THE BIG BLUE

Summertime — and the swimming is easy

by Sumiko Oshima and Kenzo Moriguchi

In the summertime, when the living’s easy but the coast seems just that bit too far away, there’s no shortage of pools for a cooling plunge or freshening frolic.

Besides all the pricey health clubs and hotels ever ready to soak up your yen, there are plenty of public pools where you can not only swim, but often also dive (or jump) from diving boards or enjoy facilities such as water slides, wave-makers, saunas, Jacuzzis, solaria and cafeterias. Many pools also stay open late and have free parking, though most charge under 500 yen for all this.

One way to seek out a splash is at www2s.biglobe.ne.jp/~Fujiki/pool/pool1.htm operated by indoor-pool enthusiast Taro Fujiki. Alternatively, check out the following public pools in the metropolitan areas of Kanto and Kansai. Remember, though, that most do not allow the use of sunscreen, and insist on swim-caps being worn. They may also have break times when everyone has to leave the pool. Also, it’s best to check the pool isn’t closed for competitions, especially on weekends.

TOKYO:

Tokyo Tatsumi International Swimming Center: Indoor 50-, 25-meter and diving pools, at 2-8-10 Tatsumi, Koto-ku, a 10-min. walk from Tatsumi Station, Yurakucho subway line. Closed 3rd Mon.; 450 yen for adults. Call (03) 5569-5061 or visit www.tef.or.jp/tatumi-s/

Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium: Indoor 50- and 25-meter pools, at 1-17-1 Sendagaya, Shibuya-ku, a 3-min. walk from JR Sendagaya Station or 1 min. from Kokuritsu Kyogijyo Station, Oedo subway line. Closed 3rd Mon.; 450 yen for adults. Call (03) 5474-2111 or visit www.tef.or.jp/tmg

Yoyogi National Stadium: Indoor 50-meter pool, at 2-1-1 Jinnan, Shibuya, a 5-min. walk from JR Harajuku Station. Closed 2nd and 4th Tues.; 550 yen for adults. Call (03) 3468-1176.

Chiyodaku Ikiiki Plaza Ichiban-kan: Indoor 18-meter pool, at 12 Ichiban-cho, Chiyoda-ku, a 5-min. walk from Kojimachi or Hanzomon stations. Closed last Sun.; 500 yen for adults (2 hours). Call (03) 3265-6311.

Yumeno Shima Sogo Taiikukan: Indoor 25-meter, beginners’ and children’s pools, at 3-2 Yumenoshima, Koto-ku, a 10-min. walk from Shinkiba Station, JR Keiyo Line. Closed 1st and 3rd Mon. (in Aug., closed 3rd Mon. only); 300 yen for adults. Call (03) 3521-7321.

National Olympics Memorial Youth Center: Indoor 25-meter pool, at 3-1 Kamisono-cho, Yoyogi, Shibuya-ku, a 5-min. walk from Sangubashi Station, Odakyu Line, or 10 min. from Yoyogi Koen Station, Chiyoda subway line. 260 yen for adults (2 hours). Call (03) 3467-7201.

Shiba Pool: Outdoor 50-meter pool and children’s pool, at 2-7-2 Shibakoen, Minato-ku, near Shibakoen Station. Open July 1-Sept. 15; 300 yen for adults (2 hours). Call (03) 3435-0476.

Daikanyama Sports Plaza: Indoor 25- and 13-meter pools and outdoor children’s pool, at 17-9 Shibuya-ku, in Daikanyama Address, a 3-min. walk from Daikanyama Station, Tokyu-Toyoko Line. Closed 2nd and 4th Mon.; 400 yen for adults (2 hours). Call (03) 5428-0831.

Hikarigaoka Taiikukan: Indoor 25- and 15-meter pools, at 4-1-4 Hikarigaoka, Nerima-ku, a 5-min. walk from Hikarigaoka Station, Oedo subway line. Closed 2nd Mon.; 5-7 p.m. Fri. reserved for disabled; 400 yen for adults (2 hours). Call (03) 5383-6611.

