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.
Kawagoe Park 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 2022
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.
- All year round
- Barbecue Area
- Boat hire
- Somei Yoshino
- Spider lilies
- Oranges and reds
- 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.
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: since 2020 the barbecue area has been temporarily closed on and off due to the pandemic. In a normal year the season is generally from around mid March to the end of October. 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.
- Boat hire in 2023: there is a new black swan since last year, 2022! The pedal boats are normally available for hire from spring to Autumn. Normally, the boats remain on the lake throughout winter, but you can’t hire them again until spring. 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 started on October 29th 2022 and will run until April 2nd 2023. 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!
Kawagoe park hosts a number of events throughout the year. However, due to the pandemic there were virtually none until summer 2022 – except for the flea market which was on quite a lot.
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 Monday (public holiday) January 9th 2023. You can get the up-to-date schedule for the flea market on the Recycle-man website.
Kawagoe Sunrise 2022
Kawagoe Sunrise is a festival held in May. In 2022, it was on Saturday May 14th from 10 am to 4 pm. There is live entertainment, kitchen cars, hot air balloon, kimono and attractions for children. For example, several work vehicles will be on site for children to explore, such as fire trucks, police cars and dump trucks.
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
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.
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:
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.
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.
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!
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.