Bouldering is a form of free climbing that doesn’t require any special equipment – anyone can do it, whether it’s at the neighbourhood rocks or on dizzyingly high walls. The sport is not all about strength – skill, a sense of balance and strategy are far more important, making it a great form of exercise for people of all ages.
Natural climbing places may be few and far between in the concrete-jungle of Tokyo, but fortunately the city boasts many specialised indoor gyms for honing your skills. Here, we introduce a number of facilities that cater to newcomers (as well as to more advanced climbers, of course). Find a gym near you and start scaling those walls!
Both B-Pump locations hold lessons for first-timers every day, and there are also 'boulder dojos' for beginners, women and children. All of these can be attended without advance bookings, so anyone can participate. The Akihabara gym has a 'space wall' equipped with blacklights – recommended for those of you looking for a cyber experience. Click below for the Akihabara gym's details, and here for the Ogikubo gym.
With five locations in Tokyo, T-Wall is one of the biggest players on the bouldering scene. Each gym leaves a different impression: there's an atrium-style facility with lead climbing equipment, a gym with a huge and winding rock-like wall, and a more urban-themed location. Registering at one of the gyms gets you access to all five. Details for the Kinshicho gym are below – click here for Ookayama, Edogawabashi and Higashi-Murayama.
This four-storey gym is one of the largest in the country, and boasts areas for both lead climbing and bouldering. Even the changing rooms are spacious and comfortable, while the fourth-floor lounge offers great views of the surrounding area.