Japan With Kids - Forums:
Education in Japan:
There are two related pages in the main part of this website: Wading Pools and Splash Parks and Swimming Pools
By Shoko on Tuesday, July 6, 1999 - 10:15 am:
Hello, I'm living in Hatanodai with my baby daughter (almost 3-year-old at the end of this August) and my English husband. Every Saturday we join the Tokyu swimming school in Tamagawa-en. Majority of the kids are Japanese but sometimes they are from other countries.
By Cathy Edwards on Thursday, July 27, 2000 - 10:46 pm:
We have only moved to Tokyo in the last 3 months and are having trouble finding a swimming pool that we can take our 6 month old baby to.
Can anybody give me any ideas about where to go? We live in Ota-ku but as we spend lots of time travelling by train any locations would be appreciated.
By Cornelia on Monday, August 14, 2000 - 2:06 pm:
This is pretty hard to do. Most public pools are against kids still in diapers. Often the youngest permissable age is 3.
Children's Castle has regimented infant/mother swimming classes for a price of course and in Japanese of course. I don't know the schedule, etc. The phone number might be somewhere here in the discussion forums and of course you will find it in Diane's _Japan for Kids_. Do a keyword search for "Castle" (left hand column of "forums).
(I imagine there might be something similar in Ota-ku as follows).
I highly recommend the wading pools in the park next to the Bunkyo Ward Sports Center (Myogadani station on the Marunouchi subway line). Though I haven't been able to figure out the exact schedule that they get the water running, it is definitely always available on Saturday and Sunday during these hot and humid months.
The Japanese name for the park, which was built on the land that once housed a large part of Tsukuba University, is:
Kyoiku no Mori Koen
Two of the pools are close together and there is a concession stand right next to them as well as drink vending machines, toilets and a playground. (Do not get confused by the two half moon shaped "fountains" at the entrance to the park when coming from Myogani station. These are not the wading pools!)
A third pool is down a hill close to a second set of toilets and another playground. This one is also close to a small grocery a bit further down the hill and across the intersection called "Co-op" where you can buy ice creams and drinks. Or even better, across the street before you get to the intersection with the Co-op is an Italian ice cream shop with a lot of flavors (more than 15) called "SuperFrutto" - tel: 03-3818-7363
These wading pools are free and popular but tend to empty out a bit during lunch and nap time! They are filled with city water, but then drained at about 18:00, so the water is not "stagnant".
Also on Sundays in another section of the same park there is a roped off section for use with small wheeled toys such as tricycles and "pon pon" cars. There are an assortment of about 15 provided by the park. The hours for this are:
10:00 - noon and 13:00 to 16:00
You can also go swimming in the Bunkyo Ward Sports Center Indoor Swimming Pool. Here are some of the rules and restrictions:
Minimum age: 3
All people must wear a bathing cap. (These can be purchased in the office for less than 500 yen and come in several colors and two sizes.)
No watches or jewelry.
Shower before and dip private area down into super concentrated chlorinated water on your way from the showers to the pool area.
Eyeglasses can be left on a small stainless steel shelf just to the side of the entrance into the pool area. There are also some wash basins here with dual water fountains designed to facilitate rinsing your eyes.
Admission open to all (not just Bunkyo-ku residents).
Price of ticket from ticket vending machine is good for a single two hour session. The two hours sessions are from 10:00 - noon, 15:30-17:30 and 19:00 to 21:00. I think there is an additional session in the summer (maybe starting on 20 July) from 13:00 to 15:00. The price for an adult was 350 yen and for a child 150 yen, but I think the price is slightly higher now. Monthly passes are a good bargain if you go for a swim more than 12 times a month!
Lockers in the dressing rooms cost 10 yen and hair dryers cost? (not sure, never used them) There are three 25 m swimming lanes and one free swimming section. And a children's pool (not shallow enough for toddlers though). You may NOT use one of those excellent bathing suits popular in the USA with an inner tube sewn in. But you can use a blow-up donut!
This can all be confirmed by calling the Sports Center Administration at 03-3944-2271. In fact if you get the latest prices and any more information that I have not included, send me an email and I'll see that this post is updated!
P.S. The indoor swimming pool area has an overpowering chlorine smell in the summer. The ventilation is pretty poor.
By Nobu on Sunday, November 12, 2000 - 2:35 am:
I am looking for a swimming school for my 16month old son in central Tokyo. I would love to get any information about any school as long as it is in Minato-ku, Shibuya-ku, Chiyoda-ku, Meguro-ku, Bunkyo-ku or in the same vacinity.
By Tom on Sunday, March 4, 2001 - 10:06 pm:
The Tokyu swimming school near to Tamagawa station does classes for babies from a tiny age (mother or father or someone must be with the baby in the pool). That's fairly close to Ota-ku. I expect that if that Tokyu school accepts babies, maybe the other Tokyu schools also do - I know there's another one near Futago-tamagawaen station. Our daughter started going there when tiny, and it's excellent, and gaijin-friendly.
