As the old saying goes.. “It’s not the heat… its the humidity.” This is especially true in the Nagoya summer. The city is literally a geographical armpit… ringed by breeze-stifling mountains and set in a fetid plain reclaimed from swamps. So when August looms in the Nag keeping cool calls for desperate measures. With the summer of setsuden (energy saving) in full swing we thought it best to give our readers a few ideas about where to go and how to keep cool (mostly on a budget.) So if you haven’t fled the scene soak up all the joy and excitement that our wonderful city has to offer!
Meijo Park Pool
Risk Factors: Interruptions abound, so if you are there to chill your brain and your body you will be disappointed. Be prepared for the water to be evacuated hourly – I can only assume this is so they can check for dead bodies while everyone is lamely engaged in “exercises”. Every time they call for everyone to get out of the water I pray that they are going to break out the Hazmat suits Caddyshack-style to retrieve a snickers bar some kid has left to slumber lazily on the bottom. You will also want to bring reflective glasses even if it is only to redirect the retina-annihilating radiation emanating from the creepy-fat-old-dude-in bikini suit-sausage fest. You have been warned.
Access: Meijo Pool 1-2-13 Meijo, Kita-ku
Tel: 052-704-0447 or 052-912-0499 Closed on Wednesdays
Utsumi is Nagoya’s premier and pretty much only seaside spot for people too lazy to head out to Fukui and kick back on a real beach. The quality of both the water and beach are, to put it kindly, average, but when it’s almost 40 degrees, who’s complaining? There is plenty of eye-candy and… non-eye candy (check the photo!) as well as cheap parasols for hire and tasty shaved ice. Fun!
Risk Factors: Well, there is the issue of all that radioactive water flushed into the big ocean toilet by TEPCO. It hasn’t just evaporated into six-months-ago land. But if you’ve put up with Utsumi’s water this long the radiation may be the least of your problems.
Access: Going by car isn’t a bad idea if you can. Parking isn’t very expensive and is right by the beach. A lot of places throw in access to a shower as well. It is possible to go by train, but the beach is a bit of a hike from the station. Leave from Kanayama on the Meitetsu Line and change at Otagawa, then once more at Fuki.
There is a gigantic pool here and also an amusement park with plenty of omiage and tasty fried treats and a log ride and stuff, which no one cares about because the only reason people come here is the Steel Dragon 2000, one of the world’s biggest and most badass rollercoasters.
Risk Factors: Just be careful if you choose the water route. Back in 2003 the Steel Dragon 2000 lost a wheel which then hit and injured someone. That’s about where the facts end, because everyone seems to have a different opinion. Most of the stories revolve around the wheel splonking a frolicking swimmer. Oher aspects of the story are still up to debate.
Access: ¥5300 to get in the pool and amusement parks and ride as much as you like. Go either by car or take the bus from Nagoya Station, which will set you back about ¥2000 return. Check the timetable here: meitetsu-bus.co.jp/nagashima
If you are looking for something a bit more affordable then Mini Stop is a choice destination for your summer leisure time. These shops are conveniently located almost everywhere, they have freezer-level free air-con, toilets and all the AKB48 merch you could ever want to perv on. But why not Lawsons you may ask? Well ‘cause Mini Stop has a place to sit of course! Most locations offer counter seating so you could literally stay there 24 hours bathing in the nice cool air while sucking back hapo-shu, soft cream and a variety of fried snacks while perusing any one of the wide variety of freaky Japanese magazines on offer.
Risk Factors: Unfortunately all manner of riffraff will go to these places as there seems to be no dress code. Additionally there is a risk that you could be assaulted by drunk Salarimen who want to practice their Engrish on you. It is also not uncommon to be hit on by an Obasan looking for some hot Gaijin on Obi action. Also if you go too far with the tachiyomi they could conceivably kick you out.
Keep away from harmful UV rays by spending your free time on one of Nagoya’s best kept summer secrets –
The Meijo Subway line
For a mere ¥200 you can ride around and around in air conditioned comfort. Read, play your DS, check out the summer wear, or just take a nap. The Meijo line is unique in that it goes around in a circle and seating is quite comfortable. While there are some shops it is best to bring along your own snacks and bevvies. What could be better than observing Nagoya from its best angle (underground) while sucking back a brew trucked in from your knapsack?
Risk Factors: You may encounter obasans who will stand in front of you trying to guilt you out of your seat. For this reason it is best to wear sunglasses and appear asleep when the train becomes especially crowded. Also beware of “sleepers” who may pass out on your shoulder. To scare off recumbent passengers who want to use you as a pillow we recommend placing the heads of tacks on a small amount of duct tape and pointing them through the shoulders of your t-shirt.