Winter in Tokyo is just beautiful. There is hardly a day in which a cloud can be seen in the sky. That said, it is still winter and – with that – pretty cold. You feel like staying inside, but then you slowly realize that you don’t exercise enough. Exercising in winter and getting fresh air? That of course ice-skating!
New York’s ice rink in front of the Rockefeller Center is world-famous – in Tokyo, the place to go to is the “Akasaka Sacas” ice skating rink in Akasaka. It’s the biggest outdoor rink in Tokyo. Right now, the anime “Yuri!!! on Ice” is tremendously popular – I just had to go to Akasaka!^^
“Akasaka Sacas” is the area in front of the Japanese TV station called “TBS”. Every winter, an ice rink appears in this square just in front of the TV station building.
This year’s ice rink is open from 23rd November until 14th February 2017…yes, you can go ice-skating on Valentine’s Day!
Before you step onto the ice you have to buy an admission ticket as well as a ticket for rental ice skates – then of course you need to pick up your ice skates.
There are various types and discounts on the tickets, but the normal charge is 1200 yen, the rental ice skates are an extra 500yen (at daytime only, at night-time skates are free!). One important thing to know is that for their own their safety skaters are required to wear five-finger gloves. You can of course bring your own, or, if you don’t have any, just buy a pair for 300 yen. Also, 100 yen to 300 yen are required for the locker fee (= not refundable).
(Japanese shoe sizes = link)
Once I stepped inside the rink it was “Marei!!! On ice”. To be honest I hadn’t been on the ice for over 10 years. But I guess it’s like riding a bike: once you learned, it’s never forgotten. Or is it?
Once on the ice, I had a hard time keeping my balance, but I started to slide telling myself “I can do it!” The trick is … ‘You must not move your legs as if you want to walk.’ Slide one foot forward to move forward. Since there are railings attached to the rink, you can always hold on to these. And after 4 to 5 laps, my body remembered what it needed to do.
Oh, ice-skating was such fun! But still quite tiring! At the “Akasaka Sacas” you can skate the whole day with little breaks – you can enter and leave the rink for as many times you like (as long as you have your ticket).
In the evening, the number of couples increased. The rink was beautiful lit up and romantic music started to play. So if you’re with your date, nighttime is the time to go ice-skating. ^^
The Akasaka ice rink is big and beautiful, and it was a lot of fun to skate there. If you want your space and try some tricks, I would recommend daytime. And if you want to skate in a romantic atmosphere, nighttime is the time to go there.
Ice-skating is not only great to get some exercise (it’s cold yes, but it’ll have you sweating!), but also as an activity with children, and for a date or just hanging out with your friends.
My next article will be about all the other things you can do around the ice skating rink. See you next week!
Akasaka Sacas Skating Rink
Date: November 23, 2016 (Wed) – February 14, 2017 (Tue)
Address: 3-6 Akasaka Minato-ku, Tokyo, TBS Tower
Price: One-day ticket 1200 yen (adult), 600 yen (child),
Rental skates 500 yen, gloves 300 yen, lockers from 100 yen