December 6, Harajuku
December 5, Shibuya
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If it's an outdoor pool near Tokyo you're after, Kawagoe has a decent number of them, one of which famously offers bathers the chance to be washed over by 2m high waves. Less than 40 minutes northwest of Ikebukuro Station, Kawagoe Aquatic Park centres around a whopping great ship that protrudes from the middle of the main pool. Not that this majestic vessel does much other than providing occasional shade; the real attractions here are the water slides, which look very similar to the kind of fairground slides we relished as children, and are circled by slightly more devilish chutes. Saitama may have a reputation as a dull prefecture, but they certainly know how to run a water park.