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On the Yamanote Line in Friday, April 20, 2012, we made our own Yamathon. We were four and have traveled about 50 km walk in 13 hours and 12 minutes. Here are our exploits.
Few people know the Yamathon, but this is a recent event that is becoming increasingly popular. This is a tour of the Yamanote Line in Tokyo on foot. This is organized for charitable purposes every April and November of each year, and this since 2010.
I wanted to participate in this on Saturday, April 21, 2012, but unfortunately I had no partners. It takes a team of 4.
Yamanote Line: Why we did our own Yamathon?
Since I had no team to participate in Yamathon, I first said I was going to do this challenge by myself. And as a coincidence, my friend Ken announced plans to realize that too. So we talked and decided to make it on Friday, April 20, 2012, by ourselves, with two other friends (Sean and Sofie).
It would be interesting to do it together with the real event, but unfortunately, everybody was not available on Saturday. This is why we have taken the initiative to do our own tour of the Yamanote Line.
The appointment was therefore set at Friday, April 20, 2012 at Ueno Station at 9:00.
Yamanote Line: a tour that is long, really long
I take the Yamanote Line everyday, and like thousands of Japanese and foreigners living in Tokyo. This is the most used line in the Japanese capital. It is simply a tour of Tokyo and serves all of the biggest stations in the city.
The Yamanote Line has 29 stations for a distance of about 35 km. When we borrow it, one does not really account for the distance traveled. But when one follows it on foot, this is totally different. There are nearly 40 kilometers to go, if one is not lost.
Getting lost is precisely what we got to do repeatedly. The advantage of this is that we discover places or unusual things. The disadvantage is that you get tired faster.
In the Yamathon event, you are asked to perform around the Yamanote Line in less than 12 hours. According to Google Maps, you can perform this tour in 7 hours and 48 minutes. Well we, we did it in 13 hours and 12 minutes.
Yes it was slow, very slow, but this is due to the following facts:
- We often lost ourselves
- We took our time
- We took breaks
- We took pictures at each station
- We sought for the stations stamps
- Fatigue that accumulates over time (Google Maps does not take proper account of that)
In the end, when you look closer, we realized a good time while enjoying a minimum for that round out of the ordinary.
Yamanote Line: a summary of our journey
Here is a table intended to show you our path, the transit time between each station and some annotations (times and distances displayed are theorical accordin to Google Maps)
|Nippori||Nishi – Nippori||0,750||00:10||09:40||09:52|
|Nishi – Nippori||Tabata||0,900||00:11||09:52||10:13|
|Tabata||Komagome||1,600||00:19||10:13||11:00||We got lost en route by taking the wrong path|
|Takadanobaba||Shinokubo||1,400||00:17||12:58||13:19||Break until14:00. We found a “weird restaurant”|
|Harajuku||Shibuya||1,500||00:18||15:13||15:55||Break from15:30to15:50at a cafe|
|Osaki||Shinagawa||2,300||00:28||17:27||18:36||We’ve ot lost many times|
|Shinagawa||Tamachi||2,500||00:30||19:00||19:34||Break from 18:36 to 19:00 at a fast-food|
|Tamachi||Hamamatsucho||1,800||00:21||19:34||20:04||Sofie went back home, she was tired.|
|Shinbashi||Yurakucho||1,400||00:17||20:37||20:53||7 minutes break until 21:00|
|TOTAL||29 STATIONS||38,85 km||7:48||
Yamanote Line: Unusual things
When we started this tour, we knew that we would discover things that come out of the ordinary. But some of our findings were really unusual. Here they are:
- A “weird” restaurant: it is located on the Yamanote Line, in a busy neighborhood and for 2000 Yen, you can eat meat out of the ordinary. I do not talk about it more here because I first want to get more information on it. An article will be dedicated soon, with pictures.
- A boy and his penis: At Shinjuku station, we were taking a picture of our group when we saw a young man about twenty years walking with his penis out of his pants. When we asked him if it was a true or false one, he realized that his cock was in the out and immediately stored it back. Strange.
- Condoms with an original slogan: in a street near Ikebukuro, we found a distributor of condoms with the slogan “HAPPY FAMILY”. Find the error.
- A Love Hotel that prohibits foreign ladies waiting on the road: it is in Shinokubo that we saw a funny sign before a Love Hotel. It says: ” PROHIBIT TO GO INTO WITH FOREIGN LADIES WHO ARE WAITING ON THE ROAD”. You must understand that it is forbidden to go there with a prostitute from abroad.
So this was our experience around the Yamanote Line on foot. I want to do it again soon.