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Japan’s longest rose tunnel at Heisei no Mori | KAWAJIMA

“This way to Japan’s longest rose tunnel”

Heisei no Mori is a park in West Saitama in a town that has recently become better known, due to its exit on the Ken-o Expressway.  Kawajima town, also referred to as Kawashima town,  is beside the cities of Sakado, Kawagoe,  Higashimatsuyama and Okegawa.

The park has started to make its mark and become more popular and famous due to its claim on having the longest rose tunnel in Japan. It is 330.5 metres long. 日本一長いバラのトンネル. Their annual park festivals are also becoming more known and popular in the last few years. The wading pool and river is often listed in summer travel magazines for kids, adding to it’s increasing popularity. The drive-thru Starbucks I pass on route, is an added attraction for me.  However, lack of public transport to the park and it’s distance from a train station ensures that the park is never too crowded.

Rose Tunnel Gallery

Heisei no Mori has a large playground with combination equipment including, but not limited to, a long slide, climbing walls and nets, and smaller slides. There is also a sandpit, spring rides, a flying fox and a smaller combination unit for young children.  Beside the rose tunnel there is also a small playground for younger children. There is no shade in the large playground and limited shade in the small playground. However, they also have a particularly nice splash pool and wading river,the latter of which is shaded in many parts.The wading river starts running at the weekends first, during the month of May and eventually is available daily.

Playground gallery

There is no restaurant or shop on the premises, but there is a cafe at one exit of the park. There is also a library and public hall beside the park. There are 3 toilets in the park.  Parking is free.  The park holds three annual festivals. One on boys day, May 5th, one toward the end of May in celebration of the roses, and one on the 23rd of November.  Apart from the rose garden, there is a lotus pond and many flowers including the flower of Kawajima town, the Iris Ensata. The park is quite pretty throughout the seasons.  You will see artists and photographers alike capturing the beauty of the flowers in this park.  There are some sporting facilities in the park including a running track, soccer field and fishing.

Wading River and Paddling Pool Gallery

Access:
By train and bus – Take a bus, from East exit of Tobu Tojo line Kawagoe station, bound for Konosu. 20 minute walk from 「川島農協前」(Kawajima Nokyou mae) bus stop.
By car – 5 minute drive from the Kawajima exit of the Ken-O expressway.

 

Contact:
TEL: 049-297-5701

URL: http://www.town.kawajima.saitama.jp/

The Iris of Heisei no Mori

THIS POST WAS ORIGINALLY POSTED ON ANOTHER BLOG.

New Ice-cream Shop at Enomoto Farm on Popular Cycle course

New ice-cream shop
New Ice-cream Shop at Enomoto Farm

Enomoto Farm in Ageo is frequently mentioned in guide books to Saitama with small children, due to the selection of bikes and push along toys kids can play with for free.  In more recent years, it also features in cycling magazines as a suitable place to rest and refresh on the Arakawa cycle course route.  Its most famous acclaim is its delicious ice-cream, which has been featured on TV. Some say its the best south of Hokkaido!

Last March the Enomoto’s built a new ice-cream shop on their premises. They tore down the old shop and replaced it, so the shop does not take away space from the play and rest area. The new shop has more seating than the previous shop.  At a guess it sits about 20 people. The picnic tables and toilets remain the same, as does the play area out by the BBQ pits.  They have added a cycle course map and information spot in the rest area. I don’t which came first, the information or the cyclists, but nowadays there are more cyclists than kids!

Enomoto Farm https://goo.gl/maps/URMH94sbvuR2

More articles about this farm;

http://insaitama.com/2-hanami-spot-with-toddlers-enomoto-farm-ageo/

http://insaitama.com/ageo-city-outdoors/

Cherry blossoms at Enomoto Farm
Bikes, Trikes, Scooters, Push along rides – all free to use
Information for cyclists
Information for cyclists provided in the rest area of Enomoto Farm
cycle route map
Cycle route map
Enomoto farm bbq area
BBQ Area with old tractor, swing tyres and flying fox to play on

Saitama’s #1 free children’s centre? Ageo Kodomo-no-Shiro

Saitama has a large number of superb free children’s (community/ play) centres, called jidokan or jido centre “jidose” (児童館・児童センター). Many mothers agree that Ageo’s kodomo-no-shiro, “children’s castle”, is among the best. In terms of size, equipment and diversity, I would personally rank it as number 1. My children go regularly and they have never tired of it. There is plenty of play equipment, toys and games as well as various rooms including a library, a gym hall and a workshop. Each floor has a rest area with vending machines and toilets. There is a dedicated baby room on the ground floor with free guidance on scheduled days. Also on the ground floor there is a play area restricted to babies and toddlers two and under. There is a large space outside to play as well as a playground in the adjacent park.




Ageo’s Kodomo no Shiro, Children’s Castle in Photos

As you come in from reception the ground floor boasts lots of climbing equipment and slides.

Tree house slide More climbing and slides Climbing frame and train play equipment

Off to the right of this is a rest area where there are vending machines and bathrooms, including a family bathroom. There is also a space to play games that you can borrow from reception.
Games area One of the many games you can borrow Family bathroom

The baby room with consultancy is located beside the game and rest area. The baby and toddler play room is at the back of the ground floor on the left handside.

