Wild swimming

Have you tried wild swimming? It means swimming somewhere ‘wild’, like a lake, river or stream – anywhere that isn’t a pool. 

toddler running with towelWhen my friend in London started wild swimming, I thought that it was a new hobby for people who live in the city. My entire childhood was spent swimming in the ocean, lakes and creeks, yet I never thought of it as ‘wild’. It was just swimming. 

Now I live in Tokyo, and I finally understand the desire to escape to somewhere wild.

We’re lucky to have many clean jabujabu splashpads near our house, with man-made pools and fountains for cooling off in the summer – but they’re not the same as being in nature. It was totally by chance that one day we discovered Hygojima Park, a lush green space with a stream, right by Tamagawa River.

view of hygojima parkThe park overlooks Futakotamagawa station, making it the perfect place to watch the trains go by.

child in water with train in backgroundThere was something so special about watching the children splashing in the cool water, chasing tiny fish and wading across the rocky creek bed. 

toddler splashing in riverMy son quickly learned that the water current can be strong and he can easily fall over. It’s not perfectly safe, which is maybe what makes it so fun. As he played I stayed close, while still trying to give him the space to feel ‘wild’.

mother and toddler in streamWith autumn upon us, we’ll now start swimming indoors at our local pool. It’s definitely not wild, but it will do until we can explore more of the outdoors next summer...


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