Sunday, 5 February 2017

JIBTV's Discover & Explore Chiba With Chiba Aqualine Marathon

I haven't been updating much here and much less about our Chiba trip in October 2016 when we visited Chiba for me to run in Chiba Aqualine Marathon.

But, I found this excellent documentary on JIBTV.com about Chiba Aqualine Marathon and Chiba.
Truthfully, I entered Chiba Aqualine Marathon last year because of these few reasons:
1. Running on the bridge section of Aqualine Expressway
2. The Marathon is held bi-annually
3. Limited slots for foreign participants (always a draw for me)

Here's the documentary about Chiba Aqualine Marathon and Chiba, for those planning to visit Chiba and also for those researching about the Chiba Aqualine Marathon. The next marathon will be in 2018. 
Hubby & I didn't explore Chiba much during our trip because of time constraints so we do need to make a return visit someday. 

Maybe we can spend a day or two there this year, when we visit Kanagawa Prefecture (I plan to run a race in Dec) ^^

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Running Around The Imperial Palace

Nijubashi or double bridge
Visiting Imperial Palace is one of the highlights for those visiting Tokyo.

The Imperial Palace is located a short walk away from Tokyo Station which makes it very convenient for visitors to visit.

For runners like me, there is another side of Imperial Palace that attracts us and that is to run around the Imperial Palace, following its 5K jogging track.
The dos and don'ts of running around the Imperial Palace jogging track.
If you read about my post on Adidas Runbase, where I met up with Toshi-san earlier; this is where we were headed to after putting our bags and changed into our running gear at the Runbase locker.

We walked towards the Imperial Palace which was just a 3-min walk from Adidas Runbase and started our run from this statue/fountain area.
I ran with Toshi-san and Shin-chan while Hubby took photography duties.
 
I was to run in Chiba Aqualine Marathon the next day so the run around Imperial Palace was just a short and easy one. The guys were obliging enough to slow down to meet my pace. Hahaha
 
The route is a popular one, both with local and visitors alike so expect a busy, filled running lane.
 
And it's also important to be mindful of not only other runners but also those on bicycle and those who are just sightseeing around the area.
In front of Sakuradamon; a designated important cultural asset as it is the largest of the remaining gates of the former Edo castle.

We could enter and enjoy the vast expanse of the exterior grounds of the Imperial Palace.
Broadwalk for a few hundred metres before we go out to the pavement again. Some areas are wide and some are narrow so we do need to me mindful of others.

The nice thing about running this track is that we didn't need to worry about traffic. The whole track is kinda unobstructed. We also do get a few inclines here and there within the 5K loop which was nice. Flat route can be pretty boring, right?
The track is open 24-hours and runners can run there anytime as it is well-lit and koban (police box) are stationed around the track.

There are also toilets and drinking fountains available for runners to make a pit-stop.
The clock tower which is a popular meeting spot after we enter Sakuradamon.
The track's map located beside the clock tower.
I ran 5.39K that day because I only stopped my watch when we got to a nearby sento called Bain Douche to meet other Japanese runners for our dinner gathering later.
In front of a public bath (sento); Bain Douche which is also just a few hundred metres from Imperial Palace.

Another fun option for visitors &/ runners to try, apart from Adidas Runbase.

Entrance with usage of the public bath and locker is around 400yen.

Details:
Bain Douche 1-5-4 Kojimachi, Chiyoda-ku
It is a 1-minute walk from Hanzomon Station on the Hanzomon Line;
Open Mon-Sat, 3-11.30 p.m.

A good place to relax the muscle after running around Imperial Palace! (or walking around Tokyo!)

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Flying With ANA

Our October 2016 trip was our second time flying from KLIA to Narita direct, with ANA (Air Nippon Airways) since it started plying the KL-Tokyo-KL route in Sep 2015.

We used ANA in Sep 2015 and flew in to Narita before taking a domestic flight to Kansai Airport. We paid about RM1,000.00 per person for our tickets last year.

