Spa Resort Hawaiians

Part of the waterpark

Nestled seemingly in the middle of nowhere, Fukushima Prefecture, Spa Resort Hawaiians is a massive indoor waterpark and onsen that inspired a movie in Japan a while back called Hula Girls.

The waterpark themed on Hawaii has the following pools for your enjoyment:

  1. Kiddy pool with three slides
  2. Baby pool that’s a very wide puddle basically
  3. Two onsen pools you can go into while wearing a swimsuit
  4. A lazy river (closes at 5 p.m.)
  5. A grand pool where people were goofing around and throwing beachballs at one another
  6. Something like five waterslides (these cost extra, though)
  7. An extra kiddy pool for slightly older kids with a slide

It should be noted there is no place for professional swimmers or anyone hoping for some serious exercise to swim laps. I got a good workout, however, just walking around the lazy river about 50 times.

Inner tubes for one of the waterslides

Time, I think, hasn’t been too kind to the waterpark, which has paint peeling in places and outdated decorations, but I think it makes up for the overall look by how the place is.

This is a place that seems to have dedicated more of its time to making life easier for visitors than making the place look good, and that makes me able to handle the cheesy decor.

For example, they have places where you can blow up inner tubes for free, a baby room for nursing mothers, lifeguards (of course) everywhere, a food court next to the pools, a baby pool right next to a little kid pool, and a massive ceiling stretched over all of it so you can visit year round.

There’s nothing like escaping the winter and its breathtaking cold to enjoy a nice pool while surrounded in humidity.

The place got really quiet after around 5 p.m.

I also have noticed – and I have no idea how standard this is around the globe – that places in Japan with a pool have these machines in the locker rooms where you can stuff your dripping wet swimsuit into it, push and hold a button for five seconds, and your swimsuit will come back to you only mildly damp. Where have these machines been all my life?

I think the most genius design, however, is an onsen pool you can go into while wearing your bathing suit that is right next to the main kiddy pool. While I was there, I saw dozens of parents relaxing in the onsen while watching their kids splash around in the kiddy pool or go down one of three slides available to them.

One of the waterslides after it had closed for the day

As I only just visited the waterpark, I thought I’d share a few tips that will make your visit a lot easier, I hope:

  1. It can be a challenge just getting to the resort if you don’t have a car, though I know there are busses that can take you. It’ll take a bit of research to figure this out, though, if you don’t have a car as an option.
  2. Bring four 100-yen coins for the locker room. Only one 100-yen coin comes back to you, too, so be prepared to say a fond farewell to anything you leave in there until the very end of the day.
  3. You can bring a plastic swim bag with you to the main pool areas. People stashed their bags on any available ledge. I put my cellphone into my bag, along with my glasses, and a small amount of cash for the food court.
  4. A lot of the foodcourt closes at 5 p.m. This waterpark technically closes at 9:30 p.m., but they spend most of the day encouraging people to leave through maneuvers like this.
  5. The foodcourt does take cashless payments, but it might be wise to have a tiny bit of cash on you in your swim bag.
  6. Bring any inner tubes or beach balls from home or buy them somewhere else – prices for that kind of stuff at the waterpark are insanely high.
  7. Unlike most of Japan’s indoor pools, this place doesn’t require that you wear a swimming cap.
  8. No tattoos are allowed, but if you happen to have a small tattoo, cover it in a large waterproof bandage before arriving at the waterpark.
  9. You can go straight to the onsen in your bathing suit (assuming you have clothing to change into), where you can find showers accompanied by shampoo, conditioner, and body soap. Be aware that this onsen closes right at 8 p.m., however.
  10. Getting to the onsen is also a nightmare. They do not do a good job of providing signage for the onsen, which is basically buried deep within a maze, so please force someone who works there to walk you all the way to the entrance of the changing rooms for the onsen.
  11. All pools at the waterpark close at 8 p.m. The actual building shuts down at 9:30 p.m., but they will kick you out of the pools at 8.
  12. However, even on a Saturday, I found that the entire waterpark got considerably less crowded after around 5 p.m. That left me with a good few hours of having a waterpark almost entirely to myself, and it was awesome.
Possibly the most ridiculous mascot I’ve ever seen