Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Totoro no mori

Totoro (src:

On my third run in Japan I did find Totoro's forest (Totoro no mori). Totoro himself though was nowhere to see, nor was Catbus aka. Nekobasu.

Angry Japanese Santa?

Let's start with some shopping news though. So far I have not been to more than one sports shop, but that might change soon as I would like to get some new running shoes. They had no surf shorts (not very surprising) and not that many running shoes (more surprising). CW-X seems to be hot and Takahshi of Undercover (which is a popular brand over here) has also got his Nike Gyakusou collection in store.

Gyakusou - I bought one of their hoodies.

Disappointing collection of running shoes for being in quite a large sports shop.

Not sure, but the Asics Tartherzeal seems to be a model limited to Japan. 13650 Yen equals around 900 kr.

OK, enough about shopping. Back to my Totoro run.

The weather was good for running with around 10 degrees in the sun. Finally I saw more runners as well, despite it was at times quite lonely where I ran. Maybe not that strange since it after all was a normal workday, and the average person over here seems to work long hours.

View my run on Google Maps. And view the run on Garmin Connect.

The 27.29 km run in scenic surroundings, around the Sayama and Tama lakes.

In my pocket I kept a card with Mr Yasu's contact details, just in case I got completely lost. However as long as my Garmin works I don't have to worry. Map mode on the 910XT is great.

This is where I live and start my runs. A typical Japanese house in one of Tokyo's suburbs.

On my way I found this cute police station. As taken straight out of a Miyazaki movie.

Another jogger outside of Tokyo's busy streets.

Quite scenic. In the background you can spot the white dome of a huge baseball arena.

The area seems to be very popular for recreation, and a 21.9 km track is marked, with signs every 500 100 meters (or was it every 100m?).

Great for running and cycling.

A perfect track for exercising. I saw more cyclists than runners along this road. Nice not having to worry about any cars.

The wild forest next to the lakes.

Protected area.

High fences with barbered wire along the lakes made sure no one would enter the wildlife area.

I even ran past Sayama Ski, an indoor ski resort. Please note that skiers are happy, while baseball players are grumpy.

The name of the lake, maybe?

You can spot the mountains in the background. It would be nice to explore some of them one day as well.

And here it is, Totoro no mori. Many nice creatures hides in this forest.

Not easy to understand the signs, but I assume something was either OK or not OK in between 9:30 am and 4 pm.

The lakes were better protected than expected, even with security cameras. Easy to believe there was more than wildlife hiding behind these gates.

Nice track, with a nice name.

Suddenly this spooky looking house showed up. A perfect location for a horror movie like Ringu.

I also ran into a school's gym class where all the kids were out running. The kids obviously found it very fascinating that a foreigner was out running in the forest, and welcomed me saying "Kon'nichiwa" (good afternoon). Some of them also started racing me, while they were laughing and smiling. A refreshing element on the trip.

Shinto, I believe.

All bridges I crossed had beautiful signs like this one.

After about 22 km I needed something sweet to drink. Luckily the vending machines on the streets over here has got it all. Running is a awesome way of seeing new places. This run ended up being a bit longer than 27 km.

Now I will do some research to see if there are any races coming up, in the Tokyo area. I have already found one track race that seems very interesting:

By the way, everything here in Tokyo is "Go Go Go", just like:

The above clips are from a 2004 movie I reckon is absolutely brilliant, namely Survive Style 5+. It's one of the very few movies I have seen more than once.


  1. Najs langtur! Kommer godt med når Pingu og Tomten skal settes på plass borti Gøteborg der!

    1. Takker. Ja, jeg bør vel ha noen flere slike om de krypa der ikke skal knuse meg til neste år også. Gikk overraskende greit, men det hjelper når det er nytt å se hele tiden. Siste kilometrene var jeg imidlertid "noe" lei og sliten. I overkant av 27 km er jo noe langt for en "400m-løper".


Allowed HTML tags:
<a href="">hyperlink</a>

Please, show the courtesy of identifying yourself when adding a comment. Anonymous comments will, most likely, be removed.