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, part deux
Don Morton gets back on two wheels for a leisurely ride
out toward Haneda Airport.
The second urban ride I like to do on weekends involves a
20-kilometer round-trip jaunt to a nice little seaside park
just across the water from Haneda Airport. It's classified
as easy, with only a few bridges to get over. So rip out these
pages and let's get started.
As with the Odaiba ride, 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 head toward the Intercontinental
Hotel, then turn left under the Yurikamome line tracks along
the left side of the road (Photo 3), heading toward the Rainbow
(When you get to the bridge, you have the option of locking
your bike near the bridge tower, where there's a guard,
and walking across the bridge to Odaiba and back. I call this
the "ride & stride" outing.)
Follow the road around under the bridge's curlicue
onramp (Photo 4), staying close to the bay until you are brought
back to the main road with the expressway overhead. Turn left
and go along the left side of the road for 1 or 2km (Photo
5) until you reach Seafort Square (Tennozu Isle monorail stop),
just past which you will see a pair of blue bridges on the
left (Photo 6) and a police box on the right. Cross the bridges
on either side, turn right and proceed along the right sidewalk
(Photo 7). From here on it's almost all greenery-lined
Into the wild
Some wise person said, "Anglers often don't
know that they're not really there for the fish,"
but you could hardly apply that wisdom to "The Guys,"
a group of fishermen who gather every summer weekend under
a bridge along your way. They're clearly under no illusions
that they're there for the sake. Holler "Konnichiwa"
as you go by (Photo 8).
At the first light, mountain bikes can take the right fork
(up) and do a bit of off-roading (Photo 9). Road bikes can
stretch out on the nice, straight path to the left (Photo
10). They'll end up in the same place.
Eventually you will come to the Ota Stadium, with its big
oval light towers, and the light after that is the divided
Kan-Nana ring road (two signals). Turn left and go down either
side of Kan-Nana and over a bridge. That greenery on the right
is the Tokyo Port Wild Bird Park. Take an immediate right
and over another bridge.
After you go straight through two lights, you should be seeing
airliners landing or taking off, depending on the prevailing
winds. You'll get to a T intersection, go left along
the left side to another T, and go right along the right side.
Follow your nose to find the Jonan Jima Seaside Park (Photo
11), where they have a little beach, lots of grass, and, most
important, a beer machine. You can even camp. Ah, Tokyo. Take
along a little pair of binoculars to watch the ships come
in, and then watch them go away again. 'Cause you'll
oh never mind. Try to spot the airliner
with the funniest paint job, like the "Poké-jetto"
or the "Mickey-jetto" or even the "Matsui-jetto."
We come back by a somewhat different route. Return to the
Ota Stadium and turn left (inland), then immediately right
through the sports park. You can watch ongoing games of baseball,
football, soccer or lacrosse; Japan at play. Then just after
the indoor pool, follow the path to the left through a nice
tree-lined area and past a waterfall and out to the street
(watch out for the potentially dangerous optical illusion
here-Photo 12) and turn right.
At the intersection, cross both streets and cut up the little
footpath (Photo 13). This will bring you to a fine, wide foot/bike
path with water on the left (Photo 14). If you go through
here at dusk, it's best to keep your mouth shut and
wear eye protection, as I call it "Gnat Alley."
Keep going along the water until the path veers right and
up to the path you came in on. Then it's the same until
you cross the blue bridges again. This time head for the police
box across the street and turn inland, then immediately right
through a breezeway. If you can see a Subway sandwich shop,
you're on the right track. Go on through and to the
right to find yourself on the water again (Photo 15) near
the TY Harbor Brewery (Photo 16). I strongly suggest having
one of their terrific Pale Ales at this point.
Then over the little footbridge, around the softball diamond
and along the canal (Photo 17). Cross two wide streets with
traffic signals and turn left at the second. This will take
you toward Shinagawa Station, but just before you get there,
turn to the right along a one-way street (the other way, careful)
for about a kilometer of Tokyo's least fragrant cycling
(that's a sewage treatment plant on the right), until
the road dips under the tracks. This only-in-Tokyo tunnel
is about 200m long and just 1.5m high; watch your heads, tall
guys, and stay on the "sidewalk," as traffic
flows against you (Photo 18 is of the exit end). Cross the
major street and go right through a few lights until the next
big left. This is Sakurada-Dori, which heads toward Tokyo
Tower. That's Keio University on the left. A few more
blocks and a left just after the expressway brings you back
to our starting point, and you made it!
Though my offer to guide a group to Odaiba was rained
out on September 20, we'll try again, this time
to Haneda. November offers some of the best cycling weather.
Meet at the Azabu-Juban water park at 1pm on the 15th
(the 16th if it rains). Call 090-5813-6721 if it looks
as though it may rain.
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