Of all the classes you can send your children to, swimming may very well be the most important. All children should learn to swim and an experienced teacher will know how best to help beginners or particularly anxious children. Additionally, the group environment can also be a positive influence on these kids.
Finding a swimming pool should not be too difficult. Firstly, your ward office will be able to tell you the locations of the public pools in your area. Most of these will be indoor pools so theoretically they should be open throughout the year, but you will also find that during the hottest months there will be outdoor pools, including at some elementary schools open to the public. Some of them are only open to residents of the ward so don't forget to bring your alien registration card, but most will be open to anyone. Many private fitness clubs also have swimming pools though they generally require you to become a member, wheareas the public pools will charge you per visit or may even be free, particularly for children.
Swimming lessons can be found in public pools, private fitness clubs, and private swimming schools. For the public pools you should enquire at the front office as to what kinds of classes they offer. These classes can be very popular because they are priced relatively cheaply compared to private schools. For that reason there may be a lottery system in place to choose students. Private fitness clubs will generally have adult classes, though some of them will also have classes for children. You will need to enquire with them directly. Finally, there are private swimming schools. You can find these by looking in the Japanese Yellow Pages or by asking other parents in the area. We have listed some pools with kids lessons below - please help us expand this list. Classes held in English have been placed at the top of the list, but the majority of swimming schools teach in Japanese and their websites will also be Japanese only. You might find it easier to visit the school directly to learn more.
Finally, don't forget to read the article on pool etiquette in Japan which may be quite different to your home country.