A few days back I blogged about a skating arena in Tokyo, today its time for another sport. This was nearly four years ago, that on a walk along the Tokyo Bay area around Odaiba that me and my wife spotted this odd looking building and were curious to find what it was all about. It seemed as if an alien space ship had landed here or so and we could not contain our excitement to understand what it held. Any guesses?
Well its a observation deck for sure as the glass panels on the top can provide for an idea, but it is also home to the Ariake Sports Center facility right next to Odaiba!I love swimming and my daughter learns at Konami, and we wanted to know if there was a swimming pool in the facility and indeed it does. The cylindrical shape with intermittent glass sliders is the swimming pool of the Ariake Sports Center.We went to the observation deck on the space ship like structure and took the below snap to know what kind of a swimming pool it hosted and indeed it was an awesome transparent glass ceiling keeping the pool warm on a cold night and we knew that we will be back one of these days to enjoy an hour of swimming.Here is the view a sunny morning in June last year. Simply blown away by the partition which opens to blue sky… One of my friend has also been there on the day of the Tokyo Bay fireworks. Seeing fireworks while having a swim in the pool was his best experience yet in Japan. I wanna do that too, but the Tokyo Bay fireworks are now discontinued due to Olympic Village construction until 2020. So bad luck…..
NOW FOR THE SURPRISE : The entry to the pool is a paltry 400 yen (3-4 dollars). Although community sports center pools are cheaper at 1-2 dollars across Tokyo, this one with a magnificent view certainly is worth that price point. Go in June/July time when the winds are not so cold and neither is it too hot.
Swimming done, I stepped out to see this magnificent view across the Tokyo Bay of the Tokyo Tower.
The views of the Odaiba side with the ferris wheel and the Tokyo Metropolitan expressway are equally breathtaking. You could spend a evening here on a weekday with not many visitors around to the point that it feels a bit eerie sometimes. I have been to this pool at least 10-12 times and since my office is at Osaki on the Rinkai Line, it is just so convenient to reach this spot. If you are in Shinagawa, Tamachi, Odaiba side, try this pool, it is a MUST visit on a clear sunny day and also light on your wallet. 400 yen that’s it. The pool has all the right amenities, the lockers, machines to dry clothers, showers and an awesome slide pool which your kids will enjoy for sure.Since am not sure if photography is allowed inside, am just using a snap from the official website which is here. Just the half part of the slide pool for kids. The other side is a 25 meter pool with total 6 lanes and water is 1.3 meters deep.
Last but not the least, there is an interesting sign in the neighbourhood of the Ariake Sports Center. It says Wimbledon 9588 km ! Seriously? A direction sign from Japan to the UK Wimbledon? The Ariake area has a Tennis no Mori (Lawn Tennis courts) where probably someone has been a serious fan of the Wimbledon competition and this sign was put up….
Yeah, walk 500m from this sign to Ariake Station. Take Rinkai Line and got to Tennouzu Isle, change to Monorail and reach Haneda Airport. Fly to Heathrow, take a Heathrow express to Paddington and jump on District Line and reach Southfields, take a right on station exit, walk 15 minutes and reach Wimbledon. Simple….