We create a route for the casual urban jogger, keen to explore Japan’s capital in a whole new light.
There is something uniquely different, as you revisit the city’s allure – on a pair of running shoes.
Now a worldwide social campaign, this sport is the discovery of a city’s urban landscape, usually in a close-knit group, aptly dubbed urban running crews. It is hardly about setting personal bests, but more about the company, the thrill of weaving past the uncharted and the untrodden, while embracing street culture.
The bustling Japanese capital is an amalgamation of wonders, destined to fascinate any traveller. Cutting-edge conceptions mesh flawlessly with convention; the contemporary blends soulfully amongst the time-honoured.
Over in Eastern Tokyo, the region around the Kuramae and Asakusa District is splashed with old-world vibes. Just across the Sumida River that flows adjacent to the precincts, stylish high-rise buildings soar spiritedly, visible inland.
As you race around the neighbourhood, bask in the area’s refreshingly modern construct, and distinctively old-school aura. Whizzing past the sprawling skyscrapers, through the nostalgia-infused streets and amongst the quaint, artisan shops, all within close proximity to each other, the experience is certain to confound and astound.
Whilst this route was curated for the sightseeing runner, if you are heading off to Tokyo, but not intending to strain your body, do not hesitate to follow the track as a walking guide!
This balmy and laid-back locale is home to several trendy cafes and local creative boutiques.
The enclave sports a pleasant, inviting outlook; pastel-dyed walls and doors, delicately adorned storefronts and clean, minimalist interiors add an alluring texture to the district.
Dandelion Chocolate Factory & Café Kuramae
Handmade chocolate store, produced on-site.
Maito Design Works, Kuramae
Textiles atelier and boutique, employing the kusakizome dyeing technique (plant-based dyes).
Speciality stationery shop; their made-to-order notebooks are extremely popular.
Remarkably redolent of “Old Tokyo”, the entire district is teeming with tradition and sentimentality.
An air of festivity pervades the streets. There is palpable clamour and frenzy. Forget the glitz and glamour of the modern sky-high city and embrace the ebullient razzmatazz of the Shitamachi’s bazaar-like esprit.
Grandiose temple gate.
A gigantic red lantern is poised regally, in between several domineering pillars that stand securely in guard. The kanji etching translates to “thunder gate” in English.
Passageway vividly reminiscent of the Edo-era with many speciality stores selling traditional crafts.
Along Denbouin-dori, producing boxwood combs since 1717.
Vintage goods and antiquities up for grabs.
Retail complex. Curious, given the surrounding olde worlde atmosphere.
Don Quijote Asakusa
Popular discount chain store.
Modern shopping compound. Classy façade; odd placement, again.
Edo Shitamachi Traditional Crafts Museum
Museum showcasing the best of Edo arts and crafts.
Hanayashiki Amusement Park
Japan’s oldest theme park.
Established since 1853, this compactly arranged funfair is a gleaming dose of retro charm. Strikingly evocative of 20th century charm, the playground’s positioning at that exact turf, within an antiquated district, is utterly felicitous.
Buddhist temple; hallmark of Asakusa
Said to have been founded in the year 628, this temple is dedicated to Kannon Bodhisattva, Lord of Compassion.
Across the Sumida River
Leave behind the retro flavour and be hurled into the modern era where glossy, architectural behemoths rise in dazzling fashion.
Riverside park with gorgeous cherry blossom views during the season.
Asahi Beer Headquarters
Operations centre of the Japanese beverage company; eccentric design draws many.
The headquarters comprises of two structures. The larger Asahi Beer Tower resembles a golden beer mug, with the white roofing replicating beer foam. The iconic smaller Asahi Beer Hall has a shape of a beer glass, with an odd flame-like structure perched on top.
634m tall television broadcasting tower. Catch marvellous Tokyo cityscape views from the two Observation Decks.
From the other bank of the river, lingering in the backdrop of the historical Asakusa neighbourhood, this modern architectural feat is a glorious reminder of the Japanese capital’s mighty technological progress.