WHAT CLOTHES ARE APPROPRIATE?
Any clothes suitable for the weather, and for running around. It's up to you to figure out what's comfortable for you.
DO YOU GUYS HAVE ANY SPARE STICKS I CAN BORROW?
We think you are better off with your own. However, if you are coming out for the first time and just want to try it out, we can work something out. If you want to rent a stick, please contact us at least 24 hours before hockey and tell us when you will attend, which way you shoot, and how tall you are. We will try to find a decent stick for you.
As for borrowing someone else's stick, we frown upon it. Sharing sticks diminishes the fun for the people that brought their sticks, so it's not an encouraged practice. Sorry to say it, but if you don't come with a stick, don't be surprised if you don't end up playing.
HOW MUCH DO STICKS COST?
Expect to pay about 4000 yen for a basic wooden stick, up to 10,000 yen for a really nice composite shaft, and anywhere from 2000 to 4000 yen for replacement blades.
WHERE CAN I BUY A STICK, OR OTHER EQUIPMENT?
There are a few stores in the Tokyo area that the TSHA recommends you buy a stick or other hockey equipment. Each of these places will replace the blade of your hockey shaft for you if you ask.
You're very much advised to call first before heading down to any of these stores. They can take days off or change store hours any time, so you'll want to make sure they're open before you make the trip.
This is a new discovery, so we don't have all the details yet. But some of our members have been there and they say it's got a great selection.
For now all we have is a link in Japanese, but we'll try to get more info here soon.
MEIJI JINGU ICE SKATE BA
You can also get a stick from the "Meiji Jingu Ice Skate Ba". It's an ice skating rink with a small equipment shop in it. The selection of sticks and blades can be a bit limited, and the people who run it are not very tight about maintaining their posted store hours. However, of the three places listed on this web page, it's the most central location and that makes it a convenient place to get a replacement blade for your stick.
Meiji Jingu Ice Skate Ba is in Kasumigaoka Gobanchi, Shinjuku-ku, right beside Sendagaya and Shinanomachi stations. You don't need a map or anything because whichever station you come out of, the rink is right there. Just turn left on the road that passes in front of the station, and walk about 50 yards. You can call them at 03-3403-3458 for hours and information.
See this map on the Google Maps web site
CITIZEN ICE SKATE RINK
Just near the entrance to the Citizen Ice Skate Rink, there is a skate shop . The selection is no smaller than what you get at Meiji Jingu.
To get to Citizen Rink, get out of Takadanobaba Station at the north exit. The main street that goes under the tracks is Waseda Dori. Turn left as you come out the station, so that you are heading west on Waseda Dori. Citizen Ice Skate Rink is about a five minute walk, and it has a big yellow sign. The skating rink itself is in a separate building in back of the building you see from the street.
See this map on the Google Maps web site
There is a small shop at the Musashi-Urawa rink where we play. However, the shop is never open when we play there and has very irregular hours.
HOW DO I KNOW WHICH STICK TO BUY?
You have to determine for yourself if you play left or right by which feels more natural. Some people who write with their right play with their left. Go figure.
As for length, have them cut the length so that when you stand with the stick held against your chest and the blade touching the ground, it comes up no higher than your chin. Since you won't be playing on skates, there's a lot of extra length on the shaft that will just get in your way.
When it comes to the blade of the stick, you're advised to get as much hard plastic as possible. While wooden blades are lighter, they tend to wear down faster on the surface we play on. Some blades are plastic on the bottom edge and wooden for the rest, which is a nice balance of weight and durability. But because trekking out to a hockey shop and replacing your blade is kind of a hassle, longevity is probably something you want to give priority. So a blade that is made entirely of hard plastic is ideal.
WHAT ABOUT PROTECTION?
You might want to consider getting gloves, because your knuckles will accidentally get banged with other peoples sticks now and again. Any kind of glove will help, and hockey or lacrosse gloves offer the best protection, although they can be bulky and hot in the summer.
Some of the guys wear shin pads, because the hockey ball can definitely hurt. You can get either full scale hockey shin pads which cover your knees as well, or the smaller soccer, lacrosse, or football style ones that just cover the front of the shin. Most guys in the TSHA lean towards the soccer style shin pads because Tokyo is warm or hot most of the year, and so they want more breathe-ability in the equipment.
And if you are male, then a cup is highly recommended, as it is for any sporting activity. For cups, in Tokyo generally the best place to buy them is at martial arts supply stores.
Or, you can go online and buy them at the gayest non-gay-porn site on the net . You can't deny they have the best selection of jocks and cups.
Some guys also wear mouth guards, helmets, goggles, rib protectors, etc. it is really up to you.
WHAT KIND OF BALL DO YOU PLAY WITH?
We play with a ball specially designed for street hockey. It's basically a plastic ball that has water inside it to stop it from bouncing too much. It does move pretty fast, though, and will hurt if you get hit with it.