Roughly eight kilometers from Yokota is the land of perpetual summer: Summerland. It is a mix of a theme park, swimming pool, game room and restaurants. You can spend a gloomy, gray day inside and enjoy the wave pool, large and small water slides and numerous rides underneath the heated dome. In the summer months, an outdoor “Adventure Lagoon,” water slides and amusement rides are available. There are various price ranges. The cost is cheaper off-season when just the indoor pools are open, March – May and October-November. The pools close December-February. If you only want to swim you’ll just need to buy the regular pass not the more expensive free pass. The full price list and opening hours are here. Parking is ¥1200. There are restaurants on the premises, but you can bring your own lunch or a cooler. No tattoos; so if you have them find a swimsuit to cover them. You can also rent a locker in the changing area. Nearby is Akigawa Nature Park, which charges a modest admission fee. Summerland phone: 042-558-6511. www.summerland.co.jp/english/. GPS for Summerland parking lot: 35.71826,139.27707. Check here for more information on their tattoo policy. – Photos by Michelle Nexon 2013, updated Sarah Straus, 2014.
Comments by Sarah Straus, March 2014: I’ve taken my family to Summerland during the spring three years in a row. We started going when the kids were ages 2 and 4 and our last year they were ages 4 and 6. These are great ages for the indoor pools at Summerland. In my opinion the best time to go is early March because the warm humid air under the dome feels so great after a cold, dry winter. This year we went on Sunday March 2nd. I thought it would be crowded but it wasn’t! It was perfect. Last year we went on a weekday during the first week in March and it was so quiet. We had the place to ourselves and loved it. I have a few tips: 1: Bring a tarp and arrive when it opens to snag your spot. Open times vary, so check their webpage. 2: Your towels and food will likely be OK unattended, but take advantage of the coin locker located next to the wave pool for wallets and phones. You’ll get your ¥100 back. 3. Bring your own food. There are restaurants in Summerland and you can even buy beer, but the food is not great… you’ll be better off feeding your kids PBJ’s and juice boxes in my opinion. 4. Bring your floaties… inner tubes are so fun when the big waves begin on the hour. 5. Don’t miss the grotto rain storm in the basement level which occurs 30 minutes into each hour. It is so fun and a great place to warm up because there are several large hot tubs.
DIRECTIONS: There’s a map on the Summerland website that includes Yokota Air Base, but it may be hard to follow. See our map below.