I love living in Gifu Prefecture which is a beautiful part of Japan surrounded by stunning mountains and rivers, but it can get quite hot in summer. I’m talking about 38C hot with high humidity thrown in for fun. Gifu is landlocked right smack bang in the heart of Japan, which means the heat gets trapped in by the mountains with no relief in sight.
Every year Gifu seems to record the highest temperatures in Japan with Tajimi City particularly often a victim of 40 plus temperatures. We have already had some extreme heat this early August with the mercury hitting 39.9C, the highest in Japan this summer. In fact, Tajimi City still holds the record of the highest recorded daytime temperature in Japan of 40.9C back in 2007.
Back home in Australia I was blessed to live along the coast which meant beautiful beaches with soft white sand and crystal clear blue water to cool off in. Unfortunately I can’t find any of these in Gifu. Maybe a trip to Okinawa would solve that problem? A lot of locals like to head to the river to cool off in summer, but it’s not quite the same for me, a boy from Oz. I’ve been spoilt by some of the best beaches in the world. The best alternative in my opinion is one of the many water parks that can be found around Central Japan. Most of the water parks in Japan open in early July and close in early September giving you plenty of time to enjoy them.
In this article, I will highlight some of my favourite water parks in central Japan that might just help you cool off this summer as well.
Nagashima Spa Land
Nagashima Spa Land is a major amusement park located in Kuwana City, Mie Prefecture. It is one of the biggest and best amusement parks in Japan with some pretty cool rollercoasters and thrill rides. The best part about Nagashima Spa Land in the summer is the amazing water park called ‘Joyful Waterpark’, which contains 18 different water slides and 10 pools. The pools all have different water temperatures, so there is bound to be one perfect for you.
The water park is one of the world’s largest and the 18 water slides make it the world record holder for its size. The water park is only open in summer from July to September. Some of the highlights include the Tornado Slider Water Slide, Jumbo Sea Water Pool and the Wave Pool.
Photo : Kyoka on Flickr
Photo : Wikipedia Commons
Photo : chikache on FlickrLaguna Gamagori is a marine resort complex in Gamagori City in the Bay of Mikawa, Aichi Prefecture. The main allure of Laguna Gamagori is its theme park called “Lagunasia” with various attractions and swimming pools. The theme park is designed to be a Mediterranean port town facing the Adriatic Sea which is a perfect place to cool off during the hot summers in Japan.
Lagunasia has six swimming pools, which open in summer and include a big wave pool, a river pool at 230 meters long, two high water slides with a combined length of 100 meters, a Jacuzzi spring, and a kids pool. There is something for everyone at Laguna Gamagori.
Japan Monkey Park
Photo : shin--k Park on FlickrJapan Monkey Park is a theme park located in Inuyama City, Aichi Prefecture near Nagoya. The park covers 500,000 square meters with two main areas to the park. One is the Japan Monkey Center which is like a zoo devoted just to monkeys, the other is an amusement park called Japan Monkey Park with rides, attractions and a water park.
The main attraction in the summer is the large open air pool which is very popular and often very crowded, so make sure you get there early to beat the crowds.
Itonukigawa Pool is a public swimming pool in the Motosu area of Gifu Prefecture. The pool is located close to Gifu City and offers fantastic facilities at a cheap price. The pools include a whirlpool, 25 meter swimming pool, baby pool, two different kinds of water slides, and a rock slide which is a lot of fun. The pool is open from 10 am to 6 pm from July 5 to August 31.
I hope this selection of water parks all located in central Japan helps you cool off this summer and beat the heat. Excuse me, while I grab my board shorts and sunscreen and head off to the nearest one to cool off in the refreshing water.
Photo : shin--k on Flickr