I’m contemplating a triathlon in August which means I need to get better at swimming! As a child I loved swimming and at school it was the only sport where people wanted me on their team rather than leaving me to last choice! However, I haven’t done a lot of swimming in as an adult so need to get stronger!

I went swimming in Japan for the second time this evening. I used the local ‘council’ pool at Minato-ku, as a resident I got a special card that gives me cheaper access and in fact it was free the first time I went – special deal for the first Sunday of the month!

It’s well organised and clean – exactly as you’d expect in Japan!

50 lengths the first time, 60 lengths tonight (25m pool).

The first time included an enforced break when everyone had to get out the pool and have a rest, someone had to explain – I didn’t understand the announcements!

The pool is just a short bike ride away so there is potential for after work sessions if I do commit and the bike swim combination can only help!


Mori Art Museum and Sketching and Painting

Today it rained heavily. I’ve been waiting for such a day to explore some art in Tokyo! I went to Roppongi Hills and visited the Mori Art Museum. There was an interesting exhibition called Go-betweens, photographs and videos of the world seen through children.


I haven’t done much art since being in Japan. I’ve done a bit of sketching mainly in the many Tokyo parks, here are some pages from my sketch book:

Inspired by my visit, this afternoon I did my first painting – of Fuji-san, of course!

I’m getting used to my new water soluble oil paints that I bought for my year in Japan so just a quick play but nice to be painting again.


Mitake-san to Oku-tama Hike

On the 14th of June I took a hiking trip out of Tokyo.

I caught 3 trains, a bus and a cable care to get to near to the summit of Mitake-san!  All of this was done on my Suica card (like an Oyster card for London) and without any issues!

From there I walked to the summit of Mitake-san at 929m and along a ridge going over the peaks of Odake-san (1267m) and Nokogiri-yama (1109m) and dropping down to Oku-tama in the valley and the train back to Tokyo.  The walking was nice, good paths and signs for directions!  Lots of forest, very different to hill walking in the UK where there are extensive views and open country.  

There were many butterflies around, some quite large ones.  I only managed a photograph of one.

Here are a few pictures:


Tokyo Yamathon

We did it!

We walked, ran and jogged approximately 40k and visited every station on the Yamanote line (29 in total).  The Yamanote line is a bit like London’s circle line – central Tokyo is inside the line.  We did it in 8h31 and were the 18th team to complete.  Not bad as we stopped for lunch and a beer towards the end of the afternoon!

Here is the photographic evidence (part of the competition was to take a picture at every station – sometimes challenging to get everyone in and the name of the station):



Anyone who knows Tokyo well will notice that the order has got a bit mixed up!

A really great day out in Aid of Oxfam Japan.  Thank-you to Lisa, Mike and Take, my team mates!