Walking group hopes the good weather will put a spring in your step


Special To The Japan Times

This weekend could be one of a few to really enjoy the sights of the city on foot before the rainy season arrives and is followed by one of Tokyo’s notoriously sticky summers.

Saturday will see the start of Tokyo Walk 2011, a series of walking tours that are organized by the Japan Walking Association. Each of the tours will take participants to different parts of Tokyo. The first will take place in the Asakusa and Ryogoku districts, which will allow the walker to take in the city’s new but-not-yet-completed landmark the Sky Tree, as well as spots dating back to Tokyo’s Edo Period (1603-1867).

The walking tours are suitable for people of all levels of fitness with three courses taking place simultaneously. You can choose between routes of distances of six, 11 or 20 km in length. The starting place for all courses is Sarue Onshi Park, but differences in length mean sights such as Hachimangu Shrine and Sensoji Temple will depend on the course.

All participants will be given a number placard and a commemorative medal of bronze, silver or gold on completion of their course, giving the event the feel of a marathon without the need for months of intensive training and unflattering running attire.

This series of walking tours is a great way to see Tokyo through the seasons with the remaining four tours staggered through the rest of the year.

Tokyo Walk 2011 takes place May 14. The 20-km walk starts at 9 a.m., the 6- and 11-km walks start at 10 a.m. All walks depart from Sarue Onshi Park Central Plaza. Adults ¥1,500; students/seniors ¥1,000. For more information, visit www.tokyo-walk.jp.