CONTRIBUTED BY CALYN PAQUIN

P-Com Ginowan Swimming School l Okinawa Hai!

I am writing this to provide the information I have, and also to say I wish I had looked into this much earlier because it has been so good for my son.

P-com stands for pool communication. It is conveniently located just down the road from Foster’s Legion gate on 330/81.

P-Com Ginowan Swimming School l Okinawa Hai!Before my son started taking swim lessons, he was one of those kids who was very afraid of the water. He took one of the summer week-long courses at Foster when he was four and clung on to his instructor the whole time. We never went back. We seldom go to the pool, but last year, he finally agreed to wear a vest and kicked off a little by himself. This spring, he started swimming in deep ends with just a float ring so I was determined to take advantage of this newfound bravery to get him into taking swimming lessons. Off I went to P-com to get information and together with three other friends, they took a trial lesson to determine their level and started lessons in May.

The levels start at 15 for the beginner and the number gets smaller as they pass their tests to move up. At the trial, my son was very nervous but he did everything the coach asked them to. He ended up starting at level 15, but at the end of two weeks when they had their scheduled “test week,” he had passed every requirement and more to move up to level 11! I cried tears of joy. Now let me back track and give you some details and what I know.

Firstly, here are what classes they offer in their pamphlet: adult water health care, aquarobics, leisurely class (rehabilitation movement), walking in water, ladies-only swim, adult swim, and baby/kinder classes (held in the mornings and evenings). The child classes are in the afternoon between 3:15 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. on the weekdays. Please check with them for the hours available as there are too many to list. Child classes are an hour long plus 15 minutes of warm-up time.

Here are the enrollment fees for my son: Registration 6,300 yen, insurance 2,400 yen and first month’s fee. Monthly fee depends on class duration; once a week – 5,880 yen, twice a week – 7,350 yen and three times a week – 8,400 yen. There is a perk for signing up for three times a week—they can go every day! 

Each child has to buy the uniform swim suit. Boys’ swim shorts range from 2,625 yen to 2,940 yen and girls’ swim suits range from 4,515 yen to 4,830 yen. The swim cap is 525 yen, but you can buy one at the 100 yen store as long as they are white.

Also, if your child goes to school off base, check to see if P-Com will provide transportation. Their buses will pick up and even bring them back to the school if you want, and all you need is to buy their P-com swim bag for 3,000 yen and they can ride the buses for free.

P-Com Ginowan Swimming School l Okinawa Hai!

They have a calendar for the year that will show you when they are closed and also the “test weeks,” which are usually every six to seven weeks. Oh, and before I forget, you’ll need two head shots of your child about the size of a passport photo when you register them. You can just cut out from any pictures of your child if you have them. They have a pamphlet in English with the other fees/rules for class changes, etc. The registration form is in Japanese but they have a sample of it in English so you can fill out the form.

P-Com Ginowan Swimming School l Okinawa Hai!

Now for the place. You enter the building and put your shoes in the cubbies. There is a reception desk in the lobby, lost and found corner and a rack of swim suits for sale. Up the flight of stairs and you’ll see several long benches for parents to sit and through the windows, you can look down to the five-lane pool where lessons are held.

P-Com Ginowan Swimming School l Okinawa Hai!

The children will go into the boys/girls locker room to change and leave their belongings before heading into the warm-up room at the back.

P-Com Ginowan Swimming School l Okinawa Hai!

Once in the warm-up room, they will do stretches before their coaches take attendance.

P-Com Ginowan Swimming School l Okinawa Hai!

When that’s done, they will go down the stairs (no parents allowed beyond this point) from the warm up room to get rinsed before going to their designated classes. My son has been going four times a week and being in the water so much has helped him a lot. This school has English-speaking coaches and so far, my son said they are great! The young lady at the reception desk is Rie; she speaks good English and is very helpful.

Address: 33-24 Futenma 1-chome Ginowan-shi Okinawa

Phone: 098-893-2177 / 098-892-0533

Directions: From Foster Legion gate. Turn right at the traffic lights onto 330/81. You will see a tall brown building on the left ahead and see the swimming school right behind it. Turn in for parking.

Hours: 10:00 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.

Payment: Yen only 

21 COMMENTS

  1. The English speaking staff who is working part-time on M/W/F evenings will no longer work there with effect Dec 12th 2014. Let’s hope they can find a replacement. If not, you will need to bring someone or ask a friend who can speak Japanese to call for you with enquiries.

  2. I took my kids to the Chatan Swimming School which is closer to Kadena, just off of 23. There is no registration fee and no specially required swimming suits.

  3. We took the month of April off due to travelling so I missed the notice they gave out in April about the increment of fees. Registration is now 6480 yen, Insurance 2468 yen, once a week 6048 yen, twice a week 7560 yen and 3 times a week 8640 yen. Swim suit prices and other extra fees also increased so do ask them for their revised handouts.

  4. Editor’s Note: Due to technical difficulties this comment was not saved on our server. We are re-publishing it now to continue the conversation on this post.

    From Opal on 9/17/13:
    “Thank you very much, we got here at the end of June and I was very disappointed with the swim lesson times and short season offered on Base. My son has been swimming at the YMCA back home and asks me every day, when can I go back to swimming mom? So once again thanks, I love Okinawa Hai.”

  5. Editor’s Note: Due to technical difficulties this comment was not saved on our server. We are re-publishing it now to continue the conversation on this post.

    From Melissa on 9/13/13:
    “Just FYI, the full-time English front desk person is no longer there. They take English inquiries on M/W/F from 5:30pm-8:00pm”

    • the coaches are Japanese but so far, my son had 2 coaches who speaks Eng. When it was an Japanese only coach, he said it wasn’t hard because they show you what to do and there will always be a couple of children demonstrating as well. I have also heard from other friends with Jap coaches that when it comes to swimming, they don’t really need to talk much. in fact, they learned some Jap in return. 🙂

  6. Thanks for this post. I’ve been so curious about indoor pools on the island for fall/winter swim lessons. Did you find any others? How young can they be to start lessons? My youngest is 3 and like yours wants to be held most of the time. Do they work with kids that young?

    • sorry I didn’t reply earlier. We were in US and just got back the day before and I was not on Okihai while away. lol Anyway, if you have not called them about your inquiries, their afternoon child classes do start from 3 yrs old. They do have English speaking teachers and are very patient with little ones from what I have observed.

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