America has given birth and has popularized, through media and cultural representations, the action sport of skateboarding. From its early beginning as sidewalk surfing in California in the 1940s, skateboarding, as a sport and a part of mainstream culture as a hobby or recreational activity, has reached so many countries worldwide. In the Asian region, for example, skaters can find a vibrant skating culture in Japan. Tourists who are skateboarding enthusiasts can have the time of their lives touring Japan’s capital Tokyo and finding the best skating spots.
Essential Tips While Staying in Tokyo
Skaters do not need to have a big budget for lodging to find a decent place to stay in Tokyo. Although there are a lot of hotels offering western-style accommodations if tourists prefer they cost a lot more. The cheapest accommodations are sleeping tubes, but there are also manga cafes or internet café cubicles that could also be rented for an additional ten bucks. Instead of expensive and lush hotel rooms, there are also tons of backpacker motels in various districts that costs around 25 to 30 dollars per person for one night.
Skateboarding around the city as a way to get around might not be a good idea in Tokyo, Japan, as the streets may be crowded by citizens walking around or commuters. However, going around the city is not a problem if you are on a budget. To maximize public transportation, the most common way to get around the city, getting subway cards or commuter cards is recommended.
Skaters should maximize the cultural and social flavor of Tokyo by making friends with the locals. Although, this tip might be easier or more suitable to skater tourists who are going to Japan with little to adequate knowledge of Japanese. After all, it is the Tokyo locals who can point you to the best skating spots and watering holes around the city.
Best Skating Spots in Tokyo
There are already several parks in Tokyo that are specially made or developed for skating. One of these can be found in Shibuya called the Miyashita Skate Park. The park was previously a park occupied by the homeless before Nike developed it. The design of the park is a result of collaborations by some world-famous skaters like Lance Mountain and P-Rod. The park’s facilities include a photogenic 7-step and a concrete bowl. Wearing helmets is required while in the park, but they could be borrowed from the clubhouse for free.
The HLNA Skygarden is a very unique location for skaters as it is on the rooftop of the Diver City Tokyo Plaza in Odaiba. More than the many pads, mini half-pipes, and stair-sets with handrails, skaters from within or outside the city would be drawn to the sky garden because of breathtaking views of the cosmopolitan city. Aside from the must-try Woohoos Tacos, the HLNA Skygarden welcomes novice skaters as they offer beginner and advanced lessons taught by certified professional skaters.
Also known as Amazing Square, Murasaki Park in Horikiri is another top spot for skateboarding. The main feature of the park is its vert ramp that measures four meters tall. The outdoor park includes other transition and street obstacles as well. Amazing Square’s indoor area has ‘manny pads,’ ‘hubbas,’ stairs, and fun boxes for kids and beginner skaters.