Tomorrow we fly back to California. It’s been amazing, we have had such a great time and I’m so grateful to have been able to spend this time in this fantastic city. But I’m excited about going home, seeing the cat and getting Christmas started.
So to finish my Japanese adventure, here’s a post I’ve been working on since we arrived. The Fashion Feature! I am SO excited about this post. I have spent the past few weeks sneakily photographing real runners and clothes in running shops here in Tokyo. Because one of the things that’s struck us both here is how different the running clothes are than in the UK and US. Some people wear things that wouldn’t be out of place in those countries, but some clothes here are fabulous and Tokyo-ites put their outfits together differently. So, at your service as ever, I did some surreptitious photography to show you. Don’t expect great quality images but DO expect some quality outfits!
I’ll tell you what, as well. Running is incredibly popular here in Tokyo. I’ve been blown away by the quantity of people running, and by how incredibly fast some of them are. Tokyo runners, like runners in any city, come in all shapes, sizes and speeds but some of them are incredible!!
But if you come to Tokyo to run and you don’t want to look out of place, here’s what you need to know.
Generally, outfits are dramatic
Layering is key.
It’s cold here at the moment, so it’s all about layering. Both sexes seem primarily to wear running tights with looser shorts (or skirts) over the top. And they often layer long-sleeve and short-sleeve tops as well.
Legwarmers are the next big thing.
And I am excited about it!
Tights are dramatic
Very often, the running tights are spectacularly patterned. Particularly for the men. The Husband’s eyes were on stalks at some of the mens’ outfits. They would create quite a stir in the West.
Colours are bright and polka dots are hot!
Pink is in. For both sexes. As is orange and red and bright green.
Skirts (and dresses) are surprisingly popular.
I saw many women in running tights with skirts over the top. One girl was actually running in nylon tights and a skirt. But I’ve seen a few girls in what seem to be running dresses with running tights underneath. I kind of like it.
Waterproofs can actually be really nice!
Sometimes, pockets can be upside-down
Honolulu is all in.
They are marketing the flip out of the Honolulu marathon. It is EVERYWHERE. In every running shop, on runners’ t-shirts round the Imperial Palace. I guess it’s the closest US marathon to Japan and there’s a sizeable Japanese population in Hawaii. So if you’re planning to run it, you need to up the style stakes in order to fit in!
They don’t seem that different to the US or the UK. No bargains. Darn.
Men may run in women’s shoes
I may be wrong here but I’ve seen a number of men running in shoes that look girly. I wonder if Japanese men have smaller feet and so sometimes need to do this? Otherwise, Japanese men like BRIGHT shoes!!
Female runners are immaculate.
No getting out of bed, scraping back a ponytail and feeling done up in mascara. Quite often, women are running in full make up, with straightened hair. They look good, it has to be said. I have started putting on the slap before running. I am a sheep.
Totally acceptable. Common as muck. Made me wish I’d brought mine.
Dodgy tracksuits are also in.
Amongst the fashion running butterflies there are some truly horrific 80s style tracksuits that are being worn. I hope this trend misses California.
I’m kind of intrigued by the whole mask thing, they are incredibly common. But this lady is RUNNING in her mask, in a dodgy tracksuit. Double-whammy of fabulousness.
I absolutely do not mean to mock! I love noting these cultural differences.We have loved eyeing up the outfits, seeing what goes and what doesn’t!
I checked out a couple of running magazines … they were slightly bewildering and didn’t look that exciting to be honest. They were also very expensive – 7,000 yen which is about 7 British pounds and $10! Didn’t buy one.
And finally, if anyone ever uses these blog posts for information gathering purposes about Japan (fools!!), this is a fantastic map of running routes, shops and facilities that I found online. It was invaluable, thank you Namban runners!
And with that, I leave you! Tokyo running street style! Tokyo, thank you for having us. Let’s go home…California, here we come!