HEALTH AND BEAUTY ARCHIVE:
538: Pool party
Keep your cool this summer with a visit to one of Tokyos many pools.
Metropolis shows you where to take the plunge.
536: Don't sweat it
With the hot and humid months upon us, Cristy Burne share some tips on staying
534: Swept away
Put away your broomsticksall you really need to soar through the clouds
is an armful of nylon and a good gust. Cristy Burne checks out the air up there.
532: Tee time
Cant keep it on the fairway? The yips invaded your game?
Rob Smaal finds a few experienced golf pros who can work out your kinks on the
530: Balancing act
An ancient science is helping modern men and women find peace, health and
the always elusive balance. Tama M. Lung takes a closer look at
528: Kicking on
Former K-1 Japan champion Nicholas Pettas shares his love of martial arts
at the new Spirit Gym in Nogizaka. Chris Betros goes along to watch.
526: On call
A revolutionary daily disease self-management system is making life easier
for diabetics. Chris Betros finds out about Lifewatcher.
524: Team spirit
From rugby to roller hockey, Tokyo is teeming with sports clubs for the
expat athlete. Rob Smaal shows you how to get in the game.
522: Type casting
Second-generation blood-type expert Toshitaka Nomi looks at the links between
blood classifications and health. Mick Corliss reports.
520: Like a rock
Climbing instructor Luke Kearns gets a grip on Tokyo's best indoor climbing
516: The personal touch
Madonna and Matsui aren't the only ones who need help staying fit. Hanna
Kite pumps it up with the top personal trainers in Tokyo.
514: From here to maternity
Kavitha Rao turns to a handful of Tokyo experts to track down baby basics
for nervous expat mothers-to-be.
502: Tour de Morton, part deux
Don Morton gets back on two wheels for a leisurely ride out toward Haneda
Tour de Morton
Seasoned bicyclist Don Morton charts a course to Odaiba.
Finally a sunny weekend. You've pumped up your bicycle's
tires, dusted off your helmet and done a little stretching-but
where to go in a concrete jungle of 30 million people?
Unlikely as it may look, Tokyo offers a few surprisingly pleasant
urban bicycle rides that will exercise, entertain and even
edify you. We'll start with that landfill paradise
out in Tokyo Bay. Forget that cute little automatic train,
a ride out to Odaiba and back is well within the capabilities
of almost anyone (about an hour each way, few hills), and
provides a look at a dozen different facets of Tokyo to boot.
First, though, a little preparation. Take along a spare tube,
a tire pump and the knowledge of how to change a tire (or
someone who does). Failing that, take enough money to cover
the cost of a taxi back for you and your bike (hint: fixing
the flat is cheaper). Study a map of Tokyo before you go and
the following instructions will make a bit more sense. So
rip out this page and let's get started.
We'll begin in Azabu Juban at the little water park
(photo 1) where three overhead expressways meet. From there,
head toward the bay. You should immediately pass Nissin "World
Delicatessen" on the right as you go down the right
side of the road. Keep going toward Mita, passing Tokyo Tower
on your left. When the four-lane road narrows to a one-lane,
one-way, keep going straight, through two lights, a little
one and then the big Route 15, and pass under the JR tracks
via a little pedestrian/bicycle underpass (photo 2).
Cross under the expressway and turn left along the right side
of the street. This takes you past the lovely Hama Rikyu Garden
on the right-worth a visit. Follow the road around
the garden to the right to Tsukiji fish market. When you get
to Harumi Dori, turn right and cross the double-arch Kachidoki
Bridge (photo 3). Left would take you to Ginza. Keep going
toward Triton Square (photo 4), where you will turn left and
proceed along the right side of the road.
From this point, just follow your nose, and this sidewalk
will make three gradual turns to the right, and after a few
kilometers bring you to an elevated expressway. Cross under
the expressway (but not the railway) and turn to the right
along the left side of the road (photo 5), go straight for
about a kilometer and welcome to the Emerald City.
Cruise your way through the future-land that is Odaiba, pass
Big Sight (photo 6) and the central mall (photo 7), arriving
eventually at the Museum of Maritime Science, that thing that
looks like an ocean-liner-shaped love hotel with a red-topped
tower on it (photo 8).
Side trip: from here you can explore out toward the container
port. Passing to the left of the museum, turn to the right
when you reach the bay, staying as close as possible to the
water for the next few kilometers. This will wind around past
a fountain and across a footbridge (photo 9). Check out that
white sculpture on the way, the one that changes to something
different when viewed from a 90-degree angle (photo 10).
Eventually this will bring you to what passes for a Santa
Monica beach. I suggest the little café near the wind-surfboard
storage with the white chairs that plays reggae music, and
several beers, for this is today's destination (photo
Coming out of the beach area, turn left under the train tracks
and take the road (photo 12) that goes to the left of the
Ariake Coliseum tennis mecca. This road is straight and uneventful,
but a faster way out.
You'll come to the road you came in on and turn left
along the left sidewalk and retrace your tread tracks. Just
after the bridge before Triton Square, take a right, across
the road (photo 13), "inland" toward Ginza.
You'll cross a medium-sized bridge and descend into
Tsukishima, where they serve at many places a distinctive
dish called monja-yaki, a kind of okonomiyaki.
Back on the route, just before the next bridge, across the
mighty Sumida, explore the neighborhood just to the right.
It's a charming small town within the big city named
Tsukuda, but I call it the "red bridge area"
(photo 14). Gear down for the climb up the pedestrian ramp
to the Sumida River bridge. On the other side it gets a bit
labyrinthine, but you should go through Ginza, bear north
a bit, and, ideally, end up passing between the Tokyo International
Forum on your left and Tokyo Station on your right.
Keep going toward the palace and turn left at the last light
when you can't get any closer. Then a right toward
one of the best parts of this ride: where the road takes you
through the centuries-old Sakuradamon gate. This will bring
you to Kasumigaseki. Go right along the moat and cross the
street toward the Diet building, then bear toward Tameike
and Ark Hills (best to stay on the right sidewalk). Then up
a hill to Roppongi and down another (the diagonal street at
Almond) back to our starting point.
You can of course begin or end this ride from any point on
it and, as I have done, refine it through trial-and-error
exploration. No better way to learn a city than getting lost
in it, and a bike makes this more fun.
Photo credit: Photos by Don
Discuss this article with metropolis
readers at http://forum.japantoday.com