*Taken from our facebook page Saitama with Kids. *
The summer pools at Seibu Amusement Park opened early in July. The night pool will open on select dates from July 15th. Seibu amusement park and its seasonal pools, beer garden and fireworks are popular with locals and even people commuting from Tokyo and further afield too.
9am to 5pm until September 4th. (They will close only 1 day during the season: September 1st).
Seibu Amusement park will open their NIGHT POOL from July 15th on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays until 9pm in July and from the 15th to the 19th and on Fridays in August.
Day pass for adults and children over 15 is 3,000 yen. For kindergarten and primary school aged children and people over 60 the price is 1800 yen for a day pass. Children under 2 are free.
4 pools (1 is massive) which include one 30 cm water depth pool that children in nappies / diapers ARE allowed into. Children over 3 are allowed to zorb on water with a parent. They have an “Hello Kitty Water Park” which is a separate water play area.
5 minute walk from Seibu Tamako Line Seibu Yuenchi Station and Seibu Line Seibuen Station.
Parking for 1200 cars, costs 1,300 yen for one day until July 31st, 1,500 yen per day from August 1st.
Sat nav/ GPS: phone number 042-922-1371
Other: Seibu Pools, in my experience to date, are the most expensive in Saitama. The amusement park launches fireworks during the summer and the park also has a seasonal beer garden. They have a night pool from July 15th.
Another first that the new Lalaport has brought for West Saitama, is that of a “Mamas’ Club Theatre”. Twice a month on the 3rd floor of Lalaport, Fujimi, in the Toho Cinemas, they have a special baby and toddler friendly showing of a movie. The movie is shown at 9.30am in their biggest theatre, screen 1, with lights on and volume down. Babies and parents are allowed to talk, cry, sing along and just chill out and enjoy a movie in the big screen. This service was started in Tokyo a few years ago. Here is the Japan Times article about it at that time: Babies at the cinema need not be a recipe for disaster | The Japan Times
This coming Thursday the Mamas’ Club Theatrein Lalaport, Fujimi, presents Cinderella. You cannot book in advance for this service. Tickets can be purchased that morning. Parking areas 6 and 7, which are the Kawagoe side of route 254, are beside the cinema. If you park on the 4th floor of either of those lots, you can just walk down a ramp into the 3rd floor of Lalaport. Please be aware that until 10 in the morning you can only access the cinema on the Kawagoe end and the area around Yaoko on the Fujimi end.
Please see Toho Cinemas homepage for up to date prices and information on what is showing. http://www.tohotheater.jp/service/mamas_club_theater/
One of the many fun and unique attractions of Lalaport in Fujimi is the Steam Locomotive Cafe on the 3rd floor. The cafe, which is also a train shop, features a number of different model railway towns and a plarail display. You can enjoy the displays as you eat your lunch or have a coffee (see the video at the bottom).
On weekdays, the children’s plate (800 yen in 2015) comes on a bullet train plate, as pictured below. They also have a “Nori Tetsu Meat” dish served with a train made out of seaweed. That comes with a half cooked egg though, so if you are buying for a child you might want to request they fully cook the egg! They have a bullet train cake on the menu too. They provide bumper chairs, and crockery and cutlery for children. You help yourself to water. They don’t have toilets in the cafe itself, but you can use Lalaport’s toilets, 2 of which are close by.
The Steam Locomotive Cafe is open daily from 10am to 9pm, last order for food is 8pm and for drinks it is 8.30pm. The nearest parking is probably car park lot number 2 or 3. The latter is outdoors. All parking in Lalaport is free. TEL: 049-257-6801
THIS POST WAS WRITTEN IN 2013.
I won’t pretend to understand the timing of Autumn Leaves in Japan. The leaves around here have started to fall, but 15 kilometres North West, in Shinrin park, the warm colours are coming into their prime. In theory, as the area is higher ground and further North the leaves should fall before this area…? Regardless, Shinrin park is one of the best places to enjoy Autumn leaves when you have young children.
The leaves have started to change colour, but it will be another week or so until the really vibrant shades can be enjoyed. It is still quite pretty at the moment. The reason I like this park for viewing is that there are plenty of playgrounds to keep the kids entertained while we appreciate the scenery. It is a park that you can spend a full day in with the result it attracts tourists, all year round, from near and far. Many commute from Tokyo and surrounding prefectures to see the leaves and illumination at this time of year. They have a special night-time entry for viewing the leaves with illumination for the month of November and part of December.
The park is vast, 304 hectares, to put that in perspective; 65 times the size of Tokyo Dome! You can’t bring your own bikes into the park, but you can rent a bike. It is 450 yen to rent an adult bike or mamachari for 3 hours, 200 yen for children. They have designated cycling courses. We saw segways today, too. There is also the park bus that goes between the gates of the park and stops at the popular spots en route.
The adventure playground, giant ball play area and the musashi kids dome are close to each other and its easy to walk between each. However, the “ponpoko mountain”, Japan’s largest trampoline, is at least a 20 minute walk away. You can use one of the afore mentioned modes of transport to go from the play areas at the West entrance to the ponpoko mountain near the central gate.
There are many activities and attractions on offer to people of all ages.
ACCESS AND FURTHER DETAILS
Shinrin Park is what the locals call it, but the official name is Musashi-kyuryo National Park.
Hours: 9.30 am to 4.30 pm **Hours change during the seasons and there are extended hours during winter illumination
Tobu Tojo Line from Ikebukuro Station
From Shinrin-koen Station on the Tobu Tojo Line
Get off at Shinrin-koen Station on the Tobu Tojo Line, and there is a bus stop and taxi stand at the North Exit. It is approx. a 3 km (approx. 40 min.) walk to the Shinrin Park’s South Gate.
Bus: To Shinrin Park South Exit (Running on Saturdays, Sundays, and national holidays only), Get on the direct bus to Shinrin-koen,and get off at the last stop
To Kumagaya Sta. South Exit and To Rissho Daigaku, for South gate get off at Namerikawa Chugakko, and walk approx. 5 min. For West Gate, Get off at Shinrin-koen West Ent., and it is directly before you
JR Takasaki Line to Kumagaya
From Kumagaya Station on the JR Takasaki Line
Get off at Kumagaya Station on the JR Takasaki Line, and there is a bus stop at the South Exit.
BUS: To Shinrin-koen Station, For West Gate: Get off at Shinrin-koen West Ent., and it is directly before you. For South Gate: Get off at Shinrin-koen South Ent.,
and it is directly before you