Swimming

There are two main 50m indoor pools in Tokyo:  The Tokyo Metropolitan Gym and the Tokyo Tatsumi International Swimming Pool. There's also a 50m outdoor pool at Shiba park (open during the Summer). There is a 50m sub-pool at the Tokyo Olympic Pool opposite Yoyogi park but the lanes are only open to teams and not individuals. For coached swim sessions contact Steve Siegel at swimfriends.
Also check out the Tokyo Swimming Centre - very good level of coaching I believe, near to Sugamo/Komagome on the Yamanote line.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Gym is located in Sendagaya (sobu sen and oedo sen). There is a main 50m deep pool and a 25m shallow sub pool.

The Tokyo Tatsumi International Swimming Pool is located at Tatsumi (Yurakuchou sen). It's a bit out of the way but has a 50m deep pool, a diving pool and even the shallow sub pool is 50m long.

The rules at the pool at Shiba park (mita sen) are fairly relaxed - no need for a swim cap and you can even wear a wetsuit and they don't mind.

Cycling

There are several places in Tokyo for cycle training: Oifuto, the Tamagawa river, the Arakawa river and the Imperial Palace.

Oifuto is a cargo loading area for container ships near to Haneda airport. On a weekday the roads there are busy with large trucks but on any Sunday or national holiday it's a mecca for cyclists. You'll find numerous cycling and triathlon teams cycling in pelatons around a 9.5km loop. It's flat except for one bridge.

The Tamagawa river has a cycling path but it's pretty narrow and sometimes you're better cycling on the road beside the path.

The Arakawa river has a much better cycle path, but you still have barriers to get through at several places. How to get there: Head North along Meiji Doori (the road that goes all the way from Shibuya to Harajuku, Shinjuku and Ikebukuro. About 3km past Ikebukuro station you reach O-ji station. Go under the tracks and immediately there's an intersection. Go straight and eventually the major road will become a minor road. Eventually you reach a T-Junction. Turn right there and you very soon reach the river.

On a Sunday or national holiday you can cycle around the Imperial Palace but the earlier the better since you're sharing the road with car traffic. It's a 5km loop and definitely not flat.

For serious hills, stick your bike in a bike-bag and head out West by train (Chuo-sen) to the mountains. If you go to the mountains with your friends, 1. Take a route map 2. Make sure your mobile phone is charged and 3. Make sure everyone waits at junctions!

Running

There are numerous places to run in Tokyo. Some of the better known locations are Yoyogi park, the Tamagawa river, the Arakawa river and the Imperial Palace. For interval training there's a track near to Yoyogi park that's open to the public each Wednesday. See the link to Namban Rengo running club for more information. In addition to runners there are a number of triathletes within Namban Rengo...

Races in Japan

There are numerous races around Japan from April through to October. You can find events at the following sites: JTU Web Magazine , runnet and tri-x (please let me know of any other good sites!)

Race Month Distance Description
Ishigakijima, Okinawa April Olympic S1.5 B40 R10 Good for a first triathlon. Clear blue water, nice scenery on the bike and the locals turn out to cheer everyone on in the run. Can be hot though!
Miyakojima, Okinawa April S3 B155 R42.195 Almost a full ironman distance. The favourite race amongst Japanese triathletes. Note: not to be confused with 'Miyakejima' (see below).
Niijima, Tokyo May Olympic S1.5 B40 R10 Niijima island is near Tokyo. Hilly bike and run.
O-Shima, Tokyo June Olympic S1.5 B40 R10 Another island near Tokyo. Fast bike course.
Kisakata, July Olympic S1.5 B40 R10 mini run between swim and bike. Bike course is hilly and includes a long climb.
Shichigahama July Olympic S1.5 B40 R10
In Sendai. Swim: mostly sheltered swim behind wave breakers (2 loops with short beach run), but has 2* 200M stretch in open ocean
Bike: challenging: several short climbs, lots of cornering, good scenery. 4 loops
Run: flat, some shade, lots of aid stations.
It is a relatively small local race with lots of enthousiastic supporters
Suzu August

A type: S2.5 B100.2 R23.3 and B type:S1.5 B50.1 R10

A challenging, hilly bike course. Can be hot (30 deg C +). Flight from Tokyo, then bus.
Kamishi September Olympic S1.5 B40 R10 Another fast bike course
Murakami (currently no valid website found - even via JTU website!) September Olympic S1.5 B40 R10 Yet another fast bike course. Not so hard to get to from Tokyo.
Sado Island, Niigata September Half and Full Ironman One of the larger events in Japan - over 500 participants in each race, but very well organized. Bike course has some hilly parts. Full Ironman bike course goes completely around the island.

Where to buy/rent wetsuits

Best prices online outside Japan:
Trisports
all3sports
Wiggle.com

Best prices online in Japan (Orca and 2xU):
Gusty

Shops in Japan who make suits:
Westy (recommended!)
Maystorm
Shiromoto
Aw-Ganas
Art-Sports
Grad5
Athlonia

Shops that rent you a suit in Japan:
Grad5

Useful Links

Namban Rengo Running Club

Westy Cycle Products (Triathlon shop/ Triathlon group)

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Any Comments or Suggestions: please send mail to stuart@stuartmcintosh.com