Trail Running, Walking, Hiking...

Trail running in Japan is about all kinds of fun. While I prefer walking, I love the idea that people go out and about. Where I live, way west of Tokyo, so many opportunities to enjoy trails, ancient hot springs and temples and shrines.

GAMBARE! Run! Lunge up endless steps, gongs beating in your ears and stagger a last few paces as if through treacle. Book-keepers wait in judgement, a banner swims overhead- why can’t you read it? Higher still looms a huge silver warrior on horseback, sword poised to lop off the heads of those below. You want to shout, to warn them, but they can’t understand and you laugh manically as you sink to the ground. No, it’s not just another running anxiety dream and you aren’t loosing it. It is a Japanese mountain race … and that’s only the finish….

Tokyo may excite the techno-urbanite, but it’s flat, it’s enormous and it’s very, very ugly. (Even I think that and I come from Rochdale.) Sanity demands that the fell runner gets the hell out. Fortunately, most of Japan is covered by beautiful mountains, some of which are only an hour to the west of Tokyo.  

More over at

Top image from Tokyo Trail Running.

Couple of tips for the run: The mountain restaurant where we will stop for a break is SUPER. Mountain vegetables, wild boar meat with noodles, etc. Slow but great fun. Next, we might get wet at the very end, so maybe have a change of shirt/top in your bag! It's optional, but a nice finish.....

Outdoor Japan has more:

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Every season is a new adventure!

Meanwhile, here is Brutus, a Japanese lifestyle/fashion magazine, and its special focus on health.

A year ago or so, they published an issue about 100 things good for your body... (J)

Among the many events is a focus on trail running this month, which I have highlighted before here on Kurashi.

Tarzan, another magazine, recommends Baka Training College... Involving some super crazy ways to get into your slippers! OK, OK, that was just for fun...

On a more serious health-related note, Japan is in the midst of a Yoga boom, and I'm all for it. This has got to be one of the best health trends to hit these shores. Lots and lots of people are benefiting from not only the body work but also the ancient philosophy behind Yoga.

Dacapo from Magazine House has featured Yoga frequently.

Here is a video about Yoga from An-an, a very popular women's magazine (also from Magazine House).

(Update: Post edited for clarity & sanity)


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