Gravity Bouldering Gym

A look into Tokyo's best bouldering gym

By Michael Ying    - 3 min read

Bouldering is immensely popular in Tokyo with climbing gyms opening all around the country. Outside of Tokyo, in the heart of Ome there are countless rocks to climb in the beautiful scenery of rural Japan, but with the rain that comes quite often in the summer, and snow that covers the landscape in the winter, outdoor rock climbing isn't always available. It is no secret that space is a luxury in the heart of the city, and the gyms in Tokyo might be a bit cramped compared to the gyms that expats might be used to. However Gravity Bouldering Gym is spacious and challenging, a welcome treat to rock climbing enthusiasts. 

There are yearly and one month passes, and the regular day visit fee is 1500 yen with shoe rental available. The staff are all bouldering experts who are eager to help you conquer routes, and usually spend the slower days climbing along side you. First time visitors are required to listen to a short lesson, even if they are experienced.

You can choose from two locations. The Shimokitazawa location is the more spacious with five walls to climb on, each progressively harder than the next. One wall changes monthly while the others change every three months. Beginners are encouraged to start on the wall with a slight slant and easier routes. This progresses to flat wall, a mixed wall, and then to an incline wall. There are color guides taped to the side of the walls to gauge the route: different colors show the level of difficulty. Japan doesn't use the traditional climbing grade systems and instead uses their own dan system much like the black belt system used in martial arts. The Shimokitazawa gym only has a very small overhang wall, so if climbing upside down is the main goal of your climbing exercise then the Takadanobaba gym might be better suited for you.

The Takadanobaba location has the same set up as the Shimokitazawa gym, but the walls have a slightly less height. To create more difficulty the routes are slightly more creative and the holds are a bit tougher compared to the other location. But in my experience both gyms offered an equal level of satisfaction. Whether if you're a beginner or enthusiast climber, I cannot recommend Gravity Bouldering Gym more. With the great staff and spacious walls, Gravity truly sets itself apart from other gyms in Tokyo. 

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Michael Ying

Michael Ying @michael.ying

Originally from San Francisco, I graduated from UC Berkeley in 2011 and have been living in Tokyo since 2014. I'm currently a photographer and dancer, and spend most of my free time finding new places to eat. I love it here in Tokyo! Insta: mikemisc

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