Tag Archives: Park

New Year adventures. Kumagaya Sports Bunka park

There is a belief in Japan that how you spend your New Year’s is reflective of how your year will be. The New Year period lasts until the 7th of January. With that in mind, we spent those 7 days, the last of the kid’s holidays, out and about enjoying all this wonderful prefecture has to offer young kids.  It is representative of the variety of this prefecture, that even after 5 years of trying a different play location at least once a month, we can still find somewhere new to hang out near our home.

Playground equipment at Kumagaya sports bunka park
Playground equipment at Kumagaya sports bunka park

Kumagaya sports park is massive. It has all sort of pitches and sports areas, as well as a stadium and a dome arena. My guess is that the stadium and the dome arena will be used for the 2020 Tokyo olympics.  Near both the stadium and the dome is a playground, particularly suited to kindergarten and primary school age.  The park and its facilities are hosts to many events throughout the year.

Circular climbing frame
Circular climbing frame

Climbing frames
Climbing frames

The playground is located near the dome. Parking areas 4 and 6 are the closest, but they are still a fair distance away. We parallel parked along the small public road that runs along the side of the playground area. 5 year old and (then) 3 year old loved the circular climbing frame as well as the other climbing equipment. 2 year old was able for some of the climbing equipment, but she wasn’t able for the circular climbing frame. She enjoyed the sandbox.

Kumagaya is commutable from Tokyo. It is easily accessible by a direct train line from areas of Tokyo, such as Ueno on the Takasaki Line or Shinjuku on the Shonan Shinjuku Line. The park is an approximate 12 minute taxi ride from Kumagaya station.
ADDRESS: 300 Kamigawakami, Kumagaya-shi, Saitama-ken 360-0004
TEL: +81 48-526-2004

Slide
Slide

Mihashi Park in Omiya

Omiya park is the most famous park in the Omiya area, but in my humble opinion it is far from the best. The playground isn’t very good and it is located next to coin operated rides. The lesser known Mihashi Sougo Park, 三橋総合公園, is free to play in and has more for active children. It is also easier to navigate.

The park is conveniently located off route 17. It is has plenty of free parking.  There is an indoor community pool within the park, as well as other indoor and outdoor sporting facilities. There are 2 playgrounds, a running / cycle track and plenty of open spaces for children to play in.

The main playground boasts lots of different athletic type playground equipment. The main attraction is the ship in the centre of the playground, with its tall and curvy slides. It has a number of different climbing options, as you can see in the photo below.Mihashi park (2)

Other equipment in this playground encourages climbing skills, such as the monkey bars, climbing wall and ropes. There is also a net climbing attraction, which proves very popular, as you can see in the photo below.
Mihashi park (5)

There is good shade around the circumference of this playground, as there are lots of trees making it ideal for picnicking in the summer. And by mid afternoon the playground is mostly in the shade. There are also picnic tables dotted throughout the playground. There are vending machines that sell drinks and there is a van that sells pot noodles. 🙂 There are toilets beside the car park, the tennis court and in the sports facility opposite the swimming pool.

Mihashi park (3)Near the tennis courts there is another, smaller playground suited to toddlers and smaller children. It has swings as well as the roller slide pictured.

Mihashi park (4)

Another attraction of this park, for my kids anyway, is the abundance of insects. Today, for example, my kids and their friends (who we brought to the park with us), caught over 20 grasshoppers, beetles and crickets. 🙂

 

FURTHER INFORMATION

Address: 5 Mihashi, Nishi Ward, Saitama City
Access by car: 10 minutes from the Yono exit of the Shuto expressway (Omiya route). Located at the intersection of R17 and R2
TEL: 048-623-0505
URL: http://www.city.saitama.jp/004/006/003/003/p033466.html

紅葉 Autumn leaves at Kawagoe Water Park

I love the way in Saitama there is no shortage of places to try out. I’ve known that the Kawagoe Water (/Aquatic) Park, 川越水上公園、is near my house for sometime, but today is the first time I ventured there. I thought the water park was only accessible to paying customers of their summer pools and water slides, but there is a large part of the park that is free to use all year round.

