A new sporting category that will be added to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics - bouldering. This article introduces this new sport, which can be experienced by anyone wishing to try. Why not give it a go? Indoor gym bouldering can be enjoyed come rain or shine, and so is ideal as a form of exercise. The only things needed are suitable clothes. It may also be a great opportunity to meet and make friends with fellow climbers. This article will introduce various bouldering venues for beginners and veterans alike.
What is bouldering?
Bouldering is one type of “free climbing” activity, that involves climbing a cliff or wall of around 3-5m, and using “holds” which are handles used to grip and climb to the top. Unlike other types of climbing, there are no need for ropes or harnesses, and climbing is achieved simply through using one’s arms and legs. Originally, climbing was an outdoor sport, but recently indoor bouldering gyms have become more and more widespread. In addition, the floors in bouldering gyms are equipped with thick mats, so it is ideal for beginners as there is low risk for injury.
4 characteristics of bouldering
1. As most gyms in Japan are equipped with special chalk and climbing shoes to decrease the risk of slipping, the only things required are clothes where one can move freely and suitable socks
2. One can enjoy the same bouldering experience regardless of age,, nationality or gender
3. While it is not too intense, it involves movement of the whole body, so is ideal if one feels that they need a bit of exercise and body movement
4. Often climbers will talk to each other about different climbing techniques, tips and tricks, so it is an ideal venue to make new friends while enjoying a new activity.
With the olympics coming up in Tokyo, bouldering gyms are easily accessible, including many bouldering gyms which are welcoming to beginners. There are also gyms we recommend which have free bouldering lectures for beginning.
B-pump Tokyo (Akihabara)
This gym is in a prime location, 6 minutes away from Akihabara or Ochanomizu station. The gym has three floors, with various bouldering sites for beginners and more experienced climbers. The difficulty of each area is marked by the colour of the handles on the walls.
Address: 1-18,Yushima , Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo Prefectue 113-0034
Bouldering studio PEKIPEKI (Shibuya)
This gym is around 5 minutes walk away from Shibuya station. This gym has three floors where bouldering can be enjoyed on each floor. The anti slip chalk used here is not the regular powder chalk but is liquid, which is less likely to stain clothes. As the gym is in an easy location, it is ideal for a quick try on the way back home from a trip.
Bouldering studio PEKIPEKI
Address: 6-19-14, Jingu-mae , Shibuya-ku, Tokyo Prefectue 150-0001
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This gym is in an ideal location, within walking distance of Yoyogi, Shinjuku or Shinjuku 3-cho-me stations. This gym is ideal for those who wish to try bouldering but are hesitant to try due to the height of the climbing walls. The climbing walls here are not as high as those normally found in bouldering gyms. This gym is also smaller than some, but this gives it an “at home” feel. Even when there are no lectures on, staff are at hand and ready to help you out if you are unsure of how to climb.
Address: 5-29-7, Sendagaya , Shibuya-ku, Tokyo Prefectue 151-0051
Get ahead of the trend and experience bouldering ahead of the Tokyo Olympics!
We hope you found this article informative. Of course there are many other bouldering gyms throughout Tokyo. We will continue to introduce new bouldering gyms to you as we find them. We highly recommend you trying it out!