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Tokyo Sports and Activities

In and around Tokyo you can find almost every type of recreation known—tennis, swimming, horseback riding, skiing, even hang gliding. Check with your hotels front desk or listings in the CitySource English Telephone Directory in your hotel room. Expect all sites to be unbelievably crowded, especially on the weekends.

BICYCLING

Given Tokyos congested roads, its much more pleasant to cycle on the riverside than contend with traffic. The citys major rivers have bike paths alongside; Sumidagawa and Megurogawa are two accessible suggestions. Ask your hotel for assistance with bike rentals. Expect to pay about ¥5,000 a day.

GOLF

Almost all the golf courses in Japan worth playing at are members-only facilities. They are all very expensive, with prices ranging ¥20,000-¥50,000 per round. Use of the courses often must be scheduled in advance. Most allow guests, but unless you have been invited by a member, you wont be let in. Check with your buddies in Japan before lugging your clubs on the plane.

HEALTH CLUBS

Nearly all health clubs in Tokyo require you to join before you use them. Few, if any, allow one-time use by travelers. Your best bet for health-club facilities is your hotel.

HIKING AND WALKING

You can go hiking in beautiful mountains just 90 minutes from Tokyo by train. Its a major pastime. Trail maps can be bought, but theyre always in Japanese. Instead, look for Gary Waters Day Walks Near Tokyo, which details 25 walks within easy reach of the city. Highly recommended is the Lake Tanzawa to Yaga trail. It takes you up Mt. Ono for superb views of Mt. Fuji. Some of the trails in the Tanzawa region can be dangerous—its best to go with people who know the area.

JOGGING

Imperial Palace—The best and easiest place to jog is around the Imperial Palace. Youll find many fellow joggers there early in the morning.

Jingu Gaien—A place where you dont have to worry about traffic too much is Jingu Gaien near Ayoma, where the National Stadium and Chichibunomiya Rugby Field are located (Shinano-machi station on the JR Chuo line, or Gaien-mae station on the Ginza line).

Shinjuku Central Park—Theres a jogging course around Shinjuku Central Park, located in the hotel district on the west side of Shinjuku station.

SWIMMING

Wild Blue Yokohama—This attraction has an indoor beach with simulated sand, waves and palm trees. Open year round, 10 am-10 pm. ¥3,900 adults, discounts for children. 2-28-2 Heian-cho (Tsurumi-ku, near Tsurumi station on the JR Keihin-Tohoku line), Yokohama. Phone 045-511-2323.