What is this giant pool in Japan?

Hello Dopers,

I was just on a train from Okazaki to Toyohashi and I saw this incredibly well lit (with very tall stadium lighting) giant … ‘pool’ for lack of a better word off to the right side of the train. It was right before the station Gamagori. It passed by quickly but I distinctly saw floater lanes on this pool, and based on its size I couldn’t fathom a single viable explanation for it could be. It didn’t seem connected to the ocean, it didn’t have bleachers, and it was incredibly huge. My first instinct was to find it on Goold Satelite and I did, but that didn’t really answer any questions:

Google Satelite Image of the Pool (I think)

Seems to be it’s about 500m long, and in the Google picture it seems to have some other things in it. Now, it’s labeled somehow but I don’t read Japanese so I have no idea what it says, so I’m turning to the dope.

Is this a Jetski testing course? Some weird fishery that requires really bright stadium lighting at night?

Thanks a bunch,


P.S. First time I’m posting to dope from a bullet train!

[Announcer’s voice]: Wave Race!

You can see the wakes behind the small watercraft in the pool in that image. I think you might actually be right. Maybe it is a testing area for jet skis or powerboats.

Wave Race theme song for nostalgia value

I suspect that it’s an arm of the sea which has been channelised and enclosed.

Possibly, but for what purpose?

There are wakes in the area so obviously it’s being used for small powered watercraft.

Welcome to…Dolphin Park!

OK, my best guess as to what it is, is that it’s some kind of place where you can go and rent a jet ski and ride around in an enclosed area. Most marinas in the U.S. offer jet-ski rentals - I’ve rented them on lakes, rivers, and ocean beaches. Japan, from everything I’ve gathered about it, is very big on providing entertainment to people who want to unwind after work, and from what I’ve gathered, they have more stuff in Japan that’s open at night. So the bright lights are probably so people can rent jet skis and ride around in that pool, at night, after they’re done with work.

I think this is the most logical explanation.

I can’t read the kanji nor can I translate it via PC b/c it’s an image.

paging TokyoPlayer

Holding tank for Godzilla?

Tsar Piscina?

Sorry, I got nuthin’.

I’m guessing the first 2 are the place name, Mikawa, and the second 2 describe the pool, which appears to be “salt waves”. Also I see two suggesting “competition place”. So it looks like some kind of happy lucky salt wave competition place.

Salt waves: salt-water, in other words, water from the ocean. It’s a pool that is fed by the nearby ocean. Competition place - self explanatory. It’s probably a jet ski racing area. Wave Race! There are no big red and yellow checkpoint buoys visible in that photo, but there are several jet skis in the water, so perhaps the racing setup has been temporarily put away and the riders are just free-riding for fun or having an informal race. Maybe one of them is R. Hayami. By the way, I always wanted to fuck A. Stewart.

So I googled for “Gamagori” and found this picture of this thing:


from this blog in Japanese:


Automatic translation of the blog was not too helpful but this does seem to be a giant racetrack for some sort of watercraft competitions. This doesn’t explain why there are no bleachers that I can see, but perhaps all the viewing is done from indoor bleachers that are inside the big buildings?

Edit: And here’s our answer. Thanks everybody.

That picture makes it look just like Sunset Bay. The track in a perpetual state of sunset, with the background music that was an amped-up version of the main theme with tri-tone power chords that made it sound like Boston was covering it.

This has already been answered, but for additional information, along with keirin (bicycle racing) and horse racing, speedboat racing is one of only three forms of legalized gambling in Japan, but is the least popular of the three. There are a number of pools(?) throughout Japan. Here’s one in Tokyo.

Pachiko is by far the largest form of gambling, but they create a legal fiction of it not being gambling, by giving away prizes such as pens instead of cash. Coincidently, next door to the pachiko parlor there will be specialized stores which exist only to purchase these pens back from the winners.

Nostalgic posts about old N64 games for the win!

Just for the record, Gamagori and Gifu are both satellites of the greater Nagoya area and the first thing I think of when I hear Gamagori is “speedboat racing”. It’s really quite famous. A bit more reading:

Four, actually: horse, boat, bicycle and motorbike. Although according to the Japan Wiki page on sanctioned gambling, it appears motorbike racing is on its last wheels, with only 6 official courses nationwide.

Damn, learn something new every day.

Quietly turns in card as a resident expert on Japan

Good! Good! Good! Great! MAXMUM POWER!

One night, during the summer where I first started using marijuana a lot, I was playing this game and I was just like, “this music is unbelievable.” I called my friend Nate and was like, “man, you have to get over here and get high and listen to the Wave Race music right now - it’s amazing.” (Nate was studying electronic music at IU and we were both starting to get into rock with Minimalist influences, like Grandaddy.)

We smoked and then went to the “Audio” screen in the Options of WaveRace where you can just listen to whatever song you want, without even playing the game. We listened to every song, intensely, picking them apart musically and discussing the individual elements of them.

We were so stoned that we actually made up lyrics to the Wave Race main theme:
“Wave Race is the game that we like to play
We race jet-skis all around the pa-aaaa-aaa-aaark”
(instrumental: da da daaaa, da-da da daaaaa…)
“Racing around, in the park
We’re racing around, racing around the park…
Racing around, in the park
We’re racing around, racing around the park…”
I wish I was joking, but I’m not. Actually I don’t wish I was joking, I’m proud of it.

Here’s a video of one of the races. Apparently they don’t bother to stop if there’s a crash. Looks pretty exciting.


There’s some sort of false start (I’m at work so I don’t have the sound on), but they restart around the 1:20 mark.