Wading river maruyama park

Ten FREE (artificial) water play areas that are open this summer AND currently operating in Saitama in May 2022. You will will also find even more water play areas in the free map in this post.

The weather has really started to warm up this week. And its only going to get hotter! Thankfully, this year there is a better selection of water play areas than last year, when only a handful of places opened their wading rivers or splash pads. Although in saying that, there are still quite a few places that are remaining closed again. But there are at least ten fifteen places opening. Moreover, EIGHT TEN of the free ones are already open! So if you are looking for somewhere to cool down this week, read on!

Waterplay includes paddling pools, wading streams, babbling brooks, wading rivers, splash pads, fountains and jets that were artificially or wo/man made. That is, it does NOT include natural rivers. It also doesn’t include pools, there is a separate post for the seasonal outdoor swimming pools and aqua parks. Most of the places listed in this post are commutable from Tokyo and FREE in. I’ve also included an additional two locations that have an entrance fee. For further details on any park listed, please click on the link for full information on that park.

Water Play Areas currently open in Saitama Prefecture

1. Ageo Maruyama Park

Ageo Maruyama Park is one of our personal favorites. There is a lot to do in the park and in the month of June you can see beautiful hydrangea and iris flowers. Moreover, this wading river has a good bit of shade. The water play area, the park, the parking, even the (small) zoo are free at this park. It often features in the Walker magazine, it has been listed as the 3rd most recommended park for families in the Greater Tokyo area in the past.

Water play wading river maruyama park
The splash pool / wading river at Maruyama Park in Ageo

Water play dates 2022: this wading river is actually open all year round. During the summer months you can use it between 9 am and 5 pm. However, it will close for cleaning and disinfecting from June 14th to 16th, July 12th to 14th, August 23rd to 25th and September 13th to 15th.

Further information about the park on the Official website or in English on this website.

2. Kamihira Park

Also in Ageo, Kamihira Park has a popular wading river and splash pool. The water is graduated between ten and thirty centimeters. There is shade in some parts. Right now the roses in the park are in bloom. This park and its facilities, including the wading river, are for the most part free. There are times when the arena in the park has an entry charge. The park is approximately a one hour drive from Tokyo.

Water play dates in 2022: They have split it into two “seasons” this year. The first is from April 29th to July 18th, but will be closed on May 21st, 22nd (there is an event on this weekend) and June 25th. The second starts July 21st until August 31st. The hours of use in 2022 are 10 am to 3 pm only. There will be times that it closes suddenly due to weather or a large event at the park.

More information about the park on the Official website or in English on this blog.

There is another park in Ageo that will have water play from July 21st to August 31st: Hiratsuka Park.

3. Shiroyama Park

Shiroyama Park in Okegawa city turned on the water in their wading river on April 29th and it will remain on, all things equal, until around the end of September. There is a really nice new barbecue area in this park. They made quite a few improvements to the park in the last two years. The wading river and the park are free with free parking. Tennis courts and the barbecue area have charges. This park is also about one hour from Tokyo.

Water play dates 2022: from April 29th to September – dates and hours not specified. There maybe times due to weather or other mitigating factors that the water play area closes. You can always check the official website for information. However, in my experience they don’t update it very often. The phone number for the park is 048-788-4951.

More information on the official website or on this blog in English.

4. Kitamoto Children’s Park

The excellent Kitamoto Children’s park have already started their water play area for 2022. This water area has some nice grass areas beside the wading river. The stream starts from a rocky fountain and ends in a small pool. The wading water is shallow, covering just your feet, but the small pool is deep enough to cover a child lying flat.

Paddling Pool at Kitamoto Childrens Park in Saitama Prefecture

Water play dates 2022: It will run until early September, all things equal. It is available from 9.30 am to 5 pm. But please note the park will close on Monday May 23rd and Monday 27th of June.

More information on the official website or on English on this blog.


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5. Tokorozawa Sakura Town

Saitama’s hippest entertainment town really does have something for everyone. There is lots to keep the kids entertained at Tokorozawa Sakura Town. Moreover, they can cool down in the ever so chic water pond by the Kadokawa Culture Museum. The water is quite shallow, but a small child could be submerged if they lay down flat. It is ever so popular, so expect to share the space with children and adults alike!

sign saying the water play area in Tokorozawa sakura town
Image from Tokorozawa Sakura Town

Water play 2022: Tokorozawa Sakura Town posted on the 18th of May to say that you can now enter the water area. They haven’t posted an end date yet, but no doubt it will be open until at least the end of the summer. However, like all water play areas on this list, there will be times when it closes suddenly due to weather, cleaning or other mitigating factors. On the days that it is open you can use it between 10 am and 6 pm.

Official website or information in English on this blog.

6. Gyoda Suijo Park

The splash pad at Gyoda Suijo Park is quite basic, but it is free to use. Moreover, it does what it is supposed to: cool you down a bit on a hot day! A nice feature of this splash pad is that they light it up in the evenings on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. Furthermore, it is located in front of the picturesque and child friendly Vert Cafe. Vert cafe is the green building in the background in the below video from Gyoda City.

