Friday, March 11, 2011

[20] Destination Running - Japan Edition

After Summer Program finishes, I'll be throwing myself onto a 12 hour flight to Japan as soon as possible, and looking forward to roughly two weeks worth of relaxation... and running?! Unfortunately, August is as beastly in Japan as it is here in the US, especially where stifling humidity is concerned. Naturally, searching for races to participate in this time are impossible with the exception of the Hokkaido Half-Marathon at the end of the month (when I need to be back in the US).
Being a Nike Geek, I checked out the Nike Running Club Japan site, as well as the Nike Running Japan Facebook page. Thankfully, there are several Nike Stores, including Harajuku (Tokyo), Fukuoka, Kyoto, and Osaka. Nike Harajuku has a girls' night run which looks really cool, as does Nike Fukuoka. From what I gather from their homepages (as I am being lazy about translating at the moment), like the US clubs, the Nike+ Run Clubs in Japan are also free. Looks like I have yet another reason to kick up my training and language learning up a notch! Of course while I am in Tottori, I will make a loop of the city, and try my best not to stop at Mos Burger or Mr. Donut while I am out!

When I lived in Japan, I loved watching the Nippon TV 24 Hour Charity Telethon. In previous years, a famous comedian would run 100+KM over the course of 26 hours!! That can't be right... can it?! That's the equivalent of two ultra-marathons in just over 24 hours! Most recently, Ayako Imoto (from Tottori!) and Harumi Edo are two women who took the challenge on and completed it! I remember watching them and being completely floored. Simply watching them triumph over their pain, and pushing themselves in the name of charity was inspiring. At the time, running wasn't even a thought in my head, but I told myself if I ever became famous, I would willingly subject myself to such torture in the name of charity-- provided I could have all my friends flown to Japan and have Arashi (or better yet, Masaharu Fukuyama) waiting for me at the finish line. Thank goodness, I live in obscurity or I might have to put my money where my foot is!

Once summer gets closer, I'll need to start planning where I intend on visiting and running. Summer in Japan is hot and humid, but my running clothes will dry out quickly in the heat. I'll just make sure I pack items I am not too fussed about leaving behind, just in case. I have some old t-shirts that are on their last threads, but that's about it. I doubt I will buy any gear while I am in Japan unless they have the Nike+ GPS watch available by then, but most likely, I'll just use my SportBand+ & HRM+ and tag the runs later. I have an inkling that the Nike+GPS may not work on runs outside of the US, but I could be mistaken. I will need to research that a bit further. It would be awesome to be able to map my runs while I am abroad. It might encourage me to lace up while on vacation!! As much as it would pain me to buy gear while in Japan, I may have to buy one shirt from Nike if I participate in the run clubs, and have it personalized while I am there.

So much to think about! I better get planning... and running!!


  1. When you are running in Tottori, please run down on the riverside for me. That was my old jogging/walking trail in the mornings. Sometimes you get nice breezes off of the water, especially on the Akisato side.
    Enjoy yourself!

  2. Since I've last been there, they've redone that entire area, but I believe the pedestrian area is now better. I am planning on running down in Yazu as well, by the school, and maybe do my old loop down to Mos Burger and Imai Shoten, too.