|By Nick Ducker |
Jul 6, 2014
First off I hope you enjoy your time in the land of the rising sun! I recently moved away from Japan after living there for 7 months and spending 5 weeks on the road sampling the climbing Japan has to offer.
While I was on the road, this was the website I used to source most of my information www.tozai-trek.com/en/2011/07/climbing-sites-around-tokyo/.
Personally I would recommend Joyama and Jogasaki on the Izu Peninsula, though I think the heat and humidity would be brutal. Also Kawamata offers an amazing overhung limestone crag with some very cool routes on it. It's also shaded so the heat shouldn't be too unbearable. Unfortunately there are no English guidebooks for any of the Tokyo climbing area's, you'll have to have a chat to the local climbers to figure out the grades (which change from crag to crag). Unfortunately I have no insight into using the Shinkansen (bullet trains) as we had our own van and slept in it, but the Japanese will usually be more than willing to try and help you out if they can.
As for the city, space is limited, so you're best bet is to put away the harness and sample some of the awesome Japanese Bouldering. There was one gym we found a bit further outside the city that offered lead climbing which shouldn't be too hard to find, but the focus is definitely more bouldering orientated. I'm not sure why, but bouldering seems to be the in thing with the younger generation, and believe me the Japanese are pretty damn good at it. That being said, you can always find some older guys and girls pulling pretty hard on the sharp end somewhere.
For bouldering, I recommend any of the B-Pump gyms and there is a cool outdoor bouldering and lead wall somewhere between Shibuya and Shinjuku. You'll probably blaze through alot of the problems but it's nice to be outside despite being in the middle of the city. Expect to pay a bit more than you think you should to climb indoors though.
Feel free to shoot me an email if you have anymore questions, hopefully this post makes some sense.
Have fun! Japanese sit starts are something you'll never forget.