Like so many places in Japan, You Park Ogose goes by many names, “Little Indian Village”, “Ogose Fureai Center” and “Yu Park” (or Yuu Park) have been the most commonly used over the years. However, with the renewal open in April, they have cleverly chosen to go with just one; a pun on Yuu (for hot water), You Park Ogose is the new name for the bath and spa facility in Ogose town in Western Saitama. This is just one change of many in the formerly run down and overlooked camp, barbecue and relaxation resort in the otherwise lacklustre town of Ogose.
I read online that the new changes are due to a change in ownership, but from an unofficial source so I cannot confirm if that is true. However, I can confirm that the new You park is much improved. Apart from adding a new bath, to twelve already existing ones, they have also added a whole new play area. It reminds me of the decor of Kumagaya’s Cafe Bivouac with its hammock chairs and indoor camp feel. Update 2019: it turns out that You Park was indeed bought out and it was by the Onsen Dojo who – surprise surprise – are the people behind Cafe Bivouac too!
You Park Ogose Play Areas
The new play area is on the upper floor. The area is loosely divided into three areas. They have fake grass down in one section where there is a handful of hammock chairs**. There are also lots of colourful comfy seats. There is a small selection of board games for older kids such as “Life” and Shogi**. Throughout the play area there are magazines and manga in various book stands.
Another section has children’s books, Rody Horses**, kendama, soft toys and wooden toys and wooden ball pool for children to play with. The wooden toys include a cash register and cooking set with vegetables you can cut with a wooden knife.** (**Amazon affiliate links, please see the disclaimer at the bottom of the post).
Beside this area there are two table tennis tables. They are free to use, you just have to ask for the balls and bat at the reception area. You can use the balls and bat for an hour at a time. If no-one else is waiting when your time is up, you can borrow them again.
You Park Baths
There are both indoor and outdoor baths, and baths that are mixed and you use swimming togs to enter. You need to bring your own towels too, they are not provided in the price (see cost section below). However, if you forget to bring either towels or togs you can rent them at reception.
I always remember a story of a former JET who couldn’t read Japanese and entered a mixed gender bath area naked! This could in theory happen in Ogose Yu Park. There is a partition in front of the door that leads to the pool area from the women’s changing room. It has clear warnings in Japanese, but if you weren’t paying attention you could easily walk around it and have a great story to tell for the rest of your life!
However, before you even notice the entrance to the mixed bath area, you will see the ladies’ only bath area. The indoor bath in this area isn’t particularly special, but it does have jets on one end. The outdoor bath is very nice with a typical rotemburo design. The shower area has soap, shampoo and conditioner you can use.
The changing room for the baths and mixed bath is the same. There are lockers for storing your things, but you need to get a key from reception first. There is a toilet in the area. They have hair dryers and vanity area.
Children who are in nappies can’t enter the baths, but they have baby baths you can borrow. They also have a cot for lying a baby on to dry / change or while you are changing.
You Park Ogose Other Facilities & Services
Within the ofuro building:
- Fitness Center
- Hot stones / Bedrock bath
- Massage chairs
- Reclining chairs
- Rest rooms
- Meeting rooms
- Sleeping room
- Slot machines
- Reading area (separate to play area)
- Free wifi
- Shuttle bus (see access)
Within the resort
- Barbecue area (suitable for rainy weather too)
- Log cabins
- Wading Stream
- Outdoor stage / event space
You Park Costs and Hours
A review on Google maps complained that the baths are expensive if all you want to do is enter a bath and not use any other facilities and I would agree to a point. However, for a family, especially a family like ours, it is extremely good value for a full day of relaxation and play.
The basic cost for a day pack for full day use, go and come as you please between 10 am and 9 pm, is 800 yen on weekdays, 850 on weekends, for adults. That allows access to the baths and 2F play area. School aged children cost only 400 yen and 200 yen for preschoolers any day of the week. Children under 4 years old are free in.
If you only want to enter at night, after 7 pm, the cost is 500 yen for adults, 250 yen for children and 100 yen for preschoolers. If you want unlimited access to the hot stones room it is an extra 300 yen for adults. Children aren’t permitted in that area. Karaoke costs 1000 yen for the room for an hour.
Rental costs for towels and togs average at 200 yen an item. You can also buy a towel or a number of items at reception, such as toothbrush sets, camisole, face wash, hair tye etc. The prices vary between 20 yen and 200 yen.
You park is open Friday to Wednesday, closed Thursdays, from 10 am to 9 pm. The fitness center, body care facilities and restaurant are open the same hours. All have a last entry cut of 8.30 pm.
You Park Ogose Access
Thanks to a shuttle bus that runs between You Park and two stations, You Park Ogose is quite easy to get to, even by public transport. The shuttle bus takes two courses: Ogose course and Moroyama course. The latter is very infrequent with only two buses a day, but it stops and picks up at two stations – Bushu Nagase station and Higashi Moro station. However, the Ogose course from outside the Ogose Tourist Office at Ogose Station on the Tobu Ogose line goes once an hour. The timetable is here. Ogose is on the left, Moroyama on the right. The times from Ogose station is the 2nd column: 10.20 am, 11.10 am, noon…last bus from the station at 6.50 pm. The column on the left indicates the time the bus leaves from You Park. The bus only takes about 6 minutes to / from Ogose station.
You can also walk from both Ogose and Higashi-moro stations. It takes about 30 minutes on foot from both.
By car the nearest highway is the Kanetsu expressway. Both Sakado Nishi (Smart) and Tsurugashima exits are about a 30 minute drive from Yu Park. Please note that as Sakado Nishi is a smart interchange, you must have an ETC card to use it. There are a number of different car parks throughout the grounds. The one nearest the ofuro building parks about 40 cars.