Slush flies and blades flash as some show-off slices by on the rink. Onlookers grip cocoa in mittened hands and precocious be-sequined divas do twirls in the center. There are plenty of cheapo Tokyo skating spots, both permanent and seasonal. Don’t forget your earmuffs!
Meiji Jingu Gaien Rink (Open all year round)
This rink has a picturesque location, but hours are limited and it’s not super cheap. Entry is 1,340 yen and skate rental is an additional 510 yen. And entry after 3pm gives you a 310 yen admission discount. The rink conforms to international competition standards, so it’s a good place for serious skaters.
|Hours||13:00-18:00 (Mon-Fri) | 10:00-18:00 (Sat, Sun, Holidays)|
|Nearest Station||Sendagaya or Kokuritsu Kyogijo|
Tokyo Midtown Ice Rink (Dates TBC)
In the middle of Roppongi, with the city lights and skyscrapers all around, this rink is great for romantics, especially at night. 1,500 yen gets you admission and skate rental, and the hours are pretty long, from 11:00 to 22:00. The rink is a bit smaller than Meiji Jingu’s, at 840 m² compared to 1800 m².
Citizen Plaza (Open all year round)
Another competition-sized rink, this one is in the student town of Takadanobaba (affectionately referred to as “Baba” by some denizens). Priced similarly to Meiji Jingu (1,340 yen for an adult but 310 yen off after 5pm), this spot is bustling with not only skaters, but folks taking advantage of some of the other offerings in the complex like bowling and tennis.
White Sacas Toyotown Ice Garden (Nov 23rd – Feb 25th)
Akasaka Sacas hosts a really pretty temporary rink with twinkly lights and a busy shopping atmosphere. It is the biggest outdoor rink in Tokyo and as this is their 10th year, they have extended the season later into February. They also hold skate classes (at an extra charge). This isn’t the cheapest at 1,200 yen admission and 500 yen skate rental, but patrons entering after 6pm get their skates for free, so that’s something, and there are extended opening hours on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.
Edogawa Sportsland (Open all year round)
This municipal skate rink is your cheapo winner. Competition sized, they even provide a free 30-minute skating lesson, every Sunday at 11:30 and 14:30. Entry is only 510 yen and skate rental is a further 310 yen. The catch: it’s not too close to the station, and requires a bus or being a dedicated walker.
|Hours||Check the calendar for which days are open to the public.|
|Nearest Station||Shinogaki, then bus 71 or 72|
Art Rink in Akarenga (Dec 2nd – Feb 18th)
This rink gets our pick for most atmospheric; the old Red Brick Warehouse sits on Yokohama Bay with all the delights of gorgeous harbor-view Yokohama. Entry is 500 yen and skates are a further 500, making this one of the best deals around and definitely worth the trip. We especially recommend it at night; it’s a magical experience.
|Hours|| 13:00-22:00 (Mon-Fri) | 11:00-22:00 (Sat, Sun, Holidays)
|Nearest Station||Nihon Odori or Bashamichi|
In our pilot episode, we're joined by Alvin Cheung of ABC Coffee, Hapnick, and Tokyo Keyboards