The classes are conducted in Japanese, which is no problem, you just copy what the person next to you is doing. It's a lot of fun, with a good atmosphere. The baby class is part of a slow and methodical sequence of steps that teaches the children to swim around age 5 or 6, or so. They don't rush it - none of that throwing newborn-babies into the water stuff. And, if you watch the older kids, you'll see that when they do eventually swim, they do it extremely well. They also has a pregnant women's swimming class, which my wife enjoyed.
The address of the pool is:
Tokyu Swimming Pool
1-54-10 Denenchofu, Ota-ku, Tokyo
Tel: 03-3721-4600 (I think you need to phone in Japanese).
By Jennifer on Saturday, March 24, 2001 - 2:38 pm:
I would like to start swim lessons with my 2 year old son. Does anyone know where I can get in a swim class? Thank you.
By Greg on Sunday, October 14, 2001 - 4:48 pm:
Does anybody know of any swimming schools for babies & tots in central Tokyo??
By Juliet Rogove on Friday, June 21, 2002 - 12:02 am:
As previous postings have spelled out finding a secluded pool in Tokyo is pretty difficult.
There is a wonderful pool (toddler pool too) attached to the Kspace Baby Play Gym and Education Centre, Hiroo.
This is not a public pool and provides a truly special place to come and relax, escape the heat and meet other parents.
No strict rules regarding potty trained infants either!
For more information about Kspace take a look at our
For information regarding fees please call me on:
TEL No. is 03-5774-6059
EMAIL juliet @kspace.to
Come and cool off with us!
By Nathalie on Friday, June 28, 2002 - 7:30 pm:
I heard that fitness centers with pools often have baby swimming lessons. I live in Shiroganedai and just checked the one near my home (Spa Shirokane on Meguro dori) : they have swimming classes for babies from 6 months to 2 1/2 years old.
A friend of mine also told me that she registred to the Prince Hotel pool : the membership is around 22000 yen for 4 months, and for that price she can go any time to Roppongi and Tokyo Tower Prince Hotel pools. She told me the pools are almost empty, and you can bring babies with diapers there.
By Winnie on Friday, October 4, 2002 - 10:11 am:
Does anyone know if there are any baby swimming classes in Tokyo?
By Admin on Friday, October 4, 2002 - 11:51 am:
If you use the "key word search" function in the blue column on the left, type in "swimming" and choose the option "no limit on time" you will find all the discussion topics with the word "swimming" in them. Including the posts that talk about swimming for babies.
The main discussion for "Swimming" is under Education at: http://www.tokyowithkids.com/discussions/messages/151/241.html
but swimming is mentioned in many more places.
There is also a page on "splash parks and wading pools" under "Entertainment" in the main header bar of Japanwithkids as well as a page on swimming pools.
By lilik widjaja on Wednesday, February 26, 2003 - 10:00 am:
Check Kirin Sports Club (Mimi Swimming Club)
2-3-7 Ebara, Shinagawa-ku.
Little english spoken. But clean pool, saturday kids program available and baby swimming too (my son starts when he was 6 months old), monthly fee only c. JPY7000 for 4 times/month use.
Closest station is Togoshi Ginza.
By Catherine Cervantes on Monday, July 21, 2003 - 3:05 pm:
My 4 year old boy and I have just arrived here a month ago... We live near Azabu area or the Hiroo area and we are looking for a swimming lesson near our place where we can take my son to learn swimming.
Anybody who knows where i could bring my son there is gladly appreciated. Just e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!
By Anne on Monday, March 8, 2004 - 3:10 pm:
Hi, I am looking for a private swimming teacher for my 2 and half year-old son that can come to my home (we have a swimming pool in our building).
Please send references and fees.
Thank you, Anne
By Cornelia on Friday, March 12, 2004 - 2:53 pm:
Here is info I copied down from an advertisement in the Sugamo Mita line subway station:
Swimming, Gym and (dance) Studio
Toshima-ku, Tokyo 170-0003
It turns out that another mother I know has her 5 year old son going to this swimming pool. It's like 7000 yen for once a week. They can start at age two. And this center is famous because a Japanese olympic swimmer with breaststroke world record started as this club and still belongs to it.
By Caroline Charette on Tuesday, March 23, 2004 - 9:40 am:
We are looking for a swimming teacher for individual lessons, for kids age 3 to 10. We have access to a private pool for the lessons. Ideally on Wednesday afternoon. If you are qualified instructor and are interested, please contact me at email@example.com
By Ushka Wakelin on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 11:34 am:
I am looking for baby swimming lessons somewhere in Shibuya-ku or Shinjuku. If anyone has any information about this I would be extremely grateful if you could let me know.
