March 09, 2004

For the last little while I’ve been considering long walks. Having walked from home to Yotsuya a few weeks ago, only a 40 minute trip on foot, I imagined some of the long journeys by foot throughout history. To be honest, hobbits kept coming to mind…

Walking is the most natural mode of transportation. After all, we only recently invented motorised transportation, and even hooved transport wasn’t always available. But we’ve always had feet. Well, for a long, long time, anyway.

MJ mentioned a TV show she saw quoted 10,000 steps a day as the optimum amount of walking. Figuring about 80 cm per stride, that’s 8 km, or just short of 5 miles every day. Apparently the average Japanese dweller walks about half that.

The average walking pace is about 4 km/hour. So 8 km is a two hour walk and that seems not so difficult, really.

What if I started out in the morning and walked for 8 hours? Where would I be? I have no idea…but I plan to find out.

If the weather is fair on Thursday, (tenki yoho says it will be) I will take a long hike, starting from Korakuen station at 9 am and walking until about 6, allowing time for lunch and short breaks along the way. Return via train to a long, cold beer.

If anyone would like to join me, send me a mail. Company is most welcome.

Posted by kuri at March 09, 2004 11:33 PM


Oh, I’d *love* to join you. Alas, it’s not possible.

“The Songlines” by Bruce Chatwin has some wonderful notes on walking. You simply can’t stay indoors after reading from it.

Posted by: jh on March 10, 2004 12:33 AM

Sounds like fun, I wish that I could join you…
I actually spent quit a bit of time walking around Tokyo last week, as I was there on a short vacation from West Nowhere, and I had a wonderful time soaking in the city from a pedestrian’s perspective. With the warming sun and crisp spring air, this seems like a great time for your adventure.
Happy trails!

Posted by: Steve on March 10, 2004 12:51 AM

You might consider walking the entire Yamanote line. It has been one of the standard trails for a long time. I think there may be guides on the best routes, but it is probably not necessary. And of course, you could add your experiences to the yamanote29 website. The lenth is about 35 kilometers or 21 miles.

Happy trails!

Posted by: Greg on March 10, 2004 12:26 PM

God, I so wish I could. Being stuck in the office right now, it sounds so appealing. I feel like I could walk for hours…

Posted by: tokyoredhed on March 10, 2004 02:45 PM

I tried that 10,000 steps a day regimen about 4 years ago. I kept a pedometer on my hip. With a walk in the a.m. and another in the p.m., and parking the car far away from entrances, taking the stairs instead of the escalator, etc. I got nowhere near the required daily amount.

I don’t need to whine to you about how lazy we are in the States, and how pedestrian phobic we seem to be. Sidewalks are in ruins around here, and pregnant women get the closest spot near the grocery store! They are too weak to walk? Give me a break. *grumbles*

Posted by: Jenny on March 10, 2004 11:42 PM

I like walking in Tokyo. When I have time (and energy) after work I walk to Shinjuku instead of Yotsuya sometimes. I have a friend who volunteers as an organizer of a walkathon that goes from Shinjuku to Ome in a day … He says that everyone should walk from their office to their home at least once, no matter what the distance, just to show to themselves that they can do it after the big quake levels all transportation infrastructure.

Here’s another walk for you:

Posted by: Durf on March 15, 2004 12:22 PM

I bought a pedometer yesterday. I have been meaning to buy one ever since I read this post (I know it was a while ago).

but so far I have only done 5700 steps but I have a few more places to visit after work so I don’t think it will be a problem.

I have used 70cm as my stride as I have shorter legs than you. But I lied about my weight - how sad is that????

Posted by: Tracey on August 23, 2004 06:16 PM

I’ve had the fantasy of taking a walking vacation in Japan for a few years now. I’m just not sure where would be the best place.

There are the temple pilgrimages, Shikoku, Kamakura (if I recall correctly), Chichibu (in decreasing length) and others. But I’m not certain I’m ready to take on the religeous aspect of such a walk. I have visited some of the Chichibu temples and even got a Nokyocho signed, and it was kind of fun.

Maybe the Nakasendo. Some of the parts like around Tsumago and Magome in southern Nagano are quite nice. It has also occured to me to do something climb Fujisan but start farther than the usual Station 5 gateways, like maybe on the beach.

I love walking. It’s a great way to see things that you miss if you’re moving faster.

Posted by: Mike on October 7, 2004 03:38 AM
Post a comment

Email Address (optional):

URL (optional):


Remember info?