Yaezakura Swan boats lake at Kawagoe Water Park

Kawagoe Park, also known as Kawagoe Water Park, Kawagoe Suijo Kouen, or Kawagoe Aquatic Park, is a great all year round park in a rural area of Kawagoe. It is home to one of Saitama’s largest aqua parks which opens seasonally in summer. The park is particularly renowned for its late blooming cherry blossoms, but the somei yoshino variety are also very beautiful in this park. In Autumn you can enjoy spider lilies first and then “koyo” autumn leaf colors. In addition, the popular fishing park reopens for business in the fall. The park also has a playground, barbecue area, pedal and row boats, battery cars, and several sports facilities. Furthermore, Kawagoe Suijo Koen also hosts a number of events throughout the year including a very popular flea market once a month.


Kawagoe Park 2021

Kawagoe Park used to be called Kawagoe Water (suijo / aquatic) Park as the aqua park is the biggest attraction in the park. However, it only opens for seven weeks each year. And there is much more to the park than just its summer pools. This post used to mainly about the aqua park, but over the years I have added information for each season. So for ease of reading, I have moved the detailed information about the aqua park to an event post. And this post now focuses on a general overview of the park, along with seasonal information, which includes the aforementioned aqua park.

Index

  1. All year round
  2. Seasonal
    1. Barbecue Area
    2. Boat hire
    3. Fishing
    4. Events
  3. Spring
    1. Somei Yoshino
    2. Yaezakura
  4. Summer
    1. Pools
  5. Autumn
    1. Spider lilies
    2. Gingko
    3. Oranges and reds
  6. Other / Access

1. All year round

Facilities that are available at Kawagoe Park all year round include a small playground, battery cars and a dog run*. The sports facilities are also available most of the year except for five days over new years. They include tennis courts, futsal courts, an indoor fitness club and table tennis. The park is a popular place for walking. They have the distances marked out on the footpaths so you can gage how far you have walked. You can ride bikes (bring your own) too.

*Please note there is a fee to use the dog run and it is closed on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.


2. Seasonal

Some of the facilities close during winter, such as the barbecue area and the boats. Meanwhile the fishing is available in winter, but not in the summer. Because they actually use some of the swimming pools for fishing! That is quite common in Japan.

  • Barbecue area in 2021 / 2022: the barbecue area has been temporarily closed on and off due to the pandemic. It can be used until November 23rd in 2021, but this is subject to change. It costs 2100 yen for one area (there are six) for one day. You can borrow a grill for free. There is a sink in the area. Please note you can’t hire it for a Monday. You can use the area between 10 am and 4 pm. Provisionally dates for 2022 are from March 1st.
  • Boat hire in 2021 / 2022: the pedal boats will be available for hire until November 23rd 2021. The boats remain on the lake (in my experience) throughout winter, but you can’t hire them again until spring. The provisional date for the new season in 2022 is from March 1st. Apart from during spring holidays, the boats are only available for hire on weekends. A row boat costs 420 yen for 30 minutes. Pedal (swan) boats cost 520 yen for 30 minutes.
  • Fishing season at Kawagoe Park in 2021 – early 2022: from November 1st 2021 to April 4th 2022. It costs 2620 yen for an adult for one day and 1360 yen for a child for a full day. Three hours costs 2100 yen per adult, 1050 yen per child. It is open from 6 am to 5 pm. So if you are looking for an early morning activity to do in Kawagoe, look no further!

Events

Kawagoe park hosts a number of events throughout the year. However, due to the pandemic there have been virtually none since spring 2020. Except for the flea market. That has been on a few times, but not nearly as often as normal.

Flea market

In a normal year, the flea market is on about once a month (generally a total of ten in a year). I actually had a stall at it a couple of times back in 2006! It was a lot of fun. It always attracts a good crowd. When it is out of pool season it is generally held in the main car park for the summer pools. The next scheduled date for Kawagoe Park is Sunday January 23rd 2022. You can get the up-to-date schedule for the flea market on the Recycle-man website.


3. Spring at Kawagoe Park

In spring time the park is full of people enjoying hanami. The cherry blossoms in this park are well renowned, particularly the late blooming yaezakura variety.

Cherry Blossoms at Kawagoe Water Park

The Somei Yoshino variety cherry blossoms pictured below, typically bloom the last week in March to the first week in April:

Yaezakura late blooming cherry blossoms at Kawagoe Water Park

Where can I see late blooming cherry blossoms (yaezakura) in Saitama?

The late blooming cherry blossoms, known as yaezakura in Japanese, at Kawagoe Water Park are one of the better known yaezakura viewing spots in Saitama Prefecture. It is popular for the view of the late blooming cherry blossoms with swan boats on a lake. Yaezakura Swan boats lake at Kawagoe Water Park

The park is particularly well known for its late blooming cherry blossoms called yaezakura in Japanese. The yaezakura are on the right side of the lake if you have the rotary car park (bus stop area) at your back. They go from the battery cars to near the small playground. They typically bloom mid April and last one to two weeks depending on the weather.


