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Second time I walk around the Yamanote Line in less than a year. A pleasant and rewarding experience. I let you discover the story.
I love to walk, this is something I do regularly and that makes me feel fit and free to move. That is why I will intend to do the walking tour of Japan in 2015. This is also why, with friends, we realized the tour of the Yamanote Line on foot. This was the second time in less than a year.
Yamanote Line Walk
Last year, we undertook this tour, about 50km heart of Tokyo with friends, at the same time as held the Yamathon (sort of marathon for charity). This year we did it for fun and wanted to redo the challenge.
It is time to assign our own name for this walk that we love to do. Nothing simpler than Yamanote Line Walk (YLW). This allows to capture the thing and see it become more personal. It is a challenge that we love.
50km but more slowly
Last year, the team consisted of Ken, Sean, Sofie and myself. We would have liked to start with the same team, but it was not possible. We were, this time, 5 people: Ken, Sean (who joined us from Tokyo Station), Dario (who walked with us until Takadanobaba station), Julian and myself. A nice variety for a nice walk (one French, one Italian, one Japanese, one Canadian and one French-Tunisian). We would love to have someone from Oceania to get all continents represented.
To make a little different, we decided to go in the opposite direction than last year. We made Ueno – Iikebukuro – Shibuya-Tokyo – Okachimachi, last year. So this year it was the opposite. And we hoped to have a completely different atmosphere.
It was certainly different for the atmosphere, but it was not as exciting as last year. There was no mystery to walk on an unknown distance, there was no more feeling of discovering the unknown and try to find unusual things. Moreover, compared to last year, we saw nothing particular (no young man walking with his penis out his pants for example …).
Last year, we had made it in 13 hours and 12 minutes, and this year, without getting lost, and traveling the same distance (about 50km), we ended the walk in 13 hours and 47 minutes. Sure, we stopped for lunch at greater length, but anyway. I can not explain the fact that the march was longer in terms of time. Especially compared to last year we did not try to find all the stamps from each station, and lost less time with the pictures. I was disappointed with this, I admit. I am someone who loves a challenge and loves to improve and I had the feeling to decline more than anything.
Yamanote Line Walk: a march to improve
This walk allows me to make a record that will allow me to progress, with the goal of being ready for my future tour of Japan on foot.
First, I realize that making two times the same circuit on foot, even under different conditions, is not so attractive as it seems to be. It loses its charm and mystery. It will therefore be necessary that I take this into account.
I can also make a point regarding the material it will take me for this walk. Sure, I’ll go through nearly 10,000 miles of the archipelago and the Yamanote Line represents only 50km. But the 50km in one day were intense and especially for my feet. I realize that I will have to choose a good pair of sneakers. I tried during my two walk, two 2 different kind and each time I felt some pain. I will have to find shoes that are appropriate for me, and I feel that this will not be easy.
Finally, I will have to find a way to carry my equipment. In fact, I made the rounds of the Yamanote Line only with my camera bag. But the more time passes, the more I realize that I will have to find a way to carry my stuff. This is something that will take me a long time to prepare.
So here it is for this new experience around the Yamonote Line, a little more disappointing than the first one, but still instructive. Now, I will have to continue my training (Tokyo – Yokohama, Tokyo Mount Fuji, …) and I’ll let you know how it goes.
I welcome your feedback in toward this experience, and if you have ideas or solutions for my walks, please let me know.