If you are looking for an interesting place for some entertainment, "Tsukuba You World" is well worth a visit. This huge complex contains 8 movie theaters, a bowling alley, a batting range, a climbing wall, numerous electronic games and a large "onsen" style bath with massage and other frills available. There is plenty of parking, and so you don't have to worry about having trouble finding a place.
The theaters have comfortable seats and lots of legroom. Theater sizes vary from 118 seats to 367 seats, and so the more popular movies, such as "Harry Potter" are put in the big theaters. The seating is on tiers that make viewing easy, so that you don't have to worry about someone's head being in the way. While the normal admission price is a bit high at 1800 yen (pretty "normal" for Japan, however), there are frequent discounts available, including all seats on the first day of the month being 1000 yen. Seniors (60 and over) also get in for 1000 yen any time, and they have a "ladies day" every Wednesday for the same price. The late shows are also cheaper, at yen 1200. They likewise pass out 200 yen discount coupons for you to use during your next visit, and thus if you like to go see the latest movies, you can save quite a bit if you plan ahead. If you can understand Japanese, a call to 39-5700 will give you the times of the shows.
There are lots of interesting things to explore, and so even going to watch people literally "climb the walls" is worth a few minutes of your time. An artificial, indoor cliff, complete with various things to grab hold of, greets you at the main entrance. A safety rope, of course, prevents someone from falling, and if you are adventurous, it looks quite a thrill.
The "Spole Bowl" has 24 lanes and the full range of rental equipment necessary for bowling. There is also a "Spole Dome", which is a baseball batting range where a video screen shows some of pro baseball's Tokyo Giants' pitchers throwing a ball, and coordinated with that, a real ball come flying out of a hole across the plate for you to swing at. It is located outside, and thus is unheated. So, it can be a bit cold for that this time of year.
Speaking of cold, you can warm yourself up in the various spas that are available on the second floor. These include the typical Japanese style "onsen" baths where you are in the "buff" (separated between men and women, of course), and also a separate zone for mixed bathing in bathing suites. This section even includes a pool designed to imitate the "Dead Sea", so that you can float high up in the water.
The "regular" baths are divided into two theme sections. One takes you through Japanese history, and the other simulates ancient Rome. On the first and 16th of each month, the men's and women's sections are reversed so that you can experience both of them (thought not on the same day). The regular admission is (thought not on the same day). The regular admission is 1800 yen (900 yen for children 4 years old to grade 6), and booklets discount tickets are also available if you go frequently. As it is open 24 hours a day, if you are a night owl, you can get in for 1000 yen between 1 and 5 am. There is also a weekly "ladies day" on Wednesdays for 1000 yen, and to be fair, they also have a "men's day" on Thursdays for the same 1000 yen (but they don't do that for the movies!).
Tsukuba You World is located on route 354 (Tsuchiura-Noda Sen) on the south side between Higashi and Nishi Odori. Tsuchiura-Noda Sen is the road that the Tokyo Express Bus turns onto after going down Higashi Odori (just before getting onto the expressway. It's the opposite direction, however, on that road on the left. The general information number is 39-5000 and the web page is: http://www.tyw.co.jp
The International Women's Network (IWN) is a group of women who enjoy chatting with people from all over the world. We hold a monthly potluck dinner where we exchange information about the local community while eating a variety of foods. No reservation is needed to attend the potluck. Just bring one dish of food and show up at the meeting. Newcomers are always welcome! Take advantage of this unique opportunity to enjoy the international city of Tsukuba with us!
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