The free parking for the public park is just as you enter the facility under the banner arch. There are no lines to mark out parking spots and much to my surprise (and horror) its parallel parking. Parallel parking is not very common in Japan, especially at a public park. The playground is a bit of a walk, but the scenery is quite pleasant as you pass the lake. The lake has pedal boats and row boats. However, they are not available for hire during winter, from December 1st to March 1st. There are quite a lot of hungry ducks on the lake. Thankfully, I had bread in the baby’s bag, just in case. My kids enjoyed feeding them.

The play area is quite small, but there is enough to keep young children (preschoolers and infants) entertained. The playground equipment can be seen in the gallery, with the few autumn foliage photos I was able to get.

**The park is worth visiting for locals, but it is not worth making the trip from afar in my personal opinion**


Kawagoe Aquatic Park
Address: 880 Oaza-ikenobe, Kawagoe-shi, Saitama
Tel: 049 241 2241
Nearest station: Nishi-Kawagoe station on the Kawagoe Line (JR East)

Kawagoe Sports Park | KAWAGOE

Written in 2013, updated in 2017.

The first time I visited Kawagoe Sports park (川越運動公園)I wasn’t all that enamored with it.  From the point of view of a parent, there is little to entertain older children and it is most suited to a small child.  However, they have recently upgraded the playground and so I have upgraded the park from a 2 star rating to a 3 star rating! Toddlers and preschoolers will enjoy this colourful playground.

The main combination unit of the playground has three slides. One is a tunnel windy one and two are bumpy ones.  There is also a climbing net, a climbing wall and stairs.  There is a smaller combination unit for toddlers. It has some small climbing activities and two colourful slides. There is a giraffe statue in the centre. There is climbing net activity for all ages beside it with fish statues on the top of the poles that support the nets. On the right of the playground is a flying fox type activity.  There is another play area right beside this playground, but they are separated by fencing. It is where the sandpit and spring rides are. There are also some fun audio aural play equipment in the sand pit area.

The park is officially a sports park. It is home to a sports hall with a number of facilities. There is also an athletic track in the park. There are plenty of benches and seats in the park and some picnic tables too. The park boasts a mini bell tower, a symbol of Kawagoe. There are some cherry blossom trees in the park. In the summer they have a very small wading river.

The official hours of the park are 9 am to 9 pm. Parking is free and abundant. However, when there is a big sports event on you may have to use one of the overflow car parks which are a bit of a walk away. There is a bus terminus there, one of the buses goes to Kawagoe station. There are toilets and vending machines.

 

Nearby Attractions

 

Cherry Blossoms at Isanuma Park | Kawagoe

Isanuma park in Kawagoe is a popular spot to enjoy Hanami for locals. There are cherry blossoms along the river at the playground as well as cherry blossoms lining the street that separates the lak…

Source: insaitama.com/cherry-blossoms-at-isanuma-park-kawagoe/

 

Play areas at Shinto Shrines

Shinto shrines are plentiful in Japan, almost every village, town or city has one. There are usually amenities available at popular shrines, including toilets, baby feeding rooms, vending machines …

Source: insaitama.com/play-areas-at-shinto-shrines/

 

Best of Saitama | Maruyama Park, AGEO

Maruyama park is frequently listed in Saitama’s top 3 list of parks. It is personally one of my favourites.  I love that although the park isn’t massive, there is so much to do and see …

Source: insaitama.com/maruyama-park-ageo-city/

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

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 …

Source: insaitama.com/new-ice-cream-shop-at-enomoto-farm-on-popular-cycle-course/

 

Best of Saitama: Chikozan Park | SAYAMA

Multi-purpose park with Campsite, BBQ, Zoo, Fishing, Sport facilities, Athletic Playground, Multi-use Playground, Beautiful Flora and Fauna.

Chikozan Park in Sayama is close to the controversial proposed site of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Golf Tournament. It is a beautiful vast park with lots of attractions for all types and ages.

There are two playgrounds in the park. Both are set in a wooded area which affords plenty of shade and protection from the elements. They are beside each other too, so kids can run between both and enjoy a couple of hours of fun. The athletic playground was undergoing work for our last 3 visits since the start of the year, but according to the website it is back open for public use. Update February 2017: most of the old equipment of the athletic playground has been removed and they are currently putting in new equipment. Two of the new pieces and one of the old are currently open for use.