Baby and toddler play room For crawlers in the baby play room Baby and toddler room slide

Also, on the ground floor is a gym hall (not pictured) and the exit to the open space and sandpit. From the car park you can see an outdoor playground, but you need to go out of the community centre to access it.
Sandpit outside Public playground at the car park

One of the rooms upstairs changes toys periodically. For example, one week they might have “mamagoto” (playing house) toys, another they might have baskets of blocks and foam jigsaw.
Toys for playing house Boxes of blocks at Ageo kodomo no shiro Dinosaur blocks at Ageo kodomo no shiro

There are other rooms including a library and a workshop upstairs that are not pictured.

FURTHER DETAILS

URL:

http://www.ageo-kousya.or.jp/kodomo/

ADDRESS: Japan, 〒362-0047 埼玉県上尾市今泉272
272 Imaizumi, Ageo City, Saitama 362-0047

PHONE NUMBER: 048-783-0888

ACCESS: Located near the Ario in Ageo. Free parking.  By public transport; you can get a bus from JR Takasaki line West exit for 西上尾第二団地 (Nishi Ageo dai ni danchi) and alight at the “Kodomo no shiro mae” bus stop.

International Book Giving Day – with a bilingual twist! And City Chuo Library Kawagoe

This is a lovely idea I came across, for bilingual families to receive minority language books, thanks to one of my favourite bloggers Free But Fun posting a link to the innovative idea. It is very timely too, as just today I was pondering how difficult it remains to buy English books for children in our part of Japan. For people like me that is, who refuse to buy online for fear of becoming addicted to it! Today, we ventured to a library we hadn’t been to before. It has a much better choice of English books than the library we frequent, but with this great idea from Journal of a Bilingual Family maybe we’ll be receiving more English books in the post! For details of this fun and original idea for International book giving day, please see the blog linked below. For more on City Chuo Library Kawagoe, please scroll down.

The International Book Giving Day – with a bilingual twist!.

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City Chuo Library is situated in Sankubocho, Kawagoe, about a 20 minute walk from Kawagoe station. They have quite a good selection of English books for children, located on the ground floor. They have little tables with chairs for children to read at and “stadium seating” (3 rows! Pictured below) for storytime and kamishibai performances. You can borrow up to 10 books for 2 weeks upon securing membership. To become a member you need proof of your address in Japan in the form of an alien registration card or Japanese license. The card is valid for the 5 principal libraries in Kawagoe. Their system also allows you to return borrowed books to any of the 5 city libraries. These libraries include the one at the Kurasse building beside Kawagoe station and the large Nishi library, which also has a good selection of English children’s books. Like most of the libraries in Japan, the City Chuo Library has an online system where you can check availability of book and reserve them in advance. The system is currently only available in Japanese. If you wish to use the online facilities you need to create a 4 digit pin number when you apply for your membership. Membership is instant upon filling out a form.

The library has plenty of free parking, toilets, a baby changing area and a nursing room (pictured below). It is open 6 days a week, generally closing on Mondays. Tuesday to Friday it opens from 9.30am to 7pm. Saturday, Sunday and public holidays it opens from 9.30am to 6pm. The library will close for a computer system upgrade from the 12th of February to the 25th of February.

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Okegawa Children’s Park | OKEGAWA

February 1st 2013

Today’s play-a-day was a new park for us, but I’m guessing Okegawa Children’s Park has been around a long time. The “monster” in the center of the park is a giveaway; it could do with a lick of paint. I don’t think its officially supposed to be a monster, it just looks like one!  It is still functional and was a huge hit with all the kids.

 

I didn’t think much of the park to be honest, but my toddlers enjoyed it. Credit where credit is due: the section for small children is very nice. It has some unusual play equipment including a cement whale and boat, linked together by a low bridge made of tyres. It is in a sand pit as is the slide of a cement climbing feature, pictured above. One side has spikes to climb on and there is a tunnel under the top of the slide. There are some stepping stones and a cement turtle in the sand pit too. The toadstool seats beside this area are cute and fun for the kids. There are 4 swings in one corner of this area. The rest of the playground is more suited to older children. There is a flying fox as well as lots of different climbing equipment. The monstrosity in the middle of the park, plus one of the climbing frames have cement slides.

Small children would play for a couple of hours in this park, but older children might bore after an hour. There are vending machines and a public phone at the pedestrian entrance to the park. Parking is free. It is a bit tricky to find as the entrance is narrow and hard to see. Update 2016: they have put pedestrian lights near the entrance to the parking for this park and there is a convenience store across the road. Hopefully you will be able to spot the entrance easier with these landmarks.

Fun all year round in Kamihira Park | AGEO


My overwhelming impression of today’s new park is that it is the most used park I’ve been to this month. A friend commented to me recently that Japanese people don’t bring their kids to play outdoors in January. I hadn’t given it much thought until then, but it really does seem to be true in a lot of areas. However, Kamihira park in Ageo City defies that theory as there were plenty of people making use of the park’s facilities.

Kamihira park has, what seems to be, a very popular tennis club. There is also a jogging course, not to mention the baseball pitch and stadium. All, but the latter were getting full usage today. I couldn’t believe the buzz in the park, I haven’t seen a park that busy since late November. The patrons were largely pensioners and mothers with young children.  You often see retired people walking or playing gate ball in parks in Japan, but I have never seen so many of the older generation in one park at one time.  And I haven’t seen so many young children in the playground since Autumn.

One of the pieces of playground equipment is a bucket crane truck.  My son (3 years old) was in playground heaven! I think this may even be a contender for a coveted position on his top ten playground list.

Cement Slide with rope climbing

GENERAL INFORMATION
Address: 16 Sugaya, Ageo, Saitama 362-0003
Phone: 048-776-8986

Toddler Equipment. Slide into sandpit.

Access: