 bassia scoparia plants, 6,500 pine cones and pieces of wood collected from the park.

Measuring 22.5m long and 27m wide, the artwork also includes the kanji character for peace, to symbolise the park's hope for the year ahead.

To see the work in all its glory, visitors can hop onto the park's Ferris wheel to get a bird's eye view. But they will have to do this quickly because the image will be on display only until Jan 8.

The Year of the Dog, which will begin on Feb 16, is part of the Chinese zodiac system, which is based on a 12-year cycle, with an animal sign representing each year.

As with many other Asian countries, the system is quite popular in Japan as well.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 30, 2017, with the headline 'Park goes to the dogs'. Print Edition | Subscribe