Setagaya Kuritsu Sogo Undo-jo: Indoor 50-, 25-meter and children’s pools, at 4-6-1 Okura, Setagaya-ku, reached by bus from Futako Tamagawa Station, Tokyu Denentoshi Line, or Seijyo Gakuen Station, Odakyu Line. Closed 3rd Mon. (2nd Mon. in July, open daily in Aug.; 400 yen for adults (2 hours June-Sept., whole day Oct. to May). Call (03) 3417-0017.

Higashi Chofu Park Pool: Indoor 25-meter and outdoor 50-meter pool with slide, at 5-13-1 Minami Yukigaya, Ota-ku, an 8-min. walk from Ontakesan Station, Tokyu Ikegami Line. Closed Tues. and Thurs.; outdoor pool open early July to end Aug.; 360 yen for adults. Call (03) 3728-7651.

Aqua Blue Tama: Indoor 25-meter and flowing pools, Jacuzzi and two slides, at 3-15-2 Minamino, Tama-shi, reached by shuttle bus from Nagayama Station, Keio and Odakyu lines. Closed 1st, 3rd and 5th Tues., 2nd and 4th Mon. (open daily July and Aug.); 500 yen for adults (2 hours July and Aug., whole day otherwise). Call (042) 338-7667.

KANAGAWA PREF.

Sports Ikagaku Center: Indoor 25-meter and flowing pools and water slide, at 3302-5 Kozukue-machi, Kita-ku, Yokohama-shi, a 12-min. walk from JR Shin-Yokohama Station. 600 yen for adults. Call (045) 477-5050.

Kamakura Kaihin Koen Swimming Pool: Outdoor 50- and 25-meter pools and children’s pools, at 34-5 Sakanoshita, Kamakura-shi, a 15-min. walk from Hase Station, Enoshima Line. Open July 1-Sept. 15; 200 yen for adults. Call (0467) 46-8010.

CHIBA PREF.

Urayasu Undo Koen: Indoor 25-meter, walking and wave pools, at 2-27 Maihama, Urayasu-shi, a 10-min. walk from Maihama Staion, JR Keiyo Line. Closed Wed.; 500 yen for adults (2 hours). Call (047) 304-0030.

Chiba International Swimming Center: Indoor 50-, 25-meter and diving pools, at 2-3-3 Akanehama, Narashino-shi, a 1-min. walk from Shin-Narashino Station, JR Keiyo Line. Closed Mon; 500 yen for adults (2 hours). Call (047) 451-1555.

OSAKA

Ogimachi Pool: Outdoor 50-meter and indoor 25-meter pools, indoor and outdoor children’s pools, at 1-1 Ogimachi, Kita Ward, in Ogimachi Park, near Ogimachi Station, Sakaisuji subway line. Indoor closed Wed., outdoor open July 1-Aug. 31, except July 25, Aug. 22; 700 yen for adults (indoor); 400 yen for adults (outdoor). Call (06) 6363-8911.

Shimo-Fukushima Pool: Pools as above, in Shimo-Fukushima Park, Fukushima 4-chome, Fukushima Ward, a 10-min. walk from Shin-Fukushima Station, JR Tozai Line. Indoor closed Thurs., outdoor July 1-Aug. 31, except July 26, Aug. 23; 700 yen for adults (indoor), 400 yen for adults (outdoor). Call (06) 6444-3450.

Kasugade Pool: Outdoor children’s and two 25-meter pools, in Kasugade Park, 1-2 Kasugade Minami, Konohana Ward, a 10-min. walk from Nishi-Kujo Station, JR Loop Line. Open July 7-Aug. 31 (except July 18, Aug. 9); 400 yen for adults. Call (06) 6468-3474.

Osaka Pool: Indoor 50- and 25-meter pools, in Yawataya Park, 3-1-20 Tanaka, Minato Ward, a 5-min. walk from Asashiobashi Station, Chuo subway line. Closed Mon.; 700 yen for adults. Call (06) 6571-2010.

Sanadayama Pool: Indoor 25-meter and outdoor 50-meter pools, in Sanadayama Park, 5-109 Sanadayama-cho, Tennoji Ward, a 12-min. walk from Tamatsukuri Station, JR Loop Line. Closed Mon.; outdoor open June 1-Sep. 20; 700 yen for adults (indoor), 400 yen for adults (outdoor). Call (06) 6765-0176.

