High on our long list of “must do” during the summer holidays in Japan is visit the local seasonal pool. This year we spent most of our summer holidays in Ireland. We only have a week of Japanese summer to cram in our favorite #summerinjapan things to do. Today was the perfect opportunity to tick “seasonal pool” off our list as it was too hot to do anything outdoors other than play in water.
We have a number of super seasonal pools near us, and we’ve tried a few out over the years, but sometimes the local pool is just as good. There are also a number of local summer pools near where we live, but none in our town itself. The benefit of local outdoor pools is that they are generally much less crowded than super pools such as the Saitama Prefectural summer pool, Tobu Super pool or Kawagoe Aquatic Park. They are also much smaller which makes it easier for me to supervise all four of my kids. And when you are visiting with friends, which we were today, it is easier to keep everyone in the same area. Furthermore, they are cheaper!
Summer pools usually have one price for residents of the city the pool is in and another, more expensive price, for people who live outside the town. Luckily our town is part of the “Rainbow Cities”, a Kawagoe Metropolitan Area Development Council initiative, which is a collaboration between Kawagoe and six nearby cities to allow citizens of each use the public facilities of the others. Not only does the program allow us use public facilities in other rainbow cities, but we can use them as if we were citizens of that city and pay the local price not the “outsider” price. The other six cities / towns are Tsurugashima, Hidaka, Kawajima, Moroyama, Ogose and Sakado.
Summer Outdoor Seasonal Pool at Sakado City Sports Park
Our choice of pool today was the old, but well maintained, outdoor pools in the Sakado City Sports Park. It is so local that until today it didn’t feature on Google Maps! However, it is well used by the locals and while I wouldn’t say it was crowded, it was certainly busy.
Pools & Facilities
- There is a small 30 centimeter pool for toddlers and children with water fountains and slides into the water.
- A wave pool that circles around two other pools.
- Children’s pool for older children located within the wave pool; you use a bridge to access it.
- Slider pool with five slides that is also located within the ring of the wave pool. You can access by a bridge or through the wave pool.
- 50 meter pool that gradiates from 1.2 meters to 1.5 meters depth. This is where the over water athletic is too, details below.
- Facilities include showers, coin lockers, drinking fountains and vending machines.
There are a number of things I like about the seasonal pool in Sakado:
- They are big on safety: periodically they get everyone out of the pools to get some shade and drink water and in the meantime they check the pools.
- Plenty of shade around the perimeters of the pools.
- Tattoos are allowed, but they request you cover them up with a cover or if you have a lot of dark tattoos to wear a rash guard. In Saitama Prefectural Water Park in Ageo, among others, you are not allowed in, even if you cover your tattoos up.
- Tents are not allowed so it is easier to supervise children from the shaded areas at the pool side as you have a clear view. It is also easier to get around. In Kawagoe Water Park you have to navigate the sea of tents and they block the view of the pools too.
- They don’t over sell the food and drink and the sales areas are in covert positions.
- Only one pool is deep.
- The slides aren’t too big and so suited for kids of all ages.
- Parking is free, plentiful and not miles away from the water park unlike in Kazo Hanasaki Water Park.
- They have a water athletic play area;
Water Athletic Play Area at Sakado Summer Pools
The water athletic started out as an event a couple of summers ago and proved so popular they added it as a permanent attraction. However, you have to pay to use it and it is a little pricey at 700 yen for adults and 300 yen for children for 20 minutes. It wouldn’t cost so much if children could use on their own, but adults must accompany children under grade 4 of primary school. However, one adult can accompany up to three children.
Sakado Outdoor Seasonal Pools Information
Season: Early July to End of August usually. But the pools didn’t open in 2020 due to the pandemic. Moreover, in 2021, Sakado City posted to say that the aqua park will be closed in both 2021 and 2022 for renovations.
Hours: 9.30 am to 10 pm
Price: 500 yen for adults and 200 yen for primary school aged children from the Rainbow Cities (see second paragraph). 1000 yen for adults and 400 yen for children from outside the Rainbow Cities.
Access: Nearest station; Kita Sakado on the Tobu Tojo Line. Nearest Interchange; Sakado Interchange on the Ken-o expressway.