Category Archives: Tama Hills

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.

Tama River Trail

If you are looking for a place to bike or run, consider the paved trail that follows the Tama River.  It starts in Hamura and continues 48 kilometers.  It runs close enough to Tama Hills Recreation area that it can be used as a path to run or bike there, though you’ll need to navigate some city streets to reach this destination.  During the spring, the cherry trees bloom over the trail in Fussa, as seen in the photos above and below.  Also in Fussa, the trail passes a baseball field, tennis courts, a playground and an obstacle course park.  The trail goes under each of the bridges that cross the river, allowing for continuous riding/running.  There is a free parking lot near the ball field and playground at GPS coordinates:35.719771, 139.331241.   In the spring use this parking lot for the Fussa Cherry Blossom Festival which takes place along the trail just north of the parking lot.  – Sarah Straus; top photo by Alex Sparks, March 2013
Running/Biking DIRECTIONS: Head straight out of the Fussa Gate toward the Fussa Train Station on Route 165.  You’ll take Route 165 all the way to the river and trail.  Be sure to stay right at the fork in the road, pass over the train tracks and continue down Route 165 after the Fussa Train Station.  The trail picks up in both directions just before you cross the river.  Turn right on the trail towards Hamura for the short section of the trail (just a few kilometers).  Turn left on the trail for the longer section.

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DIRECTIONS to parking lot:  Turn left out of the Fussa Gate onto Route 16.  Continue on Route 16 as it curves right.  Turn Right onto Route 7.  (Note: I’m not sure how clear this right hand turn onto Route 7 is… if anyone finds a clear marker for this turn, let us know).  Turn left into the parking lot area just before Route 7 crosses Tama River.

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Hello Kitty Land

Unless you have money to burn, read no further. Sanrio Puroland is not cheap! Even using the discount coupon that is available to print from their website, it still cost ¥11,600 for our family of four just to get in. Children under 2 are free. That is for the “Passport”. They do offer a less expensive “Welcome Ticket” but without the passport you won’t be able to see the shows or get into Hello Kitty’s house for a picture with her or take the little boat ride. Basically, you need the Passport to do just about anything. Please note that the entire place is indoors, so it IS a good idea if you’re looking for something to do on cold winter days or super hot summer days. I did expect it to be a lot bigger for the money we were spending though. We spent about 2 1/2 hours and were done. There is one ride. It’s a boat ride similar to It’s a Small World at Disney. The kids enjoyed that. Then we saw a live Broadway style show and visited the inside of Hello Kitty’s house and had our picture taken with her. There are tons of retail stores everywhere and a cafeteria. My kids loved the Hello Kitty donuts.  ll in all, I’m glad we did it once while we live here. The kids did have fun. Crossing it off the list! -Kelly O’Donnell, November 2012

GPS 35.62436, 139.428889.  Get full directions from the Yujo or click on “view larger map” below.  Visit for more information. Hello Kitty land is in the Tama area – approximately 20 minute drive from Tama Hills Recreation area.

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Tama Zoo

tama zoo sarah straus 2013The Tama Zoo has a park-like setting and is serene and quiet on weekdays.  It’s fun and easy with children, making for an inexpensive morning outing. One of my favorite exhibits is the butterfly house. It is in a huge, terraced greenhouse that is perched on the edge of a hill.  A big tree graces the middle, and walkways lead down to a small pond.  The most amazing thing, though, are the thousands and thousands of butterflies.  The place pulsates to the beat of butterfly wings.  My children love to get their faces up close to the butterflies, perched on tropical plants.  Another highlight is the “Lion Bus.” (¥350 per adult, ¥100 per child.) As the glass-sided bus drives through the lion field, lions often jump up on the windows, which makes for great pictures.
tama zoo sarah strausA favorite spot for us is the picnic tables located between the lions and elephants, in the Africa section of the zoo. From this shady spot you can see down into the lions’ den and hear them roar at the lion buses.  This is the perfect place for a packed lunch or an ice cream cone from the nearby vendors.
The chimpanzees are a must-see. There is an indoor viewing area where the chimps hang out.  It is great for getting an up-close look at them and even interact with them through the glass.  But the Koala house can be skipped, in my opinion.  The barren, indoor environment in which they are kept doesn’t match the loveliness of other habitats at this zoo. After traversing this hilly zoo you’ll feel like you got a workout.
DSC_3047On a weekday it took me just 40 minutes drive out, leaving at 9am from the Fussa gate. Returning around 1pm was a bit faster.  Parking costs ¥500 to ¥1000, or you can take the monorail, which you catch in Tachikawa. (The zoo recommends taking the train, especially on weekends when the lots may be full.) Clean bathrooms are everywhere, including family bathrooms with children’s potty seats. Strollers for little ones a must, as they are likely to get tired going up and down the hills.
Hours: 9:30-5pm. Closed Wednesdays (Thursday if Wednesday is a public holiday). Admission for adults is ¥600. Children under 13 are free. Tama Zoological Park, 7-1-1, Hodokubo, Hino-shi, Tokyo 191-0042. Phone: 042-591-1611. Sarah Straus, 2012.
DIRECTIONS: Turn right out the East Gate, then left at the first light. Take this road for about 1km, until it ends at a “T.” Turn right. Stay on this road, Rt. 59, (under a set of railroad tracks and across another set — about 5km), until you reach the Tamaohashi Kita intersection. (Daihatsu dealer on far left.) Turn left DSC_3057here, onto Rt. 29, Shin Okutama Kaido. Turn right when you reach the the Tappibashi Kita intersection, onto Rt. 149. The monorail track will be overhead now. Stay on 149, following the monorail, until you reach the Tama Dobutsu Koen intersection, which has a large monorail station on the right. You’ll see parking lots ahead on the left.
(Leaving from Fussa Gate? Turn left onto Rt. 16 and follow it until it turns sharply to the right, toward Hachioji and the Chuo Expressway. Instead of taking this right turn, go straight. You are now on Rt. 29, Shin Okutama Kaido. Continue as directed above.)
TRAIN DIRECTIONS: Take the Chuo line from Fussa to Tachikawa Station. Exit the station via either the North or the South Exit. Get on the Monorail. Take the monorail to the Tama Dobutsukoen Exit. The zoo is very near the exit. Travel time is about 50 minutes.

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On sunny weekdays you may find the Tama Zoo filled with school children enjoying the park.  – Sarah Straus, Oct 2012