Hard to believe it is already that time of year, but the wading / splash pool in Saitama Children’s Zoo will open for the 2017 season during Golden Week. From April 29th you can enjoy the splash pool, weather permitting until the end of September.
More information on Saitama Children’s Zoo in English:
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!
POOLS AND BIKES
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**
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.
Heisei no Moriis 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.
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.