Shiba Koen outdoor summer pool

In the shadow of Tokyo Tower, Minato ward has opened their outdoor summer pool one minute from the Shibakoen Toei Mita station. Apparently sunblock is not permitted, so I won’t be there between 10 am and 4 pm. I made my first visit on Friday after work: a beautiful sunset over Tokyo Tower and the surrounding towers. As hyped by word-of-mouth, this outdoor pool is mega-gay.

The funniest moment was arriving at the clean and new facility. There were many, many posters explaining how tattoos are not permitted. I love the Western shoulder tattoo and the attempt at universal language, plus Japanese and English. Is it passive-aggressive to also explain how to hide your tattoos, with rash guards, “supporter,” taping, etc.

I didn’t get to visit, but I heard there’s a mezzanine area with lounge chairs, canvas sun shields, vending machines, and a smoking area! Way to promote fitness tied to tanning and smoking. Yumm! Apart from the very warm pool water, I recommend a visit. But after seeing all the minimal swimsuits, I think I may need to buy a smaller one!

BTW, this pool closes on September 15. Hours are 9 am to 8 pm, with a 5 pm closing time after September 1. They are also closed on August 2 for cleaning. I’ll post more night photos of the pool house exterior and Tokyo Tower soon.

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12 comments

    1. It *is* crazy. I guess they don’t want the sunblock oil in the pool, but couldn’t swimmers shower it off first? Even more ridiculous, some pools, like the one in my neighborhood, prohibit the use of soap in their showers. Maybe to protect the plumbing? In most places, showing *with soap* is required before using the pool.

    1. “No tattoo” is a class distinction. Officially, tattoos are prohibited because they are associated with yakuza, or gangsters. However, tattoos are also common in the construction industry, and now amidst younger people of all types. Not surprisingly, the few public places like pools and sentos where tattoos are allowed also seem to attract non-tattooed gays.

  1. I’ve been here many times and ignore the no sunblock rule. They can’t prohibit that, there’s no way…
    Seats are limited in the deck upstairs too btw its really crowded…

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