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WELLNESS & SPORTS

Imperial Palace
When we think about customs and well-being, several images come to us from the Land of the Rising Sun: healthy food, martial arts, Zen meditation, tea ceremony, traditional massage, ... and not to forget hot springs.
And if the archipelago is known as one of the countries with the longest life expectancy, studies have linked this longevity of the Japanese to the practice of baths.
Despite the country's size, Japan is literally a onsen powerhouse with around 27,000 hot springs sources, gushing 2.6 million liters of water a minute.
This is possibly the reason behind widespread practice of bathing, with abundant hot water available since the ancient times.
The "Izumo Province Report" (Izumo no kuni fudoki), compiled almost 1,300 years ago, emphasizes the important role that onsens have played in the lives of Japanese people, at a time when the beauty products and medical treatments available today did not exist.
Hot springs, since ancient times, has always been associated with their testification to traditions drawing their source from the religion as a means of purifying your mind and body.
Embrace Japan with wellness in mind and break from your regular routine.
Here are a few wellness options that are easily accessible in and around the Tokyo metropolis.

Wellness – Hot-Springs & Traditional Public Baths

Takaosan Yakuoin Temple
Want to get some fresh air and discover Japanese nature without leaving Tokyo Prefecture? It's simple, discover Mount Takao located in the western pocket of the Tokyo prefecture.
Considered a very popular destination for Tokyoites on weekends, it also welcomes the biggest number of mountaineers in the world reaching 3 million mountaineers each year with a difficulty level from people wanting just to go on a stroll to heavy duty hikers.
To finish your hiking in style, you could probably soak in relaxing hot spring baths ofKeio Takaosan Onsen Gokurakuyuon the foot of Mount Takao, where a variety of thermal baths ranging from a natural hot spring open air bath gushing from 1000m underground, a cypress bathtub, a stone bathtub with carbonated water and a theme bath (varying according to the season) are available for you to unwind your day.
A ‘Sento’ or a Public bath culture dates back to the Heian period (794-1185), and quickly spread among townspeople after Edo period(1603-1868). Each district was provided with one and this place of life also served as a space for socialization where everyone could chat with their neighbor but also relax while cleansing their body.
A good address of a public bath would be Daikokuyu (also known as Oshiage Onsen), which is the closest natural onsen (hot spring) to the Tokyo Skytree. The water used in Daikokuyu onsen is coming from a well which was discovered 70 years ago. After a thorough analysis its properties have been recognized as an Onsen (natural hot spring).
Another interesting discovery could be the Kaiseiyu onsen following the traditional sento culture but at the same time incorporates black (yes, you heard it right!) carbonated springs and saunas in alignment with the current times.
Hebi-no-Yu (Tama Area)

Wellness – Regular sports

SUP
While the onsens are part of the primary wellness tradition, more and more Japanese are inclining towards activities like jogging, Stand-up-paddle, and other sports.
Why do yoga on the ground when you can do it over the water, with a spectacular view? or what if you want to just have fun getting a different perspective of the Tokyo landscape?
The "Urban SUP (Stand up Paddle) Experience Tour" is your answer.
It is very popular amongst the Japanese, which is easily accessible just around Odaiba, with an urban scenery such as theRainbow Bridge. With the current social-distancing norms, it’s becoming quite a popular sport.
There are new facilities opening in Tokyo just before the Olympic games. Nike has just opened a new sports park concept with the “Tokyo Sport Playground Sport X Art” in Toyosu, since September 2020.
It has designed a sports enclosure (995m2) with an original design offering a new multi-sports experience (basketball, skatepark, running track, open spaces for yoga and dance…) to the inhabitants of the Japanese capital.
This space is open to public with no admission fee. It has also thought of people with disabilities into consideration. The park being barrier-free, and even the slopes were designed with gentle inclines so that wheelchair users can navigate it freely. The park is even equipped with a charger for electric wheelchairs to recharge on the go. From the sustainability standpoint, for the materials used for the running track or the basketball court, Nike used recycled waste.
Running is also a growing trend with the Tokyoites, where they head towards the greener and less traffic intensive places.
One of them being the Imperial Palace running spot, which is said to have established in 1970 after the employees working in the library and government offices working around the Imperial Palace started running during their lunch break, is the most classic and probably the best-known tour is frequented by Japanese runners especially at lunchtime and on weekends. It is a 5 km loop around the moat that encloses the Emperor‘s Palace. The terrain is relatively flat with two hills along the course.
Meiji Jingu Gaien
The "Imperial Palace Run" is quite popular among the people of Tokyo and it is suggested that a total of about 1.5 million runners run annually, creating a landscape unique to Japan.
If you wish to visit Tokyo from a different angle, the idyllicrunning spotwill be around theNew National Stadiumwhich will be the main venue for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. The area called theMeiji Jingu Gaienis quite popular with the local runners, where you could also come across Japan Olympic Museum where you could experience a visual and tactile immersion on the history of the sport spirit.
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