Ten FREE (artificial) water play areas that are open this Golden Week (2023) in Saitama Prefecture. You will will also find even more water play areas in the free map in this post.
Thankfully, this year there is a better selection of water play areas than last year. And much better than in 2021 and 2020, when only a few water play areas were open. Some of the places on this list are open for the first time in four years! seasonal outdoor swimming pools and aqua parks.
Water Play Areas currently open in Saitama Prefecture
Map of locations with Water Play in Saitama:
1. Ageo Maruyama Park 上尾丸山公園水遊び
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 dates 2023: this wading river is actually open all year round. During the summer months you can use it between 9 am and 5 pm. However, every month it closes for 3 days in a row, Tuesday to Thursday, in the middle of the month for cleaning.
2. Kamihira Park 上平公園水遊び
Also in Ageo, Kamihira Park ‘s wading river and splash pool water play area is popular in Saitama. 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 2023: They have split it into two “seasons” this year. The first is from April 29th to July 17th, but will be closed on May 5th and 6th, 20 and 21st, June 4th and 25th. The second starts July 21st until August 24th. The hours of use in 2023 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.
3. Shiroyama Park 城山公園水遊び
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 barbecue area in this park. They made quite a few improvements to the park a couple of years ago. 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 2023: from April 29th to September from 8.30 am to 5 pm. There maybe times due to weather or other mitigating factors that the water play area closes.
4. Kitamoto Children’s Park 北本子供公園水遊び
The excellent Kitamoto Children’s park start their water play area during Golden Week. 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.
Water play dates 2023: April 29th until the end of September. It is available from 9.30 am to 5 pm, except on the fourth Monday of the month when it is closed.
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Water Play in Saitama, Golden Week and Beyond, 2023
5. Isanuma Park
The water play area at Isanuma Park was closed throughout the pandemic. It was sorely missed. It opened at the start of April this year for the first time in almost four years. The park is relatively small, but its much used. And the water play area is a nice one, with a babbling brook in the shade and the shallow splash pad in the sun.
Water play dates 2023: Early April until the end of October. It closes on Tuesday and Friday mornings for cleaning.
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 2023: According to Gyoda City, the “Jyabu Jyabu Ike” splash pad opened today, May 1st, for the 2023 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 9 pm.
7. Aobadai Park
Asaka City opened the water play area in Aobadai park on the first day of Golden Week. It is a very popular and busy water play area. It has some unusual playground equipment. There is actually a nice wisteria in this park too, but it bloomed and thus wilted early this year.
2023 information: from April 29th to September 30th 2023. However, they close it most Mondays for cleaning. It operates from 10 am to 4.30 pm.
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.
2023 information: From April 29th to September 30th. According to the official website it is open from 9 am to 6 pm.
9. Kamiya Comprehensive Park
Kamiya Comprehensive is a sports and general park. It has a nice skate park for young children. The playground is really nice too. We have actually been back since 2015, but the only photo I have of the water play area is this one from 2015, when it was under construction! Thankfully, since then they’ve put in a gazebo with shade. But the splash river is mostly in direct sunlight.
2023 information: From April 22nd to September 30th. It will close two to three days a month for cleaning and maintenance. They will announce the dates on the:
10. Wakaizumi Sports Park
Be careful with this one: it is only open for Golden Week and then will close again until June 17th. If you are a regular reader of my blog, you’ve probably noticed that I go to Honjo City a lot! Even though its a good hours drive from my home. But Honjo is so scenic, especially in spring. I was in this park briefly back in 2020, but it was out of season and I didn’t get any photos of the splash pad. In summer, they also spray mist in the park to help you keep cool!
2023 information: from April 29th to May 7th and then again from June 17th to September 10th. From 9 am to 4.30 pm.
Bonus Content – (artificial) water play areas that have a cover charge / entrance fee. They relate to number 11 and number 12 on the map:
11. 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 2023: 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.
12. Water fes at Sayama Ski Resort
Since 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 2023: from April 29th. However, until summer holidays the resort is closed on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. During Golden Week and Summer holidays 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.
Another feature with even more water play areas in Saitama will come later in the month. On the blog since around 2012 . Ref water-play-saitama/, republished annually during the pandemic due to all the changes. R1220520.