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Tuesday, April 20, 2004


Turning attention to summer

Gearing up

It seems that some of you are turning your minds to the great outdoors and getting in shape for summertime.

Hiking/camping heaven

Nature Lover's Group (NLG) has announced its schedule for the rest of the year: April 26: Hiking to Okutama; May 4, 5 (Golden Week): Camping in Shinkiba, by the sea; June 19, 20: Camping in Yamanashi; July 4: Hiking to Takao-san; July 17, 18: Camping in Gunma; Aug. 29: One day BBQ at seaside; Sept. 4, 5: Camping in Tachikawa; Sept. 25: Hiking to Fuji-san; Oct. 16: Hiking in Nikko; Nov. 6: Hiking in Yamanashi. Information from Abo Shosha on (090) 4524-1458 or mail nlgjapan@yahoo.com

Swimming practice

John wants to know where best to swim seriously in central Tokyo as he finds clubs expensive and often crowded. and justs wants a place to plow up and down whenever he has time off work (in Shinjuku).

How about the Yoyogi National Stadium Pool in Shibuya? It's part of the sports complex built for the Olympic Games in 1964, right alongside NHK and opposite Yoyogi Park.

The 50-meter pool (full Olympiz size, naturally) is open Monday-Friday, from midday to 8.30 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10 a.m.-8.30 p.m. Sunday and holiday hours are 10 a.m.-6.30 p.m.

It's shut on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of every month and New Year.

An adult ticket costs 550 yen; for kids aged 4-15 it's 450 yen. Half the pool -- 3 lanes -- are reserved. The full 6 lanes are open only when there are no reservations. As in most pools here, there are rules. In this instance, both sexes must wear swimming caps. Note also the 5-minute break on each and every hour, when everyone must leave the pool. The reason given is that swimmers need to rest (as if we don't know when we are tired). The more sensible explanation is the need to check that no-one has got into trouble and the bottom of the pool is clear.

Summer suit

Johan has heard that summers here are really hot and sultry and wants a couple of truly lightweight business suits. "Off-the-peg tends not to fit too well, so I am thinking custom-order-made. Do you know a reliable tailor with access to fabrics suitable for a tropical climate?"

Luckily for Johan, Vijay Wadhwani of Noble House Custom Tailors will be in Tokyo from Hong Kong towards the end of the week (April 23-24) and will staying at the Hotel New Otani in Akasaka (03-3265-1111). He comes on a regular basis to take orders. Once he has your pattern, of course, you can negotiate long distance.

Vijay has been working in the tailoring business for 35 years and offers a choice of 3,000 fabrics. For an appointment in advance, e-mail wadhwani@noblehouse.us or check out his basic Web site at noblehouse. us/

Send your queries, questions, problems and posers, to: lifelines@japantimes.co.jp

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