Like many American cities, central Tokyo has transformed into a major running metropolitan with a lot of nudging from the annual Tokyo Marathon.
There is practically a runners’ traffic jam on the 3-mile loop—part of the marathon course— around the Emperor’s Palace.
Anyone who's been to Japan will attest to Tokyo's fashion scene. Tokyoites' love of fashion doesn't stop after work. A few minutes of watching Japanese runners tells you that Japan takes its running gear seriously. Japanese runners outfit a lot more patterns and color combinations than what we're used to seeing in America.
Many Japanese women wear the running skirt, known by a nickname "ransuka," or a running dress ("randore"), over full or knee-length running tights. Men often sport tights under knee-length shorts.
But the cute patterns and modesty aren't just for vanity's sake. Japanese fitness fashion attests to the culture's knack of pragmatism. Unlike many of us who are familiar with stripping down to the bare minimum at the slightest hint of humidity, Japanese runners know that extra fabrics can in fact protect and cool them under the summer sun. The wicking material wards off dripping sweat, and light colors, hats, and long sleeve shirts protect the skin from harsh UV-rays.
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Photo courtesy of ransacker.co.uk.