Tag Archives: BBQ

Water play and pedal cars at Hanasaki Water Park | KAZO

Facility Map of Hanasaki Park
Hanasaki Water Park in Kazo made quite an impression on me. It isn’t a huge park, but there is a lot to do in the relatively small area. So much so, I recommend it as one of those parks that it is worth a journey to, even just once. That is, if you are in Saitama!


There are two main attractions of this park. One is the water park, which is available from mid July to end of August. It has a number of different pools, including one for kids, and a Jacuzzi . You can also rent floats, pool beds and a boat for a separate charge. The other main attraction is the bike hire which includes some pretty unusual and fun bikes. The bikes are charged by the hour for the number of people that can ride them. They have quirky bikes for one, tandems for two (of course!), even a car bike, for want of a better description. Its a bike in the shape of a car, or maybe a car that you cycle! Oh…maybe we call them pedal cars – please comment if you know the answer! Whatever you call it; its great fun. The kids loved this the most.


The park has a lot to offer other than the most popular attractions. The playground has a great big combination piece of equipment. Beside it there are some spring rides and small slides suited to small children. They also have stepping stones, climbing rungs, a little house and other pieces of equipment. There is a large gasebo beside the play area with benches and a couple of tables. Nearby is a wading river that opens early June. The BBQ area can be used during that time too. There is also a scenic river on the far side of the park lined with magnificent conifer (meta sequoia) trees. There is a walkway beside with a wooden path over a type of lotus pond, with other beautiful scenery in different seasons.  There is a lake with pedal AND swan boats for hire. The pools are used as fishing ponds out of season (don’t want to think about that too much!).  The battery cars in the pool area are accessible most of the year. They have putter golf and sports grounds. There is a small flower garden maze and a wide open grass area.  There is even a restaurant, but it closes during off season.  You can find up-to-date costs for each activity on the website, which is linked below.

So you see, it is a park worth visiting at some point, even out of summer season.  If you do plan to go during the summer, please see the up-to-date charges on the website, linked below. The park also recommends that you arrive early to get a parking spot, particularly on Saturdays when the park is at its busiest.


**Please note that some of the services are not available on Mondays, except during the 6 weeks of summer holidays**

Bicycle costs at Hanasaki Park
Costs to hire the bikes, Putter Golf and Table Tennis at Hanasaki Water Park in 2015

Please see the website for up-to-date costs.

Address: 1722 Mizubuka, Kazo, Saitama

Tel: 0480-65-7155

URL: http://www.parks.or.jp/kazohanasaki/about.html (Japanese only)


Train: About a 15 minute walk from Tobu Isesaki Line Hanasaki Station

Car: Approximately 3 kilometers from Kazo Interchange of the ken-o expressway.
Parking: Free out of pool season, but once the pool opens it costs 820 yen for the day. Spaces for up to 1,200 cars. Between April and September the car park is open from 8am to 6.30pm. From October to March it closes at 5.30pm.

BBQ Season

I don’t know any Japanese people (in Japan) who don’t have at least one BBQ a year. That’s not to say everyone in Japan has them, just everyone I know! What I deduce from this; barbecues are popular in Japan. Autumn seems to be the most common season for them. Barbecues aren’t a thing in Ireland. We just don’t have the weather for them. If people do have a BBQ it’s usually impromptu on a fine day in their back garden. In Japan, they are organised well in advance, they are usually in a park or public space (that has public toilets) and they are quite the production.

We have a fixed date, with a particular group of friends, each year on the first bank holiday of November. We’ve been doing it for 7 years now and each time the riverside park we use is full with groups of people barbecuing. In typical Japanese style it’s usually an early start and we meet at the station at 9.30am. We are usually designated drivers as we have a Voyager and we take as many people as we can. For the same reason we are also responsible for bringing some of the heavy-duty equipment such as the grill, a camping fold out table for 16 people, a large tarp, a picnic mat and other cooking items. Another designated driver brings more BBQ equipment, the food and the booze. And so on and so forth. I was so impressed the first time I attended a BBQ in Japan at how everyone pitched in without a complaint and the finished “scene” was like something out of a camping magazine. I was / am equally impressed by how deftly everyone tidies up when it’s all over. The clean up, usually as sun is setting around 16.30, is unbelievably co-ordinated that it’s almost like everyone practised. Everyone regardless of what they were doing or how much drink is in their glass stops when hometime is called. Then everyone takes on a job immediately, no dilly dallying or messing about, and gets everything cleaned up and packed up as diligently as they set up hours earlier in a much more sober state. The downside of being a designated driver (other than not being able to drink when everyone else is) is that we also have to bring at least one rubbish bag home.

Early November weather in Japan is perfect for a BBQ with blue skies, bright warming sunlight and the backdrop of autumn leaves in every colour. As a bonus, our annual BBQ usually co-incides with the local small airport for light aircraft’s practise run for an airshow, so we get to enjoy the preview.