30 Jan
Running is very popular in Japan – and if you are an avid fun-runner like me – it means the news is all good ! The country already had a great fascination with the sport before Sydney 2000, but when a young female runner named Naoko Takahashi won gold at those Olympics, greater interest was assured (her time was 2:23:24). The year kicks off with Ekiden – which are three days of long distance relays. So from New Years Day, you can tune into the race via TV and watch some high quality athletes compete in very cool weather. There is also The Tokyo and Fukuoka Marathons both of which attract the worlds elite runners.

For the shufflers and enthusiasts like me, best places to run in busy Tokyo are the pathways in front of the Imperial Palace. I once stayed at the Shiba Park Hotel and when I enquired about a local running route, they not only gave me a map but a pass to waer around my neck – (which included directions to find me way back to the hotel and a message which said “this maps holder is a guest at the hotel – in case of emergency our contact details are…’ How cool is that ! The running course they advised was great as well. Very scenic. The course is basically a loop around Shiba Park, which included mostly flat areas and some slight hill work – but you would pass Tokyo Tower during the circuit and the very scenic Zoujyouji Temple. I would guess that the loop was around 2km and in summer it is definitely best attempted in early morning or late evening due to humidity. There are a couple of running magazines worth checking out and can be found in most big newsagents, or book stores. I quite enjoyed Runners Magazine – which was priced at 730 yen and included future events etc. They are online here. On many occasions I ran around local villages and mountains. You just cannot beat running along small roads through rice fields as the locals cheer you on with cries of ‘gambatte’ which in this situation translates to ‘good luck/keep going’.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: