Running around Tokyo – shopping bags instead of running shoes

Even though we had packed in our running shoes, we just didn’t find the time and opportunity to run while we were holidaying in Tokyo. The weather was also not on our side and we had not packed in any warm or rainproof running clothes. We were so disappointed because everywhere we looked, we came across the most awesome running paths and jogging courses scattered throughout the beautiful parks across Tokyo.

The Imperial Palace

We walked this stunning 5km jogging course in the drizzle among the late blooming cherry blossom trees. Each scenic kilometre is marked by the most beautiful tile embedded in the pavement so that you can track your distance. We were passed by a couple of runners and felt very envious of them.


Check out the runner warming up 🙂

Markings too

Shinjuku Chuo Park

On our last day of holiday, we took a stroll through the park across the road from our hotel whilst waiting for the bus to the airport. This park has a very convenient jogging track, weaving through the beautiful trees and peaceful calm of the park. It’s a short course so you’d have to run it a few times to get the distance.

Jogging courses IMG_8578

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Narita airport

Running Junkie Brenda alerted us to the new running track at the Narita airport in Tokyo and you can’t miss it! In preparation for the city’s hosting of the 2020 Olympic Games, the airport has recently undergone a complete makeover. It’s so clearly marked – Blue lanes indicate departures while red lanes indicate arrivals – and looked so tempting! What a great idea for travellers / runners to bide their time while waiting for their flights.

Narita airport

Okay, so we missed out this time around, but Tokyo, we will be back with our running kits ready for any type of weather! We promise!

I loved Tokyo because of…

I had the most awesome opportunity to visit Japan for my 40th birthday. I wanted to visit a country and experience a lifestyle and culture completely different to mine and Tokyo did not disappoint. Since returning I’ve had lots of family & friends asking how my trip was and so I thought I’d capture a snapshot of my ‘Top 10 things I loved about Tokyo’:

  1. The people: No matter where we went, people were so friendly, so calm, and unpretentious. If we stopped to look at our map, guaranteed someone would stop and offer to help us, even if they struggled to speak English. They live a simple life and respect one another, time and spaces. I think out of everything, I will remember the people the most. They are just wonderful!IMG_8196IMG_8267
  2. The shopping: There is just so much to buy in Tokyo! From wonderful clothes to electronics. I found some of my favourite brands along the busy streets of Ginza and Shibuya.IMG_8102IMG_8288
  3. The noodles: I must have eaten noodles almost every day and started to perfect the art of eating with chopsticks. So divine!IMG_8310
  4. The efficiency: Things just work in Tokyo. Trains run on time. Everything is in its place. It’s magical! Especially for my engineering husband.IMG_8116IMG_8567
  5. The little things: It rained a lot while we were there and when they packed our shopping, an extra plastic bag was wrapped around our shopping bags so that our shopping didn’t get wet. It’s the norm for them but we felt so special.IMG_8414IMG_8328
  6. The wide variety of options: Everywhere we went, there were just so many varieties of things, so many options to choose from. For example, an entire floor dedicated to selling different head phones!IMG_8280
  7. The free wifi: For a socially-obsessed tourist such as myself, this was a winner. I could check in and share my experiences in real-time with family & friends as well as search maps for places to go.IMG_8257
  8. Attention to detail: Everything is meticulous and thought-out.IMG_8237
  9. Cleanliness: They are obsessed with cleanliness and are constantly wiping and disinfecting. Most things are automated including the doors to taxis, entrances to shopping malls, even flushing the toilet (which had heated seats)! IMG_4539
  10. Cherry blossoms: Breath taking beauty, everywhere!IMG_8347IMG_8290IMG_4577Thank you for a wonderful holiday KK! When can we go back?

Keep calm, you’re turning 40!

I turn 40 years old on Saturday. There, I said it. I know, right! The Big 4-Oh as most of my family & friends like to call it. I’m dreading it. It suddenly feels as if my youth will be gone and I’m stuck in that middle place between being young and old. When people say, “Agh, it’s not that bad! Life begins at 40!” I’ve been unsure what they mean? But as the big day draws closer, when I take a step back, I realize I’m already pretty much deciding on what that so-called ‘life’ needs to look like.

It’s almost a week since I ran my 5th Two Oceans Half Marathon. The new route is slightly tougher than the old one, that’s for sure, but when I look back on my times, I am really pleased with the progress I’m making with my running Coach. I’ve come a long way since that DNF (Did not finish) in 2010 and I’m not afraid of that 3 hour cutoff anymore. And yes, as Coach Dave told me a while back, “You’re turning 40. Stop comparing yourself to runners half your age!” *ahem*

Surprisingly, I am happy with my body. I’ll never be skinny but after two years of living on a LCHF lifestyle, I’m in control of my weight and love the way I look. In fact, down in Cape Town I was brave enough to sun tan on the beach in a bikini sans a wrap tucked around my waist! The grey hairs, well let’s not go there… I digress.

Trust me when I say that it’s also the biggest relief to know that at the overly-ripe age of 40 that I am still happy with my decision not to have kids. It would’ve been scarier to be in a situation where I wasn’t sure and that clock was ticking.

I have a close bunch of absolutely amazing friends – You guys rock! I have a wonderful wonderful wonderful family – I love you’z so* much! And I’m blessed to have a job which challenges me to grow & learn every single day. My house is beautiful. My dogs love me to bits…

Tokyo in Spring

The best part is that it’s the night before I leave on a fabulous adventure with KK. I wanted to be somewhere totally different & exotic for my birthday and decided Tokyo was the place to be! Cherry blossom season. Mount Fuji. Sushi, sushi, sushi. Celebrating it all with the man I love.

Happy 40th Big 4-Oh Birthday me! X