5 to try: Tokyo's ice skating rinks

As the snow falls on the capital, we check out 5 great skating rinks

5 to try: Tokyo's ice skating rinks

Though ice skating might not be the first thing you think of when you consider the phrase ‘Tokyo in winter’, in reality you don’t have to go that far to hit the ice and enjoy one of winter’s most exhilarating activities.

With Tokyo being on the forefront of what’s new and innovative, the drive towards using technologies that emit less carbon dioxide and consume less electricity has led to the development of new technologies such as environmentally friendly cooling equipment and alternative skating rink materials that don’t require ice. These new technologies have not only brought on a rise in the number of places to go skating in the city, but have also been attracting their fare share of media attention.

Venues are hosting ever more flamboyant and brilliant skating performances, using better lighting installations and playing a wider variety of music including a mix of different themes — even those based on dance clubs and New York’s Rockefeller Centre.

All this excitement may not necessarily result in the creation of an army of young, inspired figure skaters, but it’s definitely going to bring a spike in the number of people taking to the ice for some good old-fashioned fun with some new twists. Take advantage of this new trend by grabbing some skates and checking out our selection of Tokyo’s most enjoyable skating rinks.

Citi Skate Rink in Tokyo Midtown

First opening on Tokyo Midtown’s great lawn, this grand-scale outdoor ice skating rink is large enough to accommodate 200 people. Open until 10pm and beautifully lit up with light displays around its perimeter, it’s an ideal spot for night-time skating. In addition to a sheltered viewing area along its side, there are also other conveniences such as a heated area where you can take a break without taking off your skates, making this an ideal skating spot for couples or families.

Address: 9-7-1 Akasaka, Minato, Tokyo
Tel: 0570 001 537
Opening hours: Until Sun February 28, 11am–10pm. Last entrance 9pm
Admission: Adults (high school students and older) 1500 yen; children (junior high school students and younger), 1500. Admission includes skate rental
Website: www.imgjapan.com/rink/

The Rink at Akasaka Sacas

Akasaka Sacas is not only home to a slew of shops and TBS broadcasting events, but also, currently, an ice skating rink. Here, you’ll find staff happy to teach complete beginners how to successfully slide around on the ice. Elbow, knee protectors and helmets are available for use — perfect for children and first timers alike. More advanced lessons for anybody with an interest in figure skating are also offered.

Address: 5 Akasaka, Minato, Tokyo
Opening hours: Until Sun February 14; times and days vary — check the website for further details
Admission: Adults, 1000 yen; children (elementary school students and younger), 500 yen
Website: sacas.net/fuyu09/

Toshimaen Outdoor Ice Skating Rink

Toshimaen Outdoor Ice Skating Rink, adjacent to both Toshimaen Amusement Park and its neighbouring cinema complex, is an old-fashioned skating rink where the ice is still built up gradually from thin layers of frozen water. Regular adult admission, which includes skate rental, is 2000 yen. However, after 3pm, or on days when the amusement park is closed, admission is only 1200 yen. Re-entry is free for the same day, should you wish to combine your skating experience with a quick trip to the amusement park or grab a bite to eat at a neighbouring restaurant.

Address: 3-25-1 Mukoyama, Nerima, Tokyo
Tel: 03 3990 8800
Opening hours: Until Sun February 28, times and days vary — check the website for further details
Admission: Junior high school students and older, 1000 yen; children from 3 years of age to elementary school students, 500 yen. Skate hire starts from 500 yen
Website: www.toshimaen.co.jp/event/skate2010.html

Meiji Jingu Gaien Ice Skating Rink

This large-scale ice skating rink measures 30m by 60m and conforms to international ice skating tournament regulations. When it’s not being used for regional ice-skating training sessions or competitions, or for private skating groups, it’s generally open to the public all year round. Skaters aiming at going pro are a regular fixture here.

Address: 11-1 Kasumiga-akamachi, Shinjuku, Tokyo
Tel: 03 3403 3458
Opening hours: Mondays to Fridays, noon–6pm, last entrance 5pm; Sat-Sun and national holidays, 10am–6pm, last entrance 5pm
Admission: Adults' day pass, 1300 yen; junior high school students and younger, 900 yen. Admission after 3pm: adults, 1,000 yen; junior high school students and younger, 700 yen
Website: www.meijijingugaien.jp/english/ice-skating.html

Citizen Plaza Ice Skating Rink

Citizen Plaza, a sports entertainment complex, offers a range of sports and activities including bowling, tennis, and even indoor golf. It’s also home to a 30m by 60m international standard ice skating rink. During the early morning and evening, the rink is reserved for private use; however, in between these times it’s open to the public all year round. A variety of lessons are available for all levels from junior to senior.

Address: 4-29-27 Takadanobaba, Shinjuku, Tokyo
Tel: 03 3371 0910
Opening hours: Mondays-Saturdays, noon–7:45pm; Sundays and national holidays, 10am–6:30pm
Admission: Adults, 1300 yen; junior high school students and younger, 800 yen
Website: www.citizen-plaza.co.jp/service/skate/

By Kyoko Kitamura
Translated by Brin Wilson
Please note: All information is correct at the time of writing but is subject to change without notice.


Add your comment

Copyright © 2014 Time Out Tokyo