Water play dates 2022: According to Gyoda City, the “Jyabu Jyabu Ike” splash pad started on May 2nd for the 2022 season. It is on daily between 9 am and 4.30 pm. Light up on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays is from 6.30 pm to 8.30 pm.

Information in Japanese on the official website. And more information about Vert Cafe in English on this blog.

7. Matsubushi Midori no Oka

Matsubushi is a town in Eastern Saitama on the border of Noda City in Chiba. It is on a manmade hill. The Matsubushi Midori no Oka in the town is known for its seasonal flowers. In addition, before the pandemic, they held some really nice events for families. There is a really nice playground for kids too.

Water play dates 2022: The wading stream at Matsubushi Midori no Oka opens in early May annually. I don’t know when they posted it, but currently (May 22nd 2022) they have a notification on their website to say the wading river is open this year. They currently don’t specify an end date, but it usually runs until the end of October.

Official web page on the Matsubushi town website.

8. Piala City Central Park

The splash pad is quite small, but the jets of water will help keep children cool. It is beside the playground, which looks very nice. Unfortunately, this is one location I have not been to myself yet and I was unable to find much online in English to share. I have linked the official website, that has Japanese language only, below the 2022 dates.

2022 information: The official website of Piala City Central Park in Misato states that the splash pad re-opened on May 9th 2022. They don’t indicate an end date. Just a request to play safely and ask that you maintain social distancing while using the facilities.

Notification of re-opening on the official website.

9. Yono Park

Added on May 25th, but please note its not actually opening until Saturday May 28th. Yono Park is best known for its roses. They are actually currently in bloom at the moment too. Although, they will probably finish up shortly. The water play area in the park is very popular.

2022 information: the water play area at Yono park will be open from Saturday May 28th to Sunday October 2nd. It is generally available between 9 am and 5 pm. Like all water play areas on this list, there will be times when the water play area is closed due to cleaning or weather.

10. Cocoon City

Cocoon 2 has an area outdoors with they call “pop jets” in Japanese. It is what I call a splash pad! They only just reopened their indoor play areas in April, so it was a nice surprise to discover they are actually turning on their water play area this year. They weren’t on in 2021. Cocoon City don’t mention it directly on their website, but they have the information tucked away on an online web guide.

2022 Water play information: The jets are turned on daily from 11 am to 9 pm. On the hour they have a five minute fountain “show” followed by ten minutes of play time. They light up them up at night and jet the water to music.

Cocoon City Kids and baby guide


Take a look at the comments for information for Kawaguchi / Toda area, from “S”. Correlating to number 11 and 12 on the Google My Map. I really appreciate the information S.


Bonus Content – (artificial) water play areas that have a cover charge / entrance fee:

A. Museum of Rivers

The Museum of Rivers is open all year round. And their water athletic playground is open most of the year too. Their water athletic playground “Waku waku land” is a lot of fun, but there is a time limit and a charge. It is very reasonable though. However, they also have a “free” (included in the museum entrance fee) outdoor water play area with two splash pools, a splash pad and a little wading area.

Water play in 2022:  The free water play area is open from 9 am to 5 pm, Tuesdays to Sundays. However, the times of the water play area “Waku Waku Land” are fixed. There are 7 sessions during the summer at 9.30, 10.40, 11.50, 13.00, 14.10, 15.20 and 16.30. However, during the pandemic the sessions are only 45 minutes long, that is 20 minutes shorter than normal. Please note the museum, thus the water play area, is closed on Mondays.

More information on the official website or in English on this blog.

B. Water fes at Sayama Ski Resort

Since last year, 2021, Sayama Ski Resort has a “water fes” from around Golden Week until the end of the summer. If you are looking for somewhere indoors to play with water (that is not a pool) this event maybe of interest. However, you have to pay to enter the water play area. There are two giant indoor water sliders on the ski slopes. There is also a small water play area.

Water fes 2022: until July 15th the resort is closed on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. From Friday July 15th to Monday September 4th the water slider park is open daily. The base hours are from 10 am to 5 pm. There are dates when they will open later.

Information, including costs, on the official website or in English on this blog.


I am working on another post with 10 more water play areas that will be opening for the summer holidays. Watch this space!

2 Comments

  1. Hi Lynda,

    Thank you very much for running the blog – I read it often, and all of your info is much appreciated by our family who are relatively new to Saitama.

    Just some extra info for Toda/Kawaguchi. Kawaguchi Nishi park also have their river turned on now, which is good for small children to splash around in. Aeon Kawaguchi Maekawa has a small water fountain that recently opened (water sprays coming out of the floor – I guess the same as the pop jets at Cocoon city), and Warabi park will likely turn on their small river soon (if they haven’t already).

    Here’s hoping that the children’s pools open up fully this summer!

    Cheers!

    1. Author

      Hi S, thank you so so much for that information and for your kind words. Your support really means a lot to me and all and any feedback are always welcome. I added the Kawaguchi spots to the map and a little note in the body of the post for readers to take a look at your comment. Things are looking good for summer pools this year too, hopefully they will open as planned, because pools are the only way I survive Japan in summer!! I hope you and the kiddies have lots of water fun this year. 🙂

Comments are always appreciated...

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