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The big heat

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Visitors pack a giant pool at Toshimaen amusement park in Tokyo on Monday

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Too many people, I hope there are know children in the pool.

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Oh Have mercy, I Looked again and I see babies in there too.

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And that one lone gaijin in the center is saying : What the hell am I doing here?

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I hope this was taken with a zoom lens that is smooshing the visual space to make it look even more crowded than it was...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This should be in the crime section. Gross.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

And that one lone gaijin in the center is saying : What the hell am I doing here?

Waiting for all those damn people to get out the way so he can get his holiday snaps taken!

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I think the angle from which it was taken also makes it more crowded.

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A textbook case of 'imo arai'...

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wow, you can't even see the water anymore!

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If you take out all those ridiculous floating toyz you would have double the room...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Remember the little boy that died in the pool at the Hoikuen?

Every 20 minutes they make you get out of the pool at Japanese municipal pools. It gives them time to use the gaff to pull out the tubes, toys, and bodies.

Ridiculous and dangerous.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Swimming is out of the question when you have this much density. I used to go to a swimming pool at Byoubigaura in Yokohama when I was small, and it was never this crowded.

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Oh, my dog! That is disgusting!

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I'd rather bake on the concrete than enter that mosh pit.

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But it looks so refreshing!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Where's Wally?

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Looks like a human casserole - all they need is a few carrots and onions.

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I hope the child at the far left middle is being attended to. It looks like the water is up to the bottom of his nose.

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so glad I went to a nice not so crowded river this weekend. Not so many people enough space to relax and amazing temperature and shade. hell no am I ever going to a pool in Japan.

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Only Pool I visit here is my local Municipal Pool, still gets crowded at times but no toys, etc allowed. Granted they got 4 pools(2 Indoor and 2 Outdoor), so if I want to go for a good swim in summer I just head indoors where few people are.

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How were the mosquitoes papi? And the every 20minute thing is so they can add the chlorine needed to keep the water clean enough to be advertised as a pool that is clean enough to be public. Yuck. At the price of city water youd be better off standing in your yard with the hose on all day.

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How can people possibly enjoy this?

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wonder what the concentration of pee is in that pool?!?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Toshimaen and US 405 has one thing in common. You wanna avoid them entirely and chill at home.

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I'm just glad that I can say "lucky to live Hawaii." We don't have to worry about things like this.

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Surely there has got to come a point where for safetys sake they cant allow any more into the pool?

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The comments are brilliant. Thanks for fixing my stressful and bad business day.

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And that one lone gaijin in the center is saying : What the hell am I doing here?

Maybe he is trying to make a move on the hot chick in the green bikini next to him (in front of his girlfriend who is just visible on his right).

1 ( +1 / -0 )

i hope nobody tinkles in the pool

Maybe you might find a dirty diaper in ther somewhere

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Safety and sanitary issues aside, you gotta love summer in Japan.

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From the look on the bald guy's face in the center, I'd say the foreign woman behind him just gave him a kancho.

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Toshimaen management are horrible. They open only on weekends before the schools' summer holidays begin in July, and not in June, when temperatures are 30 degrees or higher. Conclusion: they are willing to do business under highly congested conditions. Many other pools in Japan have similar policies.

Best save your time and money to go somewhere nice like Thailand if you want proper summer recreation.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

When we took the kid to Kodomonokuni last summer the huge park area was almost empty - EVERYONE just went for the pool. It was crazy crowded and you could barely move without bumping into someone. It's not even a good waterpark, a couple of impossibly slow flumes you have to wait a silly amount of time to ride and a no-frills pool. At the same park during Golden Week you have to queue at least 15 minutes to go down the big slide that is now deserted in summer.

I agree with Zenny, near us there are a couple of municipal water parks that aren't too crowded and are very affordable for a day out.

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giant pool and such a small crowd on a holiday?!

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No one seems concerned about the shark at the lower left.

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I was not there that day but would love to see that guy on the upper left do his swan dive again.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

This is japan all over. If there is a place worth going, everyone else goes there too, and it isn't worth going.

Not just Japan, Patrick. Ever been to Alton Towers on a bank holiday?

