Summerland

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.


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4 Responses to Summerland

  1. I am not 100% sure, but when I inquired about taking my 2 year old to Sesame Place last fall, I was told it had closed a few years ago. So, you might want to check and see if this is still an accurate entry or not.

  2. My family took a week day trip to Summerland and had a wonderful time. Prices have gone up since the 2010 post above. To check for current rates, directions and hours go to: http://www.summerland.co.jp/english/index.html. There are fabulous indoor water play areas for little kids, including really fun little water slides. My 2 and 4-year-olds loved it and it was an easy place for them to play and for me to watch them. Bring your own water-wings, inner tubes, and floaties. Bring plenty of snacks/lunch. Some Japanese folks had coolers and even fold out picnic tables. There are some lawn chairs and tables where you can put your things or use a plastic picnic cloth to mark your space on the ground. You can store small goods (like your wallet) in lockers on the pool level, near the large wave pool. You pay 100 yen, which is returned to you when you return the key to the locker. It was an easy drive to get there… just over 4 miles from the Fussa Gate. The day we went (Tue during Golden Week) it was pretty quiet, not at all crowded. Very nice.

  3. Good memories for me. My Dad was stationed@Yokota in the 70’s.
    Me and friends used to ride our bikes to summerland.
    My dad took us fishing and camping @ Akigawa . Those were some of the best memories of my life. I still remember then fondly!!!
    Regards ,
    Jamie

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