Kawagoe Water Park
– Today (2015), our local summer pool opened for the season. Kawagoe Suijo Kouen, or Kawagoe Water or Aquatic Park, is one of the bigger summer pools in Saitama. Like all the other seasonal pools, it only opens for 7 weeks over the summer holidays. However, the pools are just one part of a larger recreational park which is open all year round. More information on that (including cherry blossom details) further down the post.
Last year we spent most weekends at Kawagoe Water Park. It’s a great way to get the kids to go to bed early, have a deep sleep and sleep later than normal in the morning! All that water play really tires them out and they really really love it.
One of the main attractions of Kawagoe water park is the pool with waves. It is inclined; the shallow end starts at 0 and the deep end is 1.6 metres. The waves come every 10 minutes.
Another popular feature of the water park is the large ship in the centre of the park. (photo from the official website).
Of course, the various slides are very popular too. (These photos taken from the official website).
For small children there is a pool that is only 30cm and it has 2 small slides. My kids are in this one, somewhere! Nappies/ Diapers are ok in this pool.
Children’s pool, 30cm deep with two slides
There is also a 60cm pool with a fountain that my older two kids (5 and 4) can enjoy and my 2 year old with a float.
Other features include fountains, jets, sprays and a wading river at different points in the park. There is also a simple pool. You can use a small pop up tent in the park, in fact, most Japanese people do. We may have been the only ones without, the first time we went! There is limited shaded areas in the park, so these pop up tents are very practical and for my Irish skin 100% essential!
A sea of tents
During the summer there is a special bus that runs to the park from Kawagoe and Honkawagoe stations. There are 2 restaurants, 2 kiosks and a number of vans that sell food and drink. There is also a shop that sells pool goods. There is a shower and locker room and plenty of toilets. There is also tennis, futsal and soccer. There are a number of events held over the summer including snorkelling classes. There is a no tattoo policy (see photo below). You can get a full list, in Japanese, plus more information on the official website: http://www.parks.or.jp/kawagoesuijo/
Update July 2016 – new website: http://www.saitamasuijo.com/
Please check there for up-to-date charges. The prices last year (2014):
Kawagoe Water Park Additional information:
Outside the aquatic park there is a free public park with a small playground, a barbecue area, battery cars and a lake with swan boats for hire. It is a popular place for walking. You can ride bikes there too. In spring time the park is full of people enjoying hanami. The cherry blossoms in this park are well renowned, particularly the late blooming yaezakura variety.
The Somei Yoshino variety cherry blossoms pictured below, typically bloom the last week in March to the first week in April:
Yaezakura late blooming cherry blossoms at Kawagoe Water Park
The yaezakura are on the right side of the lake if you have the rotary car park (bus stop area) at your back. They go from the battery cars to near the small playground. They typically bloom mid April and last one to two weeks depending on the weather.
The nearest train station is Nishikawagoe on the JR Kawagoe line. The park is a 15 minute walk from that station. Or you can get a bus from downtown Kawagoe.
For more on Kawagoe please see the Kawagoe Guide