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How were the mosquitoes papi?

Absolutely NONE. And the water. PERFECT! Everyone knows the place yet it wasnt packed which was very surprising.

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How many Microsieverts in that pool?

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That's no camera trick. The pool is usually that crowded, especially on weekends. The pool in the photo is donut-shaped and has a gentle current to pull you along. It is not a pool for swimming in but just floating. There are lap pools, a wave pool and wading pool at Toshimaen. What there are not, or don't seem to be, are limits on the number of people who are allowed in to any of the pools. The crowds are ridiculous, dangerous and gross. I've been to Toshimaen (under duress) four times and each time found it to be very poorly maintained, dirty and unsanitary. The garbage cans overflow, the undersides of the big, tube slides are coated in dirt and the drains reek of mold. Crows swoop down to snag the garbage, glass bottles are allowed, as is eating and drinking most anywhere. You absolutely can't go in if you have tatoos but are free to potentially infect each and all with any skin diseases you may have. I even saw a young woman in the pool with an eye patch which was covering her pink eye (she talked about it with her friends in a not quiet voice). Additionally, it seems to either attract a rough crowd or to just bring out the worst in people. I noticed that the police were called three of the four times I went there. When the park is closing the staff seems to have an especially difficult time getting the young men, in their late terns and early twenties, out of the current pool. I'm done going there and would discourage anyone I know from doing so even once.

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Ningen-nabe! Noooo thank you!

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I shared a similar situation yesterday in Tokyo at a famous city hotel pool which cost an arm and a leg to get in. Water was full of kids even in the lap pools with parents letting their little kids swim "laps" with the adults while the lifeguards looked on fondly. Water was full of floating objects, god knows what they were. The only thing enforced are the super strict anti-tattoo laws. Good thing my wife had one a one-piece swimsuit otherwise we would have gotten tossed too.

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CapnSinbad,

You need to remember only evil criminal types with horrendous diseases have tattoo's thats why they are banned ;-) . Seriously though l would love to have the water tested at that place, l reckon it would be a huge turnoff. And why would you even bother going there you would just end up hotter and angrier than you where before going, cant see the point even if l was allowed in.

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that picture is nasty on so many levels. glad i stayed home.

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ambrosia, I've been to Toshimaen with a tattoo and no-one said anything, but that was a few years ago. do you know if the rules have changed or just did no-one want to say anything to the gaijin?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

had a grimy end-of-season sunday down at toshimaen a few years ago. had a good time, mostly due to it's complete scrubby nastiness. it amused away some of my hangover at least. tossing around a beach ball in the circulating pool was quite fun at least

a wise man goes to toshimaen, a fool goes again :D

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A friend of mine has a whole body tattoo. He is American. The guys that went into the onsen with him said he stayed covered up until he went into one of the pools and then removed his clothes. They said it was hilarious. All the men jumped out they said, but no one kicked him out. Would have loved to see that.

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To many kids around= urine everywhere

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Oikawa: As of last year they still had the no-tattoos policy and it's well posted. I doubt they'd have let you get away with it just because you're a foreigner. Anyone who works at Toshimaen has to have a certain hardness given the roughness of much of the crowd there. More likely than not no one who was in a position to say anything saw it or they did and just had too many other things to worry about that day than dealing with a matter they may not have cared about anyway, like making sure the bosozoku (?) didn't start another fight.

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To many kids around= urine everywhere

Maybe where you are from but here in Japan (bathing obsessed country #1) people do not pee in their bath or pool.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

ambrosia thanks for the reply. as you say they probably didn't care especially as my tattoo is a chinese character that they could read and has no threatening connotations, and i certainly wouldn't be mistaken for a yakuza member. just like most things in Japan you can pretty much do what you like if you have the balls to do it, that's why the obasans are so powerful cos they just don't give a sh*t and gaijins cos we don't care or don't know the rules in the first place a lot of the time

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Hippo - my J-husband just said that he and all his friends always peed in the pool when they were kids. This is not a pool anymore.