The general playground is colourful with some unique equipment. About a 15 minute walk from these playgrounds is the zoo (more information on the zoo: Chikozan Park Zoo). Past the zoo is a marsh with a boardwalk running through it leading to the BBQ area and camping grounds. The camping grounds also has 2 wooden cottages, which are very reasonable to rent. There is other accommodation in Chikozan in the Welfare Center. The welfare center takes care of the BBQ facilities and this is where you can order BBQ food sets. You can barbecue from March.

Sporting facilities include a large sports hall with table tennis, training room, running course, martial arts dojo and many more. There are tennis courts near the children’s zoo. There is a club house in this area. Beside the tennis courts there is a family restaurant. It is a Japanese style restaurant with a raised tatami section which is useful with small kids. The kid’s meal is reasonably priced and quite nice too (pictured below).

The park and its parking are free, but you do need to pay into the zoo (which is very reasonable) and to use some of the facilities such as the tennis courts and camping grounds. You can book online, however their website is in Japanese only. I particularly recommend Autumn and Cherry Blossom season  as a prime time to visit Chikozan park. There is one garden in the park with a number of Cherry Blossoms around a lake. The zoo also has some lovely cherry blossoms pictured below.

Parts of the park can be accessed at all times, but the car parks and various facilities have varying opening and closing times. Generally speaking the park is most accessible between 9 am and 4.30 pm. There are toilets in various locations in the park.

For the Tokyo 2020 Olympics the area of Sayama may well be a pre-games training camp host for RUGBY. The training camp grounds are at Secom Rugby Field very near this park.

In the Area:

Cats Eye Play and Sports Centre | SAYAMA

Cats Eye play and sports centre is very like Spocha in Round 1, just not as classy or clean, and the limited number of staff leave a lot to be desired. There is a smell of stale smoke in the areas …

Source: insaitama.com/cats-eye-play-and-sports-centre-sayama/

Kinchakuda Red Spider Lily Festival | HIDAKA

The famous red spider lilies of Kinchakuda in Hidaka Saitama have begun to bloom and prime viewing is guestimated for the end of September. The season officially opens September 17th until the 2nd …

Source: insaitama.com/event/kinchakuda-red-spider-lily-festival-hidaka/

Hidaka Sougou Park

The Japanese sougou 総合 is used to indicate a multi-purpose park and that is exactly what Hidaka Sougou park is. The park is free in, with free parking.  Here is some of the attractions it has to of…

Source: insaitama.com/hidaka-sougou-park/

A fun day out in Saiboku; Hot springs and Ham! |HIDAKA

Today’s new location for the kids was Saiboku Hot Springs and Ham! We didn’t actually enter the hot springs today, but I have been there myself a few times and it is a nice hot spring. …

Source: insaitama.com/a-fun-day-out-in-saiboku-hot-springs-and-ham/

Related articles

紅葉 Autumn Leaves at Heisei No Mori Park

P1005673P1005668

P1005669P1005670

P1005672P1005674

P1005675P1005678

P1005680P1005686

P1005687P1005702

Heisei no Mori park is situated in a town that few people even in Saitama know, even fewer by its proper name, Kawajima. Due to a mistake in the roads department, the Interchange that should have familiarised people with the town’s name didn’t as it was mistakenly called “Kawashima”! This park is less than 5 minutes from the “Kawashima” Interchange on the Metropolitan Intercity (Ken-o) Expressway.

The park is beginning to make a name for itself for the beautiful rose garden and the longest rose tunnel in Japan. I saw some roses budding today and some more will bud over the coming weeks, but May is when they are said to be the most spectacular. The autumn leaves at the park are also well known in the area. The park has been listed on the Saitama park navigation site “top places” to view the changing colours in Saitama prefecture.

There is a lovely playground for children of all ages and at the centre of the rose tunnel there is a small playground suited to very small children. In the summer, there is a paddling / splash pool. There are at plenty of toilets, but no changing mat and no hand soap. Parking is plentiful and free.

Kamihira Park, Ageo City

Bucket Crane TruckKamihira 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.

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