Utajima Pool: Outdoor, two 25-meter pools and children’s pool, in Utajima Park, 5-7-23 Mitejima, Nishi-Yodogawa Ward, a 15-min. walk from Mitejima Station, JR Tozai Line. Open July 7-Aug. 31, except July 19, Aug. 10; 400 yen for adults. Call (06) 6474-9244.

Higashi-Yodogawa Okunai Pool: Indoor 25-meter, children’s and flowing pools and water slide, at 1-4-53 Higashi-Awaji, Higashi-Yodogawa Ward, a 10-min. walk from Awaji Station, Hankyu Kyoto Line. Closed Mon.; 1,000 yen for adults. Call (06) 6325-5077.

Zuikoji Pool: Outdoor 25-meter and children’s pools, in Zuikoji Park, 2-2-2 Zuiko, Higashi-Yodogawa Ward, a 12-min. walk from Kamishinjo Station, Hankyu Kyoto Line. Open July 7-Aug. 31, except July 19, Aug. 10; 400 yen for adults. Call (06) 6326-3321.

Ikuno Okunai Pool: Indoor 25-meter and baby pools, at 3-8-18 Momodani, Ikuno Ward, a 10-min. walk from Tsuruhashi Station, JR Loop Line, Sennichimae subway line or Kintetsu railway line. Closed Tues.; 700 yen for adults. Call (06) 6731-7381.

Asahi Pool: Outdoor 25-meter and children’s pools, in Asahi Park, 5-chome Takadono, Asahi Ward, a 15-min. walk from Sekimetakadono Station, Tanimachi subway line. Open July 7-Aug. 31, except July 18, Aug. 9; 400 yen for adults. Call (06) 6952-2161,

Morinomiya Okunai Pool: Indoor as above, at 2-1-48 Morinomiya, Joto Ward, a 12-min. walk from Morinomiya Station, JR Loop Line or Chuo subway line. Closed Mon.; 700 yen for adults. Call (06) 6967-3388.

Tsurumi-Ryokuchi Pool: Indoor floating pool and wave pool with slide, and outdoor floating pool, at 1-37 Ryokuchi Koen, Tsurumi Ward, near Tsurumi-Ryokuchi Station, Nagahori-Tsurumi-Ryokuchi subway line. Closed Mon.; outdoor open until Sept. 23; 1,200 yen for adults. Call (06) 6915-4721.

Osaka Nanko Seawater Beach: Outdoor 7,000-sq.-meter artificial seawater pool with sand beach, at 6-9-3 Nanko Minami, Suminoe Ward, a bus ride from Ferry Terminal Station, Newtram Line. Open July 1-Aug. 31; 1,000 yen for adults (Sun. 1,200 yen). Call (06) 6612-2020.

Nagai Pool: Indoor 25-meter and outdoor pools, indoor and outdoor children’s pools, at Nagai Park, 1-1 Nagai Park, Higashi-Sumiyoshi Ward, a 10-min. walk from Nagai Station, Midosuji subway line. Indoor closed Mon., outdoor open July 1-Aug. 31 (except July 16, Aug. 6); 700 yen for adults (indoor), 400 yen for adults (outdoor). Call (06) 6609-1580.

Sumiyoshi Okunai Pool: Indoor 25-meter pool, at 1-8-15 Asaka, Sumiyoshi Ward, a 10-min. walk from Abiko Station, Midosuji subway line. Closed Mon.; 700 yen for adults. Call (06) 6694-9171.

Hirano Okunai Pool: Indoor 25-meter and baby pools, at 4-6-1 Hirano Minami, Hirano Ward, a 17-min. walk from Hirano Station, Tanimachi subway line. Closed Mon.; 700 yen for adults. Call (06) 4302-0321.

Nishinari Okunai Pool: Indoor as above, at 1-6-1 Tamade Higashi, Nishinari Ward, a 5-min. walk from Kishinosato-Tamade Station, Nankai Railway Line. Closed Mon.; 700 yen for adults. Call (06) 4398-1603.