So your friends are driving you up the wall, but you’re too broke to climb anything other than the language school ladder? Hang in there and read this pun-filled guide to affordable climbing walls in Tokyo.
Indoor rock climbing (the one with ropes) and bouldering (the one without ropes) is booming—and with good reason. It’s a fun way to get fit, build upper body strength and work off stress—solo or with buddies, all while tapping into your inner mountain goat. But it’s not as easy as it looks, and you’ll need the right equipment—like chalk and special shoes (the walls are some of the few places in the city where you won’t encounter high heels). Luckily most of the spots on our list will rent you the stuff and show you the ropes (where applicable), too.
With initial registration fees and sometimes steep daily rates, climbing can be a pricey affair—but not if you go to these cheapo-friendly places!
This well-known gym is easy to get to and has walls and ropes for all skill levels. The registration fee of 500 yen won’t break the bank, but the 2,000-yen rate for a day of climbing is a little hefty (though average among climbing gyms). If you go after 8pm, you only have to pay 1,500 yen, and another way to save cash is to buy a set of 10 or 20 tickets, or even a 6-month pass. The latter will give you access to the other branches of the T-Wall chain too. Students enjoy good reduced rates. Shoes can be rented for 400 yen, chalk bags for 200 yen, and harnesses (there may be 9-11m ropes involved in your climb, depending on what you are into) for 300 yen.
Hours: Mon-Fri: 14:00 – 23:00, Sat: 10:00 – 20.00
Closed the first and third Monday each month.
Address: 2-5-23 Suidou, Bunkyo-ku. Access: 5 min from Exit 4 of Edogawabashi Station.
One of the most popular bouldering (only) venues in Tokyo, B-Pump is spacious, well-fitted and great for beginners. Registration will set you back 1,800 yen (1,300 yen if you are a member of another branch of B-Pump), but thereafter weekday climbing can be done at the rather reasonable rate of 1,500 yen. If you swing by after 9pm, you’ll only have to pay 1,200 yen—and since they’re open till 11pm, it’s a viable option for the cheapo. Weekends and holidays are more expensive at 2,100 yen. You can get a membership for a month, 6 months or a year for 11,000, 72,000 and 120,000 yen respectively if you’re a dedicated boulderer. Students get discounts at B-Pump too. Shoes are 300 yen (but free the first time), and chalk bags 100 yen.
Hours: Mon-Fri: 12:00-23:00 Sat and holidays: 11:00-22:00 Sundays: 10:00-21:00
Only Closed for New Year’s period.
Address: 1-1-8 Yushima, Bunkyo-ku. Access: 5 min from JR Akihabara Station.
Fitness Climbing Studio Lago
One of the lesser-known and further-removed spots, but one that can be very wallet-friendly (especially for ladies), with rates varying by time slot. Like at B-Pump, registration is 1,500 yen (with a possible partial cashback). But if you can get in to the gym between 10am and 2pm on a weekday, a 3-hour climbing pass will only cost you 500 yen if you’re a female (or student or senior…not sure how us girl cheapos feel about this categorizing, but we’ll take that discount), and 700 yen if you’re a male. The rates go up from there, with a 3-hour ticket in the 2-6pm slot costing 700 yen for women and 900 yen for men. Thereafter it’s 1,200 yen for women and 1,400 yen for men between 6-11pm, with a reduced rate of 1,000 yen for men and 9,00yen for women between 9-11pm. Weekends are slightly more expensive with only two main time slots. You can extend your climb for an extra 300 yen, and rental shoes go for 200 yen, while chalk is 100 yen. Visitors can also use the facility without registering for slightly higher prices (add about 300 yen).
Hours: Mon-Fri: 10:00-23:00 . Weekends and holidays: 10:00-22:00
Address: 1-7-3 Honan, Suginami-ku. Access: 5 min from Daitabashi Station (Keio Line).
Climbing Gym J&S Nakano
Part of another climbing franchise, this branch is fairly easy to access, and mid-range when it comes to costs. Registration is dirt cheap at 500 yen (free for members of the Ikebukuro or Ebisu branches), and climbing rates are a flat 1500 yen per day. Ladies, however, can save here too, with a 500-yen discount on Wednesdays and Fridays. You can also cut costs by buying multiple passes or a monthly pass. Shoes will set you back 200 yen, but are free the first time. Like B-Pump, this place only offers bouldering.
Hours: Mon-Fri: 14:00-23:00 Weekends and holidays: 12:00-21:00pm
Address: Takayama Building 1F, 1-31-5 Arai, Nakano-ku. Access: 10 min from the north exit of Nakano Station.
Fukagawa Sport Center
Note: This center is closed until August 31 for renovations.
If you can get there and have climbing experience as well as your own equipment, this is a top cheap climbing option. Part of a municipal center, the hours are limited, and the facilities simple, but sufficient. For just 350 yen, you can climb on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings. The catch is that you have to apply for and take an introductory safety training class first, which requires some Japanese and will set you back 3,000 yen and a couple of head photos (for a licence card). Note that priority is given to ward residents if heaps of people apply for the licence thingies.
Climbing hours: 18:00-20:30 Tues and Thurs. 19:00-21:30 Wed.
Address: 1-2-18 Ecchujima, Koto-ku. Access: 5 min from Monzennakacho Station (Tozai Line).
Bonus wall: Tamagawa Josuiryokuchi Nikkobashi Park
For experienced climbers with cabin fever or fearless daredevil types, there is an open outdoor wall in Nikkobashi Park. It’s called the Climbing Tower, and it’s free to use—entirely at your own risk. If you break something, don’t blame us.
Address: 1386-1, Ooaza-Kumagawa, Fussa-shi. Access: The park is a short walk from the north exit of Haijima Station (JR Hachiko Line).