If you are in Hiroshima between November and April and are looking for a fun sport to do in the city, you might want to get over to the Big Wave ice-rink.
It is possible for adults and kids to get inexpensive lessons in ice-skating, figure skating, curling and ice-hockey at this rink. There was a family visiting from Iwakuni base who couldn't speak any Japanese, but their kids were avid hockey players at home and were so excited to meet some of the local team. Despite the language barrier, they were able to play with the local team a few times.
So, if you are staying in Hiroshima for a few weeks and you or your kids have an interest in ice-sports, I would recommend getting in touch with one of the coaches by asking one of the staff at the ice-rink.
- Ice-hockey: The local team for elementary, junior high and high school players is the "Collectors". There is also an adult team that regularly practices at this rink.
- Ice-skating lessons: At the Big Wave ice-rink, they hold skating lessons once or twice a month (for the normal entry price) for elementary aged kids and older. Lessons are typically limited to 20 people, so call and sign up in advance if you are interested (Hiroshima residents are given priority, non-residents can join if space allows).
- Curling: It is also possible to do Curling at the Hiroshima Big Wave. If you are interested in trying out this Olympic sport, register interest on the Hiroshima Curling Association's site.
- General Ice-rink entrance fees: Big Wave entry for children under elementary school age are free with a paying adult. School-age kids entry is ¥910, adults ¥1,520.
Skate rental (figure skates or ice-hockey skates available in child and adult sizes up to 30cm) is 300 yen each.
Entry fees are slightly cheaper (you get one free entry) if you buy 11 tickets at the same time (9,100 for kids and 15,200 for adults).
Other Chugoku-area Ice-rinks
Hiroshima only has one ice-skating rink, but there are ice-skating rinks in other prefectures in the Chugoku area:
- Okayama has two rinks, one in Okayama city and the other is a large, outdoor rink in Tsuyama called "Iceland" (Dec to Feb).
- Shimane has a small rink in Hamada (curling, figure skating and ice-hockey lessons available) and in Izumo at the Shinji Lake Park which is open October to May.
- Yamaguchi has a large rink in Kudamatsu in a complex called "K-park" that also has dining, shopping, hot spring onsens and lodging.