As you are probably by now only too well aware, summer certainly swelters here in Japan. This of course brings a multitude of problems, such as how to deal with with hot and sticky public transport, which isotonic sports drink to chug to replace lost minerals due to continuous sweating, and how you can drag yourself away from the air-conditioned haven of your office or home.
Another problem that arises in Tokyo’s summer heat, particularly if you have a young family, is finding entertainment activities that wont leave everyone feeling fried and frazzled. If this sounds like a problem you encounter, why not try out one of the many outdoor swimming pools and water parks in the Tokyo area.
Not just a clever name, Summerland is an amusement destination that offers summer all year round, which possibly means that, with it being summer right now, it is double summer! Well double summer means that the outdoor ‘Adventure Lagoon’ area is open and you can enjoy giant waterfalls and floating down ‘the Looooong Lazy River’. The more adventurous of you can try the ‘Screamer Water Slides’. Be warned, double the summer means double the people and it can get extremely busy at peak times. This is by no means an understatement.
- Where: 600 Kamiyotsugi, Akiruno, Tokyo
- Cost: Ages 13-60: 3,500 JPY; Ages 7-12: 2,500 JPY; Ages 2-6 and over 61: 1,800 JPY
- Website: www.summerland.co.jp
With a name like ‘Hydropolis’ you would expect something pretty spectacular and here, at the outdoor pool complex at Toshimaen Amusement Park, that’s precisely what you get. There are two wave pools, a surf pool, a lazy river and some seriously blood-twisting water slides including ‘Bodyride Mountain’ and ‘Thrill Slide Tower’. For children there is a set of kiddie pools and for dedicated swimmers there is a 50m olympic sized pool combined with three diving boards.
- Where: 3-25-1 Koyama, Nerima, Tokyo
- Cost: Age 12+ 3,800 JPY; Child over 110cm tall (43”) 2,800 JPY; Child under 110cm tall (43”) ¥1,500
- Website: www.toshimaen.co.jp (Japanese) www.gw.navy.mil (English)
Part of an enduringly popular amusement park, the Pool WAI at Yomiuri Land has a whopping five pools and three water slides, including the rubber ring ride ‘The Giant Sky River’ that stands at 25m high and runs for 386m. If that is a touch too thrilling for your disposition you can play it safe in the Anpanman pool. There are special events throughout the summer including music performances and synchronised swimmers, after which adults can enjoy the night time beer garden on the nearby lawns.
- Where: 4015-1 Yanokuchi, Inagi-shi
- Cost: Pool tickets: adults 2,900 JPY; children and seniors 1,900 JPY
- Website: www.yomiuriland.com
Meguro Citizens Center Gymnasium Pool
If you check with your local ward office, you will probably find that there is a cheap and convenient outdoor pool that is run by your local community. However, whether you live in the area or not, the residential pool at Meguro Citizens Center is definitely worth checking out. Just a short walk from Meguro station, as well as a toddler pool there is a large 50x25m pool that has lanes for swimmers plus an area for frolicking with floating devices and beach balls. Popular with families and, on weekends particularly, a young adult crowd.
- Where: 2-4-36 Meguro, Meguro, Tokyo
- Cost: Adults 200 JPY; Junior high school students and younger/age 65 and older 100 JPY
- Website: www.city.meguro.tokyo.jp (Japanese)
Aqua Field Pool
Perhaps you are after something a little more serene, away from the wave machinces and boisterous teens. If this is the case, then Aqua Field Pool may be more what you have in mind. With a fantastic view of the nearby Tokyo Tower, this 50m outdoor pool has two lanes for swimming lengths, and a further section for general frivolity. After your swim you can enjoy the view of Zojoji Temple as you dry off from a chair on the raised terrace.
- Where: Shiba-Koen 2-7-2, Minato-ku
- Cost: Adults 400 JPY for two hours; Children 200 JPY. An Additional 200 JPY per further hour.
- Website: www.city.minato.tokyo.jp (Japanese)
Photo: flickr.com "Polenysian Pool" by Matthew Paulson (CC BY-SA 2.0) -Modified