August started! and Pool day!!

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It’s already August today! 

Last Friday, I took a little drive (although it’s just about 50 minutes) and went to what we call “Sanpāru”! A friend mentioned in a Facebook comment that only people from Kochi call it that. Apparently, people from Ehime, where Sanpāru is located, call it “Nanreku”.

Indeed! In the photos I took on the way back, it was written “Nanreku Pool” in big letters! So, why do we call it Sanpāru then? We’ve been calling it that for ages, haven’t we?

I completely forgot to take photos this time, but there was a reason I hadn’t been there for a while. I’ve become friends with three other moms who meet every week in the viewing room of Fionn’s swimming school. We decided, “Let’s all go together!” This is quite a rare situation for me! After all, I’ve never had conversations like that with the moms I got to know during the four and a half years of kindergarten, let alone played together!

Other friends seem to make plans and have BBQs or go to the beach on their days off, but I’m the type who finds it tiresome unless we get along really well, and not everyone is that easy to get along with. I’m quite shy around new people.

But at the pool, Fionn happened to meet his kindergarten friend, Koumatsu, and Koumatsu’s mom, Nami, is one of the few mom friends I can talk to easily at the kindergarten. Plus, she used to be a colleague from the same high school where Emmet used to teach. So, we have various connections and can get along well without any stress. Isn’t it great that we can run into each other without making plans?

Due to COVID-19, we haven’t been able to go to big pools like this for a long time, so it was Fionn’s first time at a large pool! Here, they have flowing pools, wave pools, and water slides, so he was absolutely thrilled! And the best part was, there were very few people on a weekday!!!

About four years ago when I went here, it was extremely crowded, and there was hardly anywhere to sit in the shade. The changing room was full of people, and I remember feeling a bit uncomfortable. So, having so few people this time was fantastic, and we felt like we had the place to ourselves!

By the way, I was wearing shorts, but I was in a swimsuit the whole time, swimming around with Fionn everywhere! I was the only adult in a swimsuit! Even the men were all wearing long-sleeved rash guards. Women were wearing leggings and hats as well, and it seemed like wearing those was the norm. I don’t think you would see many people like that at pools in the U.S. or Europe, but well, this is Japan. And Asians really value having fair skin!

When in Japan, wearing rash guards and leggings seems normal, and I’m the minority. I feel like there’s a culture here where people are overly concerned about what others think, and that’s a shame. (Like wanting to hide your body or not wanting to show your skin because you’re embarrassed.) Looking back, I wrote something similar last year too! Life is only once, so I think it’s better to not care too much about what others think and just enjoy it to the fullest.

Oh, by the way! There’s a food place here at the pool, just like a beach hut! And it’s so cheap, it’s almost like from the Showa era? The entrance fee itself is also quite cheap, 100 yen for Fionn and around 600 yen for me. It’s the same level of cheapness as in the Showa era, but I’m grateful for this, and it raises your spirits, so it’s nice!

Only took a picture with Yua-chan from the same swimming group this time. I want to go again and take a group photo with everyone. Fionn was very satisfied, and I had a lot of fun, so I’ll go swimming in my swimsuit again without worrying about it!!!

There don’t seem to be any big pools in the city like Kyoho Garden or Selyes, so it’s a bit of a journey, but I’m lucky to have found a good place.

Nanreku Jumbo Pool
Open from July 1st to August 31st
10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

On Sundays, holidays, and from August 7th to 16th, open from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

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Mummy & Graphic designer

I live in the beautiful prefecture of Kochi, Japan. I’m married to a cheeky Australian and we have an energetic young boy. I’m interested in family time and enjoying nature.