Thursday, 2 January 2014

都立狭山自然公園

都立狭山自然公園 (src)

Allergic to Asphalt
If you are allergic to running on hard surface, like me, down town Tokyo is not the best place to be. However, if you jump on a train and travel outside the city centre you do have some options. You can visit some some of Tokyo's surrounding mountains, for trail running. The Tokyo based running group Namban Rengo ^ has a nice overview of trails on this page ^, and more suggestions can be found on EveryTrail ^.

Sayama Prefectural Natural Park
But there is one less known trail, located next to Tamako (Tama lake), in the Sayama Prefectural Natural Park ^ (Toritsu Sayama shizen kōen) (more about the park in Japanese ^). I discovered the trail by accident, exploring the area close to where I stay. Some might argue it's not a proper trail, as not clearly defined all the way. However, I would say it is a nice alternative to visiting the mountains.

src / src2

The trail must be stunning in spring, as the Sayama Park has got more than 1300 cherry trees (525 somei-yoshino ^, 472 yama-zakura ^, and 158 sato-zakura ^ trees), but it's not too bad in winter either.

find the park on google maps.

One round in the park makes out a 3 km trail, where about 90% is on grass and soft soil. The remaining part being mainly asphalt.

view the trail on google maps, or on garmin connect.

Pictures
Below are some pictures from the trail.

Soft and nice ground.

Quite accurate over here.

Run next to the fence (edge of the park), instead of following this asphalt road. This area smelled dog shit though.

Tamako on the right. For avoiding hard surface we do not cross the dam ...

... instead we follow this path ...

and run on grass.

Wouldn't think this sign was necessary. But runners are allowed up here.

Some asphalt, unfortunately.

Back on soft ground.

Surrounded by the city.

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