Category Archives: Hamura Sightseeing

Outdoor Pools open during Summer

Here is a list of local outdoor pools open during the summer months – culled in 2012 by Shelby Hansen and passed along to Emily Parks who graciously shared it with us!  It would be wonderful to have full posts for each one of these.  If you go to one we haven’t already covered, please consider sending us a trip report.  Thank you!

Fussa Pool (first week July – first of Sept)  Open Daily. 9am-6pm. ¥200 for HS age and up, ¥100 for MS age and younger (2 hrs).  Free parking available.  Features: kid’s splash pool, simple water slides.

Hamura Pool (Mid July- first of Sept) Open Daily. 10am-6pm. ¥300 for HS+, ¥100 for MS – (2 hrs) (double for full day).  Parking available.  Features: kid’s splash pool, water slide, lazy river.  -For more information: Hamura Community Water Park

Rainbow Pool (Showa Park) (Mid July – first of Sept) Open Daily.  9:30am-6:30pm (only ’til 5:30pm weekdays in July, only ’til 6pm daily from 8/20 on). ¥2,200 for HS+, ¥1,200 for ES/MS, ¥300 yen ages 4-5, 3- free (¥500 maternity price) (full day price).  Parking available (¥800/day) (A free Park bus can take you to the pool from the Sunagawa or Tachikawa Park entrances). Features: multiple kid’s splash pools, lazy river, wave pool, water slides (for 120cm+; yellow one is for smaller kids), concessions.  Discounts on admission for paying by SUICA/PASMO (minus ¥400 for HS+), or smaller discount just for showing SUICA/PASMO (minus ¥200 for HS+).  For more information: Showa Kinen Park: Rainbow Pools.

Higashi Yamato Pool (Mid July – August 31). Open Daily 10am-6pm (only 1:30pm-6pm 7/17-20) ¥300 for HS+, ¥100 for MS, ¥50 for ES, free for 5 and under (2 hrs). No parking (though the Ito Yokado store next door has a free parking garage…and a Baskin Robins).  Features: kid’s splash pool, lazy river, water slides.

Driving directions to Higashi Yamato Pool: Go right out the east gate, turn LEFT on the 7 and go 6 km, at Imokubo Hwy turn LEFT (the large blue sign points to Imokubo, the street name is Sunagawa Nana-something), go through the tunnel under the train station and turn RIGHT at the light, come to a T intersection and turn LEFT. The pool will be on your right and they do have free parking!

Fuchuu Miyoshi Mizuasobi Hiroba (Splash Pad near Tama Hills) (late July – August 31) Open for three blocks each day 10am-12pm, 1pm-3pm, 3:30pm-5:30pm (some closures during open season) ¥160 for adults, ¥100 for HS, ¥40 for MS- (they may charge half this if they don’t ask if you’re a city resident). No parking.  Features: splash pool, simple water slides. Swim Diapers OK.

Fuchuu Kyodo no Mori Pool (near Tama Hills) (late July – August 31). Open Daily 10am-5pm. ¥300 for adults, ¥200 for HS, ¥100 for MS- (2 hrs) Parking available.  Features: kid’s splash pool with slides, lazy river, water slide (for older kids).

Inagi Pool (near Tama Hills) (mid July – August 31) Open Daily. 9:30am-5pm. ¥200 for adults, ¥50 yen for kids (2 hrs). No parking. Features: kid’s splash pool, simple water slides, lazy river.

Dohton Bori – Okonomiyaki

 Dohton Bori  - Kelly OMy new favorite Japanese meal is Okonomiyaki, a Japanese savory pancake containing a variety of ingredients. The name is derived from the word okonomi, meaning “what you like” or “what you want”, and yaki meaning “grilled” or “cooked.” Everything is delivered to you raw and you mix it up and cook it yourself at your table.   The batter is made of flour, grated nagaimo (a type of yam), water or dashi, eggs and shredded cabbage, and usually contains other ingredients of your choosing such as onion, meat shrimp, vegetables, kimchi, mochi or cheese. Okonomiyaki is sometimes compared to an omelet or a pancake and may be referred to as a “Japanese pizza.” Once it is cooked you can add a variety of different sauces to the top. It was delicious, fun and very filling!  – Kelly O’Donnell, May 2013.

dinner5There are two locations for Dohton Bori, one near Hamura and the other in Fussa. The Fussa location is much closer to the main gate. At this location there are two areas for seating. There is seating on lowered benches with a raised grill, and seating on the floor around the grill. Typically four adults can fit around one grill. English menus are available and the staff are generally willing to demonstrate how to cook and season your food. The restaurant is relatively kid friendly, but the heat from the grill could be a concern, even though the staff try to cover the edges of the grill with cloths. They have booster seats, but no buckles to strap kids in. The Fussa chain is open 11:30 – 24:00. Last Order for food is 23:00 and drink is 23:30Linda Bell, July 2014.

