Tokyo baby! This mega-city contains 14 million people, 2800 temples and a public transport system that looks like a spider-web on steroids. To help you navigate this madness and find some solid Parkour spots we've put together this kawaii guide.
We are leaving out most tourist destinations, since there are plenty general travel guides out there already. However we put together some tourist + training combos whenever a Parkour spot is close to a cultural site or dope ass Ramen-shop.
Rooftops: We're not including any in this guide, but just wanted to let you know that the police can be extremely strict in Japan. You have been warned.
Passport: As a tourist in Japan you must ALWAYS carry your passport on you. If not, you can be detained or fined up to 200k Yen (roughly $1700).Getting around: Tokyo's transport system can be pretty confusing at first, but you'll get the hang of it quickly.
In our experience it's worth it buying a local sim-card with data at the airport. With internet you can use Google Maps to tell you exactly which trains to jump on. Super easy.We recommend getting a "Pasmo" card, even if you're just in town for a short time. You can charge money onto your Pasmo and conveniently ride all local trains, without having to constantly buy tickets.
Mission Tokyo opened it's doors in 2018 and is the main Parkour Gym in Tokyo. It's run by the Vaults101 crew, with most of them living next door. This makes it the perfect place for training (surprise) and to connect with the local Parkour community. It's slightly outside of town, but worth it.
If you don't know any local Freerunners, stop here first and find out what's happening. You find their opening schedule here.
Komazawa Olympic Park
Tokyo has plenty of public parks with lots of spots inside. One of the more popular is Komazawa, which is especially good for larger jams. Around the large park you will find lots of walls, some bars and decent playground spots. The vibe is super chill and especially on summer weekends there are tons of people out and about. Locals spend their time jogging, playing basketball, badminton, playing and eating ice-cream.
Excuse the lack of photos, but there are plenty of small spots scattered around the park.
Shimo-Kitazawa and Hanegi Park
Shimo-Kitazawa is my favorite neighbourhood in Tokyo. Even though it's located just one stop from the bustling Shibuya Crossing, Shimo-Kitazawa is totally laid back. Along it's many small streets you will find dozens of well selected vintage-shops in between artisan coffee shops.
I recommend The Usual for coffee, lunch and seriously fast WiFi. Kuwajima makes the best Ramen I've had in my life (and I've had a lot). Mother is an unreal cave-like bar and with great cocktails and we always get the Nachos. The best dinner spot is Gravy Gyoza. Their dumplings are the BOMB and the sweat & sour soup is ooishi as fuck. Perfect to go with a few people and share.
Oh right, this was a Parkour guide...I almost forgot to tell you. Hanegi Park is twenty minute walk from Shimo-Kitazawa and inside you will find a massive labyrinth. Built as a child's playground it's actually an incredible spot! Check the video below for an overview:
I recommend hitting up The Usual in the morning for coffee, then go vintage-shopping, fill up on some Ramen for lunch and then head over to Hanegi Park for a session. After some good jumps head to Gravy Gyoza and order the entire menu. That's a perfect day in my book.
Sumida River Bonanza - Ryogoku, Asahi and Asakusa
If you want to pack a bunch of good stuff into one day I recommend Sumida River.Jump off the train at Ryogoku Station and you will be right next to the world's oldest Sumo Wrestling stadium. This area is still the center of Sumo and you will see plenty of Wrestlers in traditional outfits going about their daily business.
From the train station it's a 2minute walk to Sumida River and that's where you will find the first Parkout spot. An awesome staircase surrounded by interesting ledges.
Once you warmed up you want to walk north along the river towards the Asahi headquarters. Stick by the water and you will discover a nice variety of spots. As a bonus they are mostly under a roof, so you could also train here in the rain.
At the very end you will discover a playground with some swing-sets and a sandpit. When you reach this point you might have enough training for a day and happen to be in a perfect place for some generic tourist stuff.
Across the street you will see the Asahi headquarters consistent of two buildings, one with a giant golden poop on the roof and another resembling a giant glass of beer.
If you enjoy a good beer, you can take the elevator up to the top floor of the beer-glass shaped tower and sit down on their viewing platform. They serve beer and snacks. It's a really good spot to take family and makes for some good time-lapse shots as well.
Intoxicated or not you can now stroll across Azuma bridge into the Asakusa neighbourhood towards the Kaminarimon Gate. This gate is usually surrounded by tourists wielding selfie sticks and leads you into Nakamise shopping street. This street is perfect for all kinds of traditional souvenirs. There's also plenty of snacks and restaurants around.
Finally the street will end at Senso-ji. Tokyo's oldest temple. While I'm not big on temples myself, it's nice to check at least one out and this one is pretty huge.
This is basically a vlog of exactly that day: