Aug 15, 2019
Gallery - Spots around Tatebayashi
- Tsutsujigaoka Park
When: Any time it is above 26C
Inside one half of the park, close to the cafe and 4D theater, there is a fountain to play in. Everyone from little babies to adults were running around in the water enjoying the cool water. There are a few shaded areas to sit as well as lots of grassy space to lounge around while my son played. The fountains at Tsutsujigaoka Park don't start until after 10 am, but they make for a top summer spot to play in when there are heatstroke warnings every day.
I think the best part about Tsutsujigaoka Park is that it is free to enter, but also walking around the gardens is pleasant in the early morning hours. The cafe has ice coffee and soft serve ice cream if you are needing something extra to cool off with. The other half of the park has a lot of shade, including the playground area. If you go in the mornings or in the evenings after 4:30 pm, it is really pleasant. Fishing along the river is another reason why this is a top summer spot in Tatebayashi.
2. Lotus Festival (Hasu Matsuri)
Admission: 800 en for adults 300 yen for elementary age
When: Mid-July to Mid-August
We went to Tatebayashi's Lotus Festival early in the morning when the boats first start at around 8:30 am. The flowers are likely to be in better bloom and the summer temperature was more bearable than mid-day. There were a few others with the same idea and the boat was pretty full but not completely packed. The 30-minute boat ride makes for a really great tour of the lotuses. We first drove rather quickly through several patches until we stopped in one to take pictures and talk about the different uses for lotus. Most Japanese know about renkon, lotus roots, because they eat them regularly, but we also learned that every part is edible including the flowers. The tour guide also told us about different ways to play with the leaves. Anyone who wanted got a leaf to take home.
3. Children's Science Museum
Admission: Adults - 320 en middle school age and under - free
When: 9am to 5 pm; closed Mondays
Another top summer spot in Tatebayashi, the Children's Science Museum is a great place to cool down. It is all indoors and there is a planetarium and three floors to explore. As a parent, I love that I can just let my kids run free and I can rest. The summer night skies here are often clear once you get past rainy season and there are specific observation days from 7 to 8:30 pm.
4. City Swimming Pool
Admission: Adults-320en below elementary age-free
When: First weekend of July until the end of August
Like any public pool in Japan, Tatebayashi's city swimming pool gets crowded as the days get hotter and any holiday is typically overrun with families wanting to cool off. What makes this pool special, and a top summer spot in Tatebayashi (and this part of Japan at large) is their relaxed attitude toward tattoos.
As a foreigner who has been kicked out of plenty of places in Japan because of tattoos, including temporary tattoos, I am very glad there is a place I can comfortably go and not worry about covering every inch of me. There are several smaller pools here ranging from a few inches in depth to the main pool which is only a meter deep. There is also a lap pool and four water slides. As long as you feel safe enough to, smaller children can be held while riding down the slides so there is no age limit. There is ice cream, yakisoba and onigiri on sale every day, as well as a small concession stand outside the pool grounds.
5. Morin Temple
When: any time
Probably the least exciting of our stops on this list of top summer spots in Tatebayashi, but still interesting enough for younger kids. Morin Temple is dedicated to the tanuki or "raccoon dog." There are statues of them all over the grounds of Morin Temple and many sold in the souvenir shops nearby. My son loved it but was a bit freaked out. However, he is now excited anytime he sees the statues around and because the temple is pretty famous they are pretty much everywhere in this area. It was a nice cool visit in the shade of the trees so a perfect spot to visit in summer. One of the shops nearby was a big hit with my son because it sold wooden toys. We spent a good time in the shop.
American step mom with beautiful Brazilian babies. Raising them in Japan. I'm a crafter too