When the Rugby World Cup 2019 kicks off in September, more eyes will be on its host nation, Japan, than ever before. Land Rover is not only a worldwide partner to the rugby tournament to end all others, but a proud partner of the Springboks too. So, before our boys in green and gold head off to the tiny Pacific Island nation, we thought we’d give you a crash course in where to travel when you follow suit. Because we’re Wanted, we’ve curated the coolest, smartest and most unique itinerary for you — taking our inspiration from the newly updated Range Rover Evoque 2019 (how could we not?)
Kitted out with new technologies and engineered for comfort, this beauty of a vehicle is an all-terrain, compact SUV that’s stylishly suitable to zip around the city with ease.
This week, we highlight the spirit of “living for the city” by exploring Tokyo – one of the metropolises in Japan. Once you’ve read this, we know you’re going to want to get into your Evoque and immediately explore this exotic, buzzing destination yourself.
No doubt you’ve seen many photographs of the crazy-busy crossing of Shibuya district in Tokyo and exhausted commuters passed out on trains late at night. In Tokyo Metropolis, Japan’s capital city and one of 47 prefectures, there’s no shortage of exciting nightlife, bars and restaurants, cultural sites and activities, such as 22-hour onsen baths and shopping into the wee hours. In the most populated metropolis in the world, what might not be as easy to find is balance and calm in the city of lights.
1. FIND YOUR INNER YOGI | NIGHT YOGA AT MEJI JINGU STADIUM
Yoga hasn’t been as quick to catch on in Tokyo as it has in other cities. In fact, many yoga spots there are mostly marketed to women — you’ll find studios proudly marked “studios for women only.” But that’s slowly changing, thanks to Jingu Stadium Night Yoga in Tokyo. It has become the biggest yoga event in Japan, after more than 13,000 participants in total gathered at last year’s events. The hour-long yoga sessions, part of a series of planned events running until September 2019, are geared for all levels and take place in the heart of Tokyo, under the stars.
According to the Japan Times, one participant said that, for a moment during the session, the lights and music were cut as they lay flat on their backs in a pose called Shavasana. She said she felt she was “connected to the universe”.
The upcoming, weather-dependent events are scheduled for Friday, July 12 and Wednesday, July 24. This year, once again, a bilingual area will be provided to facilitate the participation of non-Japanese speakers.
2. RUN THE CITY | NIKE RUN CLUB
“Being active everyday makes it easier to hear that inner voice,” writes Haruki Murakami in his memoir, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. And what better way to connect with yourself and the city than by running through it?
Okay, you could book a ticket on a Hop-on Hop-off Tokyo bus, but the Nike running clubs are also a novel way to connect with city folk, possibly glean some insider tips on the best places to eat, and feel the pulse of the city underfoot.
The clubs meet in Nakameguro, known as a trendy yet unintimidating neighbourhood that’s just five minutes from the popular Shibuya; and Harajuku, a district in Shibuya known the world over for its Japanese youth culture and fashion.
3. SLOW MUSIC | BAR MUSIC
The appreciation of music on a high-fidelity vinyl sound system in a kissaten (tearoom) goes back to the years following World War 2, when imported records were prohibitively expensive.
Whatever your musical persuasion, you can find bars, mostly in Tokyo, that serve food while you listen to your favourite genre. Some bars still prohibit talking while listening, others permit dancing.
Bar Music in Shibuya hits all the right notes. In a dark setting, there’s a DJ booth and recommended CDs and LPs for sale. Cocktails and good coffee are served against the background of high-quality hip-hop, jazz, soul and more.
• Visit the Land Rover website for more information. Join the #liveforthecity conversation on Twitter and Instagram.
• Follow Wanted’s journey through Japan - a hyperlocal guide to the best bits its cities have to offer.
• This article was paid for by Land Rover, proud vehicle partner to the Springboks.