Comfort Hotel Hikone
Phone: (81) 749 27 8211
Fax: (81) 749 27 8212
This massive four-story entertainment emporium is operated by local taxi company MK. The second floor has a multi-lane bowling alley while on the fourth floor there is indoor soccer, table tennis, pool, plus an incredible and noisy selection of the latest electronic, interactive video arcade games. So if you want to ski, drive, shoot, ride, dance and drum through the medium of a machine, this place is for you. Open throughout the year.
This is a recently refurbished, modern and very clean sports club in the northwest of the city. Facilities include a well-equipped gym, a studio and a 25 meter pool (82 feet), jacuzzi and saunas. Membership is JPY9,000 per month or JPY3,000 on the day with no extra costs. The fee includes all lessons offered by the fully trained and friendly teaching staff. These include yoga, aqua-arobics, aerobics, dance, fitness boxing as well as weight training. Membership can be held for a JPY1,000 a month fee if you are going to be out of the country for a spell.
A distinctive Kyoto landmark built in 1964 and situated directly in front of Kyoto station, this 131-meter-high, slim orange and white tower, resembling a torch, is generally panned by guidebook writers, but illuminated at night it serves as a truly handy location device. Inside are an observation platform, souvenir shop, hotel and a large bathhouse, plus an assortment of weird and wonderful amusements and arcade games.
Operated by Toei, one of Japan's largest movie makers, Uzumasa Movie Village or Kyoto Studio Park is the Japanese equivalent of Universal Studios. The impressive sets for historical dramas have ninja shows and give a glimpse of bygone Kyoto with geisha in kimono accompanied by fully armed samurai warriors. You can usually see contemporary dramas and samurai epics in the making on site. There is also a theme park with souvenirs, hi-tech rides and computer games as well as a movie museum. A fun day out with or without kids.
The fans who fill Nagoya Dome on a Dragons' game day make this stadium a feared site among opposing teams. Try to sit near the cheering section, easily identifiable because everyone will be wearing blue and white and everyone will be cheering in unison with the "cheerleaders" in front. The atmosphere is thick when the Dragons take on the Tokyo Giants, but it is all in good fun, and most foreigners leave exhilarated. Nagoya Dome also hosts the world-class musicians that frequently pass through town. Check schedules for game/concert days and times.
A sprawling sanctuary with one of the largest zoos in Asia, botanical gardens, and an amusement park, established before World War II, the zoo has an impressive pedigree. Traditional favorites include lions, tigers and bears as well as elephants and giraffes. Also popular are a koala exhibit and tiny medaka tropical fish that flew on the space shuttle with one of Japan's astronauts. The recently built Higashiyama Sky Tower, with observation decks and a restaurant 100 meters off the ground, offers a panoramic view of the area.
Hirakata Park, or in short 'Hirapa', is a local amusement park located in Hirakata City. The 400-meter water shoot Pachanga is an interesting story. Giant fountains, subterranean rumbles and a volcano are some attractions of the park. Sega World offers the latest hi-tech games and Giant Drop Meteo, a vertical free-fall machine. There is also a regular autumn special event called Hirakata Chrysanthemum Dolls. The Park is easily accessible by Keihan train.