 Dohton Bori by Kelly OHAMURA DIRECTIONS:  Exit Passenger Terminal Gate, turn right onto Route 16.  Turn left onto Route 163 (as if you are going to the Hamura Zoo or Zonavoce).  Continue 2 kilometers.  The restaurant will be on your left. GPS:  35.758667,139.320281. 

dinner2FUSSA DIRECTIONS:  Turn left at the Fussa Gate and then turn right at the first set of lights. After going through one set of lights and over the train tracks, turn left at the next set of lights with Family Mart on your left. The restaurant will be just there on the left. There is a large brown ‘billboard’ with white writing and a Tanuki statue outside the restaurant (a raccoon/dog like animal). They have approximately 50 parking spaces located on either side of the restaurant. Their parking adjoins the Family Mart parking lot. GPS coordinates for the restaurant’s parking lot are N35.73826 E139.33266.

Hamura Zoo

The Hamura Zoological Park is a “starter zoo,”: A good place to go when you’re still nervous about driving or otherwise not ready to tackle bigger better zoos like Tama Zoo or Ueno. But small children, especially, will be satisfied with the collection of mammals and birds. The stated goal of the zoo is “to nurture affection for nature by introducing children to animals.” Some animals you may see are: lynx, red fox, porcupine, raccoon, wolf, lemur, prairie dog, wallaby, giraffe, zebra, emu, jackal, coati, macaws, penguin and beaver. In addition, peacocks, swans, and ducks roam the grounds of this park.  There is a petting zoo to the left of the entrance where kids can hold chicks and guinea pigs.  In the center of the zoo you will find a pond with flamingos. There is also a large picnic and playground area where there are a number of interesting toys, including stone zoo animals and dinosaurs, and a full size original steam engine on which children can play. In the spring the zoo is especially lovely under the cherry blossoms and flowers.  You may bring a lunch into the park or purchase something at the store next to the European garden. In most cases, signs on the cages provide animal names in English in addition to Japanese. Only 15 minutes from Yokota, the Hamura Zoo is free for children 3 years and under, ¥50 for ages 4-15, and ¥300/ adult. This website is is Japanese but if you run it through Google Translate you’ll get the gist of it: www.t-net.ne.jp/~hamura-z.  GPS Coordinates to entrance: 35.765944, 139.328664.  GPS coordinates to parking: 35.767129,139.33078.  – Photos by Sarah Straus 2012 and Kelly O’Donnell 2013.

HOURS and INFO:
March through October 9am-4:30pm (admission until 4pm).
November through February 9am-4pm (admission until 3:30 pm)
Closed Mondays.  Telephone: 042-579-4041.

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Hamura Community Water Park

The Hamura Community Water Park is a good summer outing for families. This sujo koen (that’s Japanese for “waterpark”) has a lazy river, a big slide and shallow pools for kids.  The price is ¥600 for the day or ¥300 for 2 hours for adults age 15 years or older.  It costs ¥300 for the day or ¥100 for 2 hours for kids.   You cannot apply sunscreen there, so do it ahead of time.  No jewelry, sunglasses or hats in the water. You’ll need to store away your ereaders and wallets in the lockers – the ¥100 locker fee will be returned to you when you put the key in the lock.  They will provide a bag for your shoes before entering the locker rooms.  There are vending machines and an eating area outside the swimming pool.   I would recommend swim shirts for your kids on hot, clear days – there isn’t a lot of shade and it is easy to burn.  It is very clean and we had a great day there. Hours 10am – 6pm, open during summer.  Summer 2013: Open July 13-Sept 1, 10am-6pm. — Jodi Wall, 2012; updated Sarah Straus, July 2013.
DIRECTIONS: Drive straight out of Fussa gate, keep right at Y intersection toward Fussa train station.  Head around Fussa train station and continue toward the river.  At the Shell gas station turn Right onto Route 29.  Take Route 29 along the river into Hamura.  I’m not sure how to describe the left hand turn you’ll need to take to get down to the river where the water park is, but it is past a damn in the river.  At a narrow left hand turn, you end up winding down to the river near rice fields.  I recommend taking a GPS for this one or studying the map.  Parking attendant: 35.757971, 139.303356.  Parking is a little walk from the water park – just follow the others in bathing suits.   – Sarah Straus, July 2013

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Hamura Produce Market

This is a popular farmers market in Hamura, easily noted by the lines of people who patiently wait for the market to open at 9:30 each morning. It’s just 5km from Yokota, and all the produce here is grown entirely by farmers local to this area. Getting here when it opens is the best way to get produce that comes in small lots, such as anything just beginning to come into season. These things disappear quickly! The prices vary from lot to lot because each is brought in by a different farmer. There are usually also small batches of fresh baked goods, noodles, and some canned goods. There are always plenty of farm fresh eggs. GPS: 35.76730,139.30728.
DIRECTIONS: Go straight out the Fussa Gate. Cross one set of railroad tracks, stay left at the “Y” and cross another set of tracks. At the Fussa City Hall intersection (with City Hall on the far left corner and the post office on the far right) turn right, onto Shin Okutama Highway, more commonly known as Route 29. Drive about 3.5km, until you reach an intersection that is signposted “Hamura Sports Center.” Go straight through htis intersection. The produce market is the very first right, with a distinctive three peak building where the produce is sold. Meg Martin, 2012.