4. Summer in Kawagoe Park

It is during summer that the aqua park is open. Generally from mid July to the end of August. It is a large (and very popular) aqua park, one of the largest in the prefecture. There are different types of pools including a pool with a ship in it, a wave pool, a pool with sliders, a children’s pool and an infant pool. The event post, which is updated annually, has information about the height of the water, facilities available etc:

Pool information:

Kawagoe Summer pool information:


5. Kawagoe Park in Autumn

Kawagoe Park offers a range of colors in Autumn. It is a nice place for locals to enjoy Autumn leaves. But even before they start changing color, Kawagoe Park has some noteworthy spider lilies in September. These have been attracting visitors from further afield in recent years:

Red spider lilies

In September the spider lilies grow. Both in the park and outside on “higanbana komichi” or Spider Lily Lane in English. The ones in the park are along a beautiful one kilometer trail.

Gingko Trees

Around the end of October to mid November you can see gingko trees in their golden yellow. There are a few individual gingko trees in the pool area (so only accessible if you go fishing!) and near the car park. However, there is also an avenue of gingko trees on the west side of the park, behind the tennis courts.

Oranges and reds

Later in the season you can see orange and red colors around the swan lake. The following photos were taken in 2013 with an old camera phone!

Finally, in early December you can see some more red when the maple trees are in their prime. The maple trees are around the playground. The following photos were taken mid December 2020.

Other

If you are visiting Kawagoe Aquatic park, I recommend stopping by the Saimyouji Temple next door. It was the second temple ever in all of Japan to openly promote and perform same sex marriage. Plus it has the most beautiful floral water fonts that are changed weekly!

6. Access

2021 official park website

The nearest train station is Nishikawagoe on the JR Kawagoe line. The park is a 15 minute walk from that station. Or you can get a bus from downtown Kawagoe. If you are coming by car, parking is bountiful. It is free except when the aqua park is open from mid July to the end of August. For that period only it costs 840 yen per day.

First written in 2015, updated in 2017, 2018, 2020 and 2021.

17 Comments

  1. Looks a fun place to go. I guess if you have a tattoo you would be able to go in if you kept it covered up?

    1. Author

      Yes, if they can’t see it I think its fine. And actually last year my friend who has visible ones, but just in light coloured ink, had 2 of hers partially visible and nothing was said. I was reading the other day that they are thinking of changing those rules nationally, in a bid to globalise Japan a bit more! I must find and link the article. Thanks for making me think of it. 🙂 And for commenting as its a reminder to go over and check out your blog. 🙂

    1. Author

      Me too! Love waterslides that is, (mind you I’m only a couple of years off 40 too!)

  2. Wow, Japan definitely wins for most kawaii things and places huh? Seems really children/family friendly! Btw, loving your new theme! A bit lighter and spacier 😉

    1. Author

      Thank you so much Summer Tan. Yes, it is so family friendly here. We never run out of things to do and all quite reasonably priced. Some really unique stuff also. It is a great destination with young children and even better to live here with small kids. 🙂

  3. I’m terrified of water rides. but maybe i’ll go with my nephew to the kids pool if I visit Japan. haven’t seen a good water park in a while here, sadly

    1. Author

      I amn’t great on big ones I have to say. I had a bad experience once, when a big adult came down the slide after me in an aqua park in Spain and I was still under water – he landed on top of me and he didn’t realise straight away. It was probably only 30 seconds of being stuck under him – but it was so scary. If you do come here, there’s lots of choice so you might find one that suits you. 🙂

  4. Looks like a fun time on a hot summer day. As a child, I spend a lot of time in swimming pools and on the beaches of California. When in Colleges, I used to be able to swim a mile. Now I walk or ride the bike.

    1. Author

      Thank you so much for commenting MythRider. I have to admit swimming is not my forte. I used to swim reasonably well. Then I had 3 separate incidents, spread out over years, that led me to be a little afraid of water. I like to walk and cycle too. 🙂

      1. Something happened to my mother. She was terrified of getting in the water. To y good fortune, she didn’t pass her fears to me.
        Sorry you had problems. I’m glad you survived each incident.

        1. Author

          Thank you. I am glad your mother didn’t pass her fears to you. I hide my fears from my kids. I really don’t want them to feel the way I do about water, they should enjoy it. I am glad you do. 🙂

          1. Author

            Thank you, but I need to be braver; I need to get over my fear. I have been trying, but… I need to try harder. 🙂

          2. Author

            I like that, very true and very sage advice. Thank you.

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