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Skeptical Hippo: Just because people take baths doesn't make them bathing obsessed. I know plenty of foreigners who shower twice a day. Does that make them shower obsessed? I've also encountered plenty of Japanese who could stand to bathe or shower a bit more, especially on summer mornings. It's not nice to be stuck on crowded trains with people who smell of that funky sweat-all-night grease. That aside, kids are kids and many of them most certainly will pee in public pools. For some it'll simply be a matter of not noticing they had to go until it was too late and for others it'll be because they're too lazy or having too much fun to get out of the pool. I suspect a few adults (yes, Japanese included) would fall into either category. After all, it's a pool, not their bathtub and they're going to shower when they get home, right? Your post suggests you either think Japanese are more hygienic than others or that it's somehow okay or acceptable for people to pee in pools in other countries. I don't know of any place where it's acceptable to pee in pools but I'd bet it happens where ever there are kids having fun in the water. It's one of the reasons I really don't care for public pools.

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With so many people in the skimpy pool, it'd be chikan paradise, haha.

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Just because people take baths doesn't make them bathing obsessed. I know plenty of foreigners who shower twice a day. Does that make them shower obsessed?

Ever heard of onsen and rotenburo and all the tv programs, travel tours and money spend on these places? Can't say I've seen anything like it in any other country. Japanese are obsessed with bath(ing) and pools. Just take another look at the picture... Don't you need to be obsessed to even consider going into that kinda overcrowded place? Any other reasonable person wouldn't. Only in Japan.... only in bath/pool obsessed Japan.

In the country I'm from they add a certain substance to the water in pools so that when someone pees in the pool the water around them changes color.

my J-husband just said that he and all his friends always peed in the pool when they were kids. This is not a pool anymore.

LOL Was he particularly proud when he told you that? If that is not a pool anymore then what is it - a urinal?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Onsens and rotenburo are popular in Japan, no doubt but to say you haven't heard of things like these in other countries just means you need to get out more. Have you ever heard of spas? The word is not Japanese. Romans took ritualistic baths and conducted business in the bath. Have you ever heard of Turkish baths? No, they're not related to the sex trade. Have you ever heard of Budapest, Hungary, Aachen, Germany, Hot Springs, Arkansas? They're all towns famous for their spas, onsens, rotenburos, call them what you like and there are many others like them. The ritual and style may be different but they are all hot baths from natural springs. They've been popular for relaxation and healing in Europe in particular for as long as they've existed. People tend to get sucked into the whole idea of the "uniqueness of Japan" when in reality there are plenty of things here that are similarly popular and common in other countries.

What you need to even consider going into a place like Toshimaen is not many other convenient options and dreadful summers. Throw in a couple of hot, cranky kids begging you to go to a water park and that's what you've got.. Try some beaches in New Jersey, Spain, Italy, etc. at the height of summer and you'd wonder the same thing.

According to snopes.com there is no chemical to show that someone has peed in a pool, though i was told the same thing as a kid. If you could provide a legitimate link proving me wrong you'll have my apology. Otherwise, I stand by that being something parents and teachers tell kids to scare them into not peeing in the pool.

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Of course there are onsens/spas/rotenburos in other countries. No need to make silky remarks about me needing to go out more. What I was saying is that Japan has a shitload of 'm and the Japanese love spending list of money on 'm. Compare the numbers with those countries you mentioned. BOT.... Have you ever seen that much people in a single pool?? You have to really really really like swimming pools if you're gonna join that.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Sorry, but they are beloved, multi-million dollar industries in other countries too and therapeutic visits to them are often covered by national insurance schemes. The ritual has been more exacted in Japan which can partially be attributed to a love of ritual and rules rather than a greater appreciation for the baths. They're also great at promoting them as being unique to Japan. As for the pool, I've certainly seen beaches as crowded but most places that I know of wouldn't let so many people in a pool because it's dangerous. The photo of Toshimaen speaks more to a lack of common sense on the part of the pool operators than it does a love of bathing. I fail to see the connection between wanting to be in crowded, foul pools with loving onsens, unless we're taking into account the onsens where people have gotten sick due to poor sanitation, where the supposed mineral contents of the water were faked or where all the onsen porn is filmed.

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