This year, we paid about RM1,200 per person for our tickets. Still OK lah and a bargain considering it's a full service carrier and not a budget airline.
It was a short trip, solely for the purpose to let me go run in Chiba Aqualine Marathon. It wasn't school holiday yet and Son wasn't keen on skipping classes so the trip was made with just the two of us.

A first time for me & hubby going to Japan without Son, since 2002!
We took the 8.00am and soon after take-off, we were served breakfast.

Breakfast was Halal-certified.
But not lunch, it seems...

Anyhoo, we only got breakfast and snacks served lah for our 7-hour long flight. Snacks served were Halal-certified, by the way.
In-flight entertainment was syiok of course. I watched Shin Godzilla movie and an anime, The Boy and The Beast.
 Our breakfast.
 Our snacks.
Our dinner for our return flight.

ANA is of course the choice for us for the time being, as their promo fares are still competitive and a bargain. JAL does offers promo price at the moment, and we do love flying with JAL too but ANA still trumps all full service carriers including MAS and SQ at the moment.

Monday, 12 December 2016

Tokyo's Adidas Runbase - The City Is Our Gym

Adidas Runbase Tokyo is a place for runners who are fans of the Adidas brand to not only purchase the latest Adidas products but also as a place where one can rent lockers (with excellent shower facilities, I might add), rent running apparels (shoes and clothing) and simply head out for a run.
No excuse not running because one forget one's running shoes!

Runbase 5 one feature:

  • From Nagatacho station (1 min walk), from Imperial Palace (3 min walk)
  • Latest shoes wear for rental
  • Stylish locker shower
  • Tailored running clinic
  • Professional staff advice 
The day before my Chiba Aqualine Marathon in October 2016, Hubby and I had set-up a meeting with a friend, whom we got to know when I ran in Tango Ultramarathon in 2015. Toshi-san was also the race director of  Tango Ultramarathon in 2015.

He had kindly offered to bring me to the store and later accompanied me to run around Imperial Palace jogging course before meeting a few other people for dinner.

We got off at Nagatacho station and head out from exit No. 4 and met Toshi-san who was already waiting for us at the exit's entrance.^^

First order of business for us was of course, to check out what Adidas Runbase Tokyo has to offer before changing into our running gear.
 The latest array of running apparels are available at the store.
Me, looking at the Adidas Boost shoes available for rental.

But I came ready! I had brought along my own running gears so I only needed to rent the store's locker.

I had done my homework and followed Adidas Runbase Tokyo Twitter account (https://twitter.com/adidas_RUNBASE) and got a discount for my locker fee at 600yen (700yen normal fee).

Shoes, running apparel and even watch can be rented at a fee, starting from 100yen  to 500yen for a set of jacket, shirt and running pants.
The staff were obliging and nice and most important, they are runners themselves. I even had the chance to talk with the store manager; Takanori Haraguchi who is also a competitive runner who had spent three years in US and Canada.
Me and my locker key.

Very onsen like. Ahahaha

Hubby and I, accompanied by Toshi-san later met another runner and we jogged from the store to Imperial Palace where we did the 5K loop.

The store offers a number of running clinic and the schedule can be viewed at their website (Japanese only).

After the run, it was time for us to get ready for dinner so it's shower & change time!

There are 8 showers available in each of the women & men locker room; apart from 248 lockers.

Towels can rented for a fee but other amenities such as body wash and shampoo; apart from hairdryer, lotions and other amenities are available in the locker room for free.
For those who wanted to check out the store, here's the map.

Have fun!

And oh, for those who is or will be in Tokyo this weekend; there will be a charity run held at Imperial Palace.
More information on the race can be found at my other blog: http://linasbackyard.blogspot.my

Entries are still accepted until race day so if you're in town on Dec 18, 2016 and want to meet fellow runners in Tokyo and also contribute to charity; why not drop by to Imperial Palace and join the run?

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