Looking to stay fit and healthy, but don't want to brave the cold outdoors to do so? From the newest table tennis centre in town to a beginner-friendly roller skate rink, these are the top Tokyo spots for working out whatever the weather.
Where to get sporty indoors
The only exclusively squash-focused facility in Tokyo, Double Blue opened this summer just off the main shopping street in Hiroo. Run by Med Support Systems, a company in the preventive medicine field that also owns the super-exclusive Esquisse restaurant in Ginza, it stands out with deep-blue walls and twin blue courts.
They’re currently offering free racket and protective glasses rentals for anyone who signs up to play – a ten-minute session costs ¥580 per court (¥480 on weekdays between 10am and 6pm), no other fees are required and online bookings are taken. Just note that black balls and shoes with black soles aren’t allowed (white balls are sold at the counter). Since playing squash is an easy way to burn a lot of calories in a short time, Double Blue is the ideal autumn workout destination.
Bouldering – aka indoor rock climbing – requires both brains and brawn. Participants must plan the right route up an artificial cliff before pulling themselves up to the summit. One of the biggest bouldering gyms in Tokyo is located in the corner of a container terminal half an hour’s walk from Shinagawa Station, but is certainly worth the trek – or the Shinagawa Pier bus ride from the station.
Rocky features two areas with 13 long and highly varied walls, allowing climbers of all skill levels to find the route they want. The 30-minute ‘experience package’, available only on weekdays and without registration, includes shoes and chalk for a grand total of ¥1,500 – perfect for beginners.
Ping pong, table tennis, whiff whaff – whatever you call it, fans of tiny tennis will love T4 Tokyo. This multifaceted complex opened in June 2017 complete with a restaurant, bar and shops, all of which are ping pong-centric. The shop sells gear from Victas, the preferred brand of the Japanese national men’s table tennis team, there’s a table tennis school staffed by professional players and, of course, enough tables to play to your batting heart’s delight.
At in-house eatery The Rally Table you can play a quick round while enjoying drinks and desserts including a citrus sour complete with kumquats that look suspiciously like ping pong balls, and some racket-shaped ice cream. Of course the service is excellent.
If you’re aiming to charm your date on ice skates at one of Tokyo’s pop-up rinks this winter, best brush up your skills at a roller rink first. Located next to popular hot spring facility Spa LaQua and the Tokyo Dome baseball stadium, this spot has both a main arena with an oval rink and a smaller practice area. Although only offered in Japanese, free guidance and basic lessons are provided by the friendly staff, helping beginners stay on their feet. Equipped with a DJ booth, the venue occasionally hosts parties and other events. Admission starts at ¥1,200 for two hours on weekdays; you can either bring your own skates or rent a pair for ¥500.