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Indoor Play Zone in Hamura

This three-story Indoor Play Zone (Hamura Community Center) is close, free and fun. It makes for a great escape on rainy or too-hot days. Enter on the street side of the building, put your shoes on the shelves to the right and head to the section of your choosing. (Shoes and sandals must be removed, so you might want to bring socks for children in summer.)  There is an information desk on the left where you can practice your Japanese language skills.  The first floor is where they seem to have community crafts and classes.  Head up the stairs to the second floor. On the right you will find a nice toddler area with toys – great for kids ages 0 to 2.  When we were there on a weekday, there were plenty of nice Japanese moms and kids meeting in spontaneous playgroups.  Also, on the second floor is a large basketball court with bouncy balls.  Most fun, though, is the rope jungle hovering above the basketball court.  Climb the staircase and enter through the dragon’s mouth.  From the basketball court, there is also an entrance for an outdoor rope obstacle that was closed off when we visited. Maybe it’s open on weekends.  As well, on the block behind the center (to the west) there is a large park and playground with big trees.  We didn’t find any official parking and street parking was hard to locate too.  If anyone finds a good place to park, please post it here.  We did find a fairly empty parking lot close-by, but were unsure if we were allowed to park there as we couldn’t read the Japanese signs.  Play Zone hours: 9-5pm. It might be closed one day of the week. (Maybe someone more skilled at Japanese could let us know.) GPS: 35.76036,139.3285. Alexandra Winkler and Sarah Straus, 2012.
DIRECTIONS: Exit the Terminal Gate and turn right on Route 16. Continue under the underpass and turn left at the first light after the underpass (1.8km). This is Route 163. Continue past the intersection named Hamura Zoological Park and turn left onto a narrow road just after the used car lot (1.2km).  The gray building will be on your right.

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Hamura Museums

Hamura Museum
This small local museum is about 10 minutes away, across the Tama
River. On the grounds is a restored thatched-roof farmhouse full of household implements that the shrine sale enthusiasts enjoy, as well as an old red gate associated with shrines. Admission is free. Unfortunately there are no explanations in English but most exhibits are self-explanatory. Main features include pieced together ancient ceramic pots, rice cultivation, and historic methods of silk production. There’s also an old fire wagon and lots of benches outside on which to sit and eat a sack lunch.
DIRECTIONS: Turn right out the Fussa Gate and left at the second light. Take this street to the river, crossing two railroad tracks. At the “T” intersection, make a right (under a blue pedestrian bridge), then at the 4th stoplight, make a left over the bridge (HamuraOhashi East Intersection—there’ll be a five-story gray concrete apartment building on the right with stone walls on both sides). On the far side of the river, make the first right into a small road (parallel to the river); take the right fork downward. At the stop sign, turn left into a residential area and follow this road around to its end (at
the river). Park in the left lot just past the large brown museum (the right lot belongs to a very pricey restaurant, ¥5000+ per person).
Hours: 9am-4:30pm, closed Mondays (and Tuesday if Monday is a national holiday). Julie Irwin 2007

Hamura-Shi Planetarium
A real educational treasure exists right out our front door in Hamura. This planetarium is tucked away in a residential neighborhood, sharing space within a small city recreational building. There is no charge to sit and be enthralled with a visual guided tour of the skies over Hamura. Your personal guide will treat you to a 40-minute (20-minute show for young children) audiovisual presentation, depicting the skies from sunset to sunrise. You will see summer and winter constellations, comets, shooting stars, night-time cloud formations, a solar eclipse and a glimpse of our solar system amongst the vastness of space. Though the staff members narrate the program in Japanese only, one can still enjoy the universal language of the stars and space. A working knowledge of astronomy is NOT needed to enjoy the program. But beware! Once you see the show you may gravitate toward the library to learn more about the wonders of space. Just ask the attendant, inside the main entrance, to the right, to see the planetarium (remember, no English is spoken so point upstairs and ask slowly). You must slip off your shoes and use the slippers provided.
DIRECTIONS: Go straight out the Fussa Gate and go right at the “Y” intersection. Continue on to two more lights. Turn right onto the street running in front of Seiyu (Yanagi Dori). Continue on this street through 13 lights or 3.8km until you come to the Hamura Post Office on your left. Turn left at the light just after the post office and continue through one light. Not far from the light, and on your right you will see the dome of the planetarium. Across the street, on your left, is the parking lot. There are about 10 parking slots and one large bus slot. Keep in mind that this is a neighborhood recreation center and there are LOTS of kids involved in all kinds of activities in and around the building, so don’t think you have arrived at the wrong place! Hours: The planetarium is closed on Mondays. Individuals and families are welcome anytime Tuesday-Sunday at 3:30pm (11am and 3pm during Japanese spring, summer, and winter school breaks); school groups and group tours/shows are held at other times. If you have a group larger than 20, you must stop by their office prior to your visit and fill out a special group request form and make an appointment. Marcia St. John

 

Hamura-area restaurants