By Takane Shoji
With growing enthusiasm for the upcoming Rugby World Cup and the Tokyo Olympics sports is on the mind of locals and travelers alike. For those interested in checking out a modern sports facility in Japan, Sporu, a new fully-equipped multi-purpose sports complex, has launched in the Oimachi district Tokyo's Shinagawa.
Shinagawa, already popular with visitors, boasts multiple museums, nature parks, and famous cherry blossom spots. Topped with a fresh seaside breeze, it provides a refreshing and fun taste of the Tokyo metropolis. The highly anticipated opening event of Sporu on August 10th was attended by many famous athletes, including tennis star Kimiko Date, who came to show support for the new center.
Home to 13 different sporting areas, Sporu is sure to have something for everyone. With a full range of activities on display, you’ll be spoiled for choices. The facility would be impressive anywhere, but it's even better to know it's right in the middle of Tokyo. From the classic sports of soccer, basketball, softball, and tennis, to the more adventurous sports of outdoor bouldering, archery, and padel (similar to paddle tennis), it's hard to know where to begin.
Entrance to the complex is free, with each activity having its own pricing per session. The complex is equipped with spacious shower areas and locker rooms, as well as rental options for gear, such as basketballs, climbing shoes, etc. There is also car and bicycle parking available, making it convenient to bring along your own gear if you wish.
If you're new to any of the sports, there's no need to worry either. The staff are all specialized in each activity, which means you can always ask for some help if you want to start something new - which is exactly what our group ended up doing. After trying our hand at padel and having a great laugh at how many shots I was able to miss, we moved over to the archery range where I discovered my apparent hidden talent. It was a great experience to try out archery with a trained professional and even better to see everyone's shocked faces was when my shot got so close to the bullseye. Apart from being a great workout, the archery range was really fun and everyone was getting excited to see how my targeting improved with each shot. I'll have to return soon though so I can hit that bullseye properly.
But the most exciting activity at Sporu is the fantastic surf pool at Citywave. Sitting on top of a tropical beach-themed barbecue restaurant overlooking the whole complex with beautiful cityscape views, the aqua blue surf pool perfectly recreates the easy breezy seaside vibe. Thanks to the artificial wave machine, now you can surf in the middle of Tokyo! It's truly incredible, whether you're a beginner or advanced surfer, Citywave offers 50-minute sessions for ¥6,200, which includes wet-suit, helmet, and surfboard rental. Be sure to get your spot in advance by making a reservation.
For kids, there is also a large colorful play area complete with a giant ball pool and climbing gym. Inspired by the cartoon ‘Shinkansen Henkei Robo Shinkalion’ (a bullet train transforming robot), the area feels like a mini train station and has a lot of fun train-themed decor. Have fun exploring with just ¥600 for the first 30 minutes. This area is open for kids from 6 months to 12 years old and adult supervision is required. For families with young children, the kids area also includes a changing and feeding facility.
If high-octane sports aren’t your thing, don’t worry. Just head to the exciting Escape Room activity, which is bound to be a memorable experience on your trip. Just make sure that everyone makes it out together!
Don’t forget to grab some food to replenish your energy. There is a barbecue restaurant on-site, which offers both sit down meals as well as some on-the-go snacks, giving the perfect setting for that great Instagram moment. End your day by catching the sunset here with a memorable outdoor barbecue with your friends or family.
The nearest station is Oimachi Station (JR Keihin Tohoku Line / Tokyu Oimachi Line / Rinkai Line). Just a three-minute walk from West Exit.
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Irish photographer based in Kichijoji, Tokyo, since Feb. 2018. Just writing about my daily adventures and crazy discoveries in Japan. You'll usually find me working in a tourist information centre, right in the heart of Tokyo or curled up in a cafe with a nice coffee as I work on my latest article.