By Bethan Hutton on Monday, March 29, 2004 - 2:42 pm:
Hi Ushka, I haven't done this myself, but I think that the children's castle in Omotesando/Shibuya does swimming lessons - it has a pool in the basement. Not sure of details, but worth checking out.
There is also a pool near Yotsuya station that does mother and baby swimming classes. Again, I'm not sure of the details, but I have friends who went to the classes, so if you're interested, email me and I'll try and find out more for you.
By Admin on Tuesday, May 11, 2004 - 8:02 pm:
I just heard before Golden week that K-space has a new (and "even better") location now. I think you can find out more at their website: http://www.kspace.to/ Their old location had a swimming pool that could be used by babies, but I don't know for sure that the new location has a pool.
By Justyne Volle on Friday, June 4, 2004 - 11:16 am:
I have an 8 month old and I am looking for swimming classes for her in the roppongi area.
Does any one know of any?
By Mika Yamaguchi on Tuesday, July 13, 2004 - 10:31 pm:
Hello, I live in Yokohama Naka-ku area. I can see that there is quite a lot of swimming and swimming class related facilities in the Tokyo area, but I am wondering whether there are any of those in the Yokohama area.
I just moved to Yokohama a month ago and I do not know where to look. Also, since I work during weekdays, I could only take my son who is 6 months old to any lesson over the weekend. If anyone has any information on weekend swimming lessons or baby-friendly pools in the Yokohama area, would be great if you can share that with me.
By Tokyomum on Monday, February 28, 2005 - 9:44 am:
Hi, I am looking for a swimming school for my four year old son. I live in meguro-ku and am thinking about sending my sone to Dolphin swimming school in Komazawa. I was wondering if there are any other options near me. If anyone know about it, would be of great help !
By Peter E on Monday, February 28, 2005 - 9:22 pm:
1 - try the local fitness club, eg, "do sports" or whatever.
2 - some schools have indoor pools, they might be open to the public outside hours. (I live next door to one in Nakano, its 180y/h for adults, toddlers free)
you can teach junior yourself.
One thing that should be pointed out. If you are the sort of mum that gives up because junior spends the entire time screaming himself blue in the face, DON'T. A lot of Japanese mums do that and the result is, their child still cant swim when he goes to school. Persevere. He might scream himself silly 3 or 4 times in a row.
Then again, he might not. Do Sports shinjuku has kiddy classes, for tots < 3y with mum/dad and older kids on their own.
I dont know how much it costs, but my daughter got a little prize for never missing a lesson.
I should have gotten one for consistently feeling like an idiot bouncing around with about 15 other mums with tots ...
By Blue Sky on Friday, March 18, 2005 - 6:05 pm:
You could also try the Taiyo Kyoiku Sports Centre, on Jiyu Dori near Komazawa Park. Their building is large, painted bright orange and pink, you can't miss it! Their web site is in Japanese. http://www.taiyosports.co.jp/school.html
Our family has been going there for the past 9 years and are very happy with the progress the children make. They have free trial lessons you can go to.
By Monica S. on Thursday, May 12, 2005 - 9:18 pm:
Does anybody know a swimming pool where I can take my 4mo, near Saitama-shi?
By Eliza on Thursday, May 12, 2005 - 11:58 pm:
Try the Konami sports center near you (here is the link with information about swimming-japanese only)http://www.konamisportsclub.jp/undojuku/item/swimming/index.html
By Soisik on Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - 6:23 pm:
And I am looking for "swimming babies" possibilities in Shibuya, Meguro, Ebisu...
My dauhgter is 3 months and half ...
By Peter E on Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - 8:51 pm:
Try DO Sports Shinjuku they have a course for tots (up to age 3), but at 3 1/2 months.
Most Japanese Mothers cant cope with their midget screaming for the full hour and give up after just 1 lesson. DONT, even if the midget screams themselves silly for the full hour, eventually they get over it.
I THINK it is 2~3000y/lesson or something.
The other option is to find a pool that will let you take them in on your own. School pools tend not to let midgets wearing nappies in, (or more than 1 midget per giant).
By Nancy on Friday, June 24, 2005 - 11:04 pm:
I was sent this link today for Kidswim Japan. They offer swimming lessons during the summer. http://kidswim.com/japan/index.php Has anyone had any experience with this company (good or bad?)
By Cornelia on Thursday, June 28, 2007 - 9:52 am:
There are two summer courses left (one starts July 2) in ENGLISH in Setagaya-ku. Here's the web site:
Most of the courses are scheduled in the off season. Once Japanese school lets out (July 21), it's really hard to rent lanes.
By Lindagondo on Wednesday, March 19, 2008 - 10:06 am:
Does anyone know if kidswim based in Yoyogi is still operating? I looked on the website but it seems that they don`t offer lessons any more??