We walked the Yamanote-sen in the 2019 Tokyo Yamathon! It took us a little over 9.5 hours, but if we can do it, so can you! Set your reminder to join us for next year’s Yamathon! Is there anywhere in Tokyo that you’re curious about? Let us know below and maybe we’ll walk it or like a few of you have, message us so we can check it out together!
The Yamathon is a fundraising challenge where teams of three or four people compete to walk through Tokyo. The Yamathon is a unique endeavor in that there is no set course. Basic directions are provided to all participants – part of the navigational challenge is to be creative and take shortcuts provided you visit all 29 Yamanote stations.
If you’re wondering how far this is, the “Full Yamathon” is ~40km or ~25 miles. For you 80’s babies, it has a “Choose Your Own Adventure-ish” feel as there’s no set route. For reference, here’s the path we took which I imported from a Plot A Route user.
I know a lot Sara’s friends asked her this question, but answering for myself, there’s a few reasons:
- We love to walk cities. We’ve walked every large metropolitan area we’ve ever lived; NYC, SF, Honolulu, and now – Tokyo. I think of it as literally “walking the walk” because it allows us to give a plethora of travel tips to friends and family.
- We value shared experiences. It’s an event we’ll reminisce about in our old age. We don’t spend a lot on material items – I don’t see a problem if that’s your thing, it just isn’t ours. We tend to splurge on experiences such as travel, activities, dinners with friends and what not. This puts the Yamathon right in our wheel house. Since even most Japanese people have never been to all 29 Yamanote-sen stops, it’s an added bonus to check something off the bucket list.
- Setting goals and accomplishing them. Admittedly, I don’t know if this is a good reason, but I’ve always pushed the physical boundaries of what my body can do. It’s a good feedback loop that builds confidence for many of life’s adventures.
From the published 2019 Tokyo Yamathon Results, Team808 (how original, right?!) finished 86 out of 200+ entries. Not bad for a bunch of 40 year olds (and Sara)! However, I will admit that I’m too old to get up on a Saturday and walk 30 miles. Therefore, next year we will have more training and better costumes. Are you going to join us?
🍍🍍🍍🍍🍍 – 5 out of 5 Pineapples!
First, special thanks to Dave and Dan for accompanying Sara and I with very little notice! Life is always more fun when you have more
suckers friends involved.
Second, I would highly recommend this for anyone that loves to get out and explore cities. Structured as a team activity, it’s a chance to talk story and see parts of Tokyo you’d never get to explore otherwise. Not to mention, it’s all for charity so grab a few friends, some costumes, a few beers and we’ll see you next year!