Where We Play
We have a few spots around town where we play. This page only shows where each of them is and says a little bit about them. For you to know which one we are playing at in any given week, you have to read the weekly TSHA Report.
Here we provide Google Maps to each of our locations. Unfortunately, Google Maps only does maps in Japan in Japanese. Some of the major landmarks, like train station names are in English. If you don't happen to speak Japanese, that could be a bit of a hassle. On the other hand, you can use it as an excuse to chat up an attractive Japanese person of your choosing.
MHL Rink (Musashi-Urawa / Kita-Toda)
Great 4-on-4, indoor rink. It has sturdy boards with glass and a tiles surface, so the games are quite fast and we never get rained out. Unfortunately, it gets really hot inside during the summer, so we usually don't play here from mid-July to the end of September...then it's Yamato Cup time.
Mizube Sports Garden (Edogawa Ward, Tokyo)
A huge, outdoor rink with enough space for 5-on-5. The continuous concrete surface is great for stick handling and is a little faster than Musashi-Urawa. The boards have no glass so they ball goes out a little more than we'd like. Has lights, so we can play at night, though they are super-strict about time.
A small rink that's suitable for 4-on-4. It's outdoors on the roof of the local sports center. Tiled surface with boards and walls.
Where We Would Also Like to Play
A very large, outdoor surface that's surrounded by a fence instead of boards. Good for 5-on-5. It's a free rink meant for inline/roller hockey, which means if we to play there we have to wait for the spot to open up. Does not have lights, so we can't play there at night.
Ariake Sports Center (Odaiba)
This is a gymnasium that is indoors, well air-conditioned, and suitable for 4-on-4. We want to try this one out especially due to the central location.
Where We Have Played
A tennis court surface without any tennis nets. It's an awesome surface to play on, and we have no idea why such a perfect hockey place was built. But we're never complained.
Unfortunately we were kicked out of the park because of a local jackass telling the police we hogged the space...even though we would always split the rink in half with anyone else who wanted to do something there.
Amazing Square (Kesei Sekiya)
Amazing Square is a sports centre with futsal fields and other stuff, and, most importantly, the roller hockey rink where we played.
Unfortunately, the property owner had something against ball and inline hockey, so the guy who ran the rink moved to the current venue in Musashi-Urawa.
Misery Park (Shinjuku)
It's called "Okubo Park", but we like to call it "Misery Park", after this Japan Times Article about it. It was in the middle of, Kabukicho, which is probably the seediest red light district in Japan. That means you'd be walking by "massage" parlors and funky love hotels, stepping over homeless people, and seeing lots of hookers, yakuza, and other local colour before and after hockey. It was awesome!
Unfortunately, they decided to renovate the park, and the new park banned all stick games.
We played in Komazawa for about ten years. Komazawa Koen ("Koen" means "park" by the way) is still dear to us, as we spent a long time there and many people who played with us will have their memories associated with our spot beside the stairs.
Unfortunately, the park authorities decided to ban all stick sports there, forcing us to look for new places to play. This turned out to be not so bad because we found better surfaces.