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Trouble mars skateboarding's rising popularity in Japan

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Skateboarding is a great sport. The problem is lack of space to practice it. I'd suggest setting up a few small skateboarding areas in local parks - they'd act like a magnet. https://www.vans.com/skateparks-hb.html

26 ( +27 / -1 )

Which is the lesser evil, Japan: skateboarding or noisy biker gangs?

Skateparks, please.

24 ( +24 / -0 )

In central Japan's Aichi Prefecture, a recorded announcement on the second-level pedestrian concourse of JR Toyohashi Station repeatedly warns people against skateboarding and other prohibited activities, with the message reinforced with explicit "No skateboarding" signs.

Never got the prohibition against skateboarders where preoccupied bicyclists are allowed to pass and weave amongst equally busy pedestrians.

Skateboarders generally have better collision avoidance than the bicyclists I have seen here.

22 ( +24 / -2 )

Wow! It seems like Japan has finally caught up with the 80’s. Only another 5 decades to catch up with the rest of the world.

Skateboarding is not a crime!

Japan has a few in the top twenty of men’s and women’s skateboarders.

17 ( +17 / -0 )

Never got the prohibition against skateboarders where preoccupied bicyclists are allowed to pass and weave amongst equally busy pedestrians.

because it is seen as a western thing and therefore is treated with hostility. I've seen similar things with surfing.

Skateboarders generally have better collision avoidance than the bicyclists I have seen here.

Absolutely.

15 ( +15 / -0 )

Never had an issue with a kid skateboarding in Japan, they all seem to keep themselves to themselves and respect pedestrians. Uber cyclists however are a menace, selfish, dangerous, unpredictable and speeding as fast as they can to there next delivery with that massive box bag on the bag muscling other people off the pavements.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

Never got the prohibition against skateboarders where preoccupied bicyclists are allowed to pass and weave amongst equally busy pedestrians.

Agreed. My favorite is when these bicycles have a child in a from seat and another in a rear seat, neither wearing helmets.

But, yeah, skateboarders are bad!

13 ( +16 / -3 )

Japan needs to get with the program already. Skateboarding, using kick scooters etc. are a great way to cut down on commuting times to and from stations; and if you're close enough to your destination, a great alternative to riding those horribly overcrowded trains.

Other countries allow such alternative methods of transport just fine so why is Japan getting their knickers in such a twist about it? I'd even hazard a guess and say their bicyclists are more dangerous - riding on sidewalks, overtaking pedestrians with nary a care etc.

Every time Japan is met with something new/different they treat it like the redheaded stepchild. Just stop already.

As for skateboarders practicing at stations etc. - well maybe if local prefectures invested in more (FREE) skateparks people wouldn't be practicing in aforementioned stations.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

skateboarding is a crime in japan like anything else, swimming in the sea, riding in the forest, play with drones in the countryside, pick up mushrooms, etc....

Yep. Basically anything remotely construed as fun and they slam a lid on it. And they wonder why they have such high rates of suicide and death by overwork....

12 ( +14 / -2 )

skateboarders riding in public spaces without permission

You need permission to ride a skateboard in a public place? Ridiculous. But it just about sums up the uptight rules-for-rules-sake spirit of Japan.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

skateboarding is a crime in japan like anything else, swimming in the sea, riding in the forest, play with drones in the countryside, pick up mushrooms, etc....

10 ( +11 / -1 )

@dagon

In central Japan's Aichi Prefecture, a recorded announcement on the second-level pedestrian concourse of JR Toyohashi Station repeatedly warns people against skateboarding and other prohibited activities, with the message reinforced with explicit "No skateboarding" signs.

Never got the prohibition against skateboarders where preoccupied bicyclists are allowed to pass and weave amongst equally busy pedestrians.

Definitely agree, but for the sake of clarity, there is no bike access to that particular location.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Just wait it out,

So typical in Japan, fevers come and go, give it till the end of 2021, possibly 2022 and it will be gone like fashions.

5 ( +13 / -8 )

Well, I'm no grom - my knees restrict me to my longboard with really soft wheels - but ya gotta let the kids have fun, and if you don't make space for that, they'll make it themselves. Shouldn't be too difficult. Actually, should be healthy. As a parent, the biggest question is, in the evening, where are my kids?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Only youngsters use skateboards. Only old dinosaurs are in the government. Good luck getting anything allowed that won't be of benefit to these dinosaurs.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

There is a lack of space to do anything in Japan. that's why everyone is so miserable. Time to reclaim the Akiya and build some more communal spaces.

Actually there are plenty of spaces but the use is a joke.

Behind my previous residence was a large lot previously a school.

It took 2 year to build a park, the most useless park a children's playground in the far corner, a few trees and a lot is sand and that took 2 years.

Right next to it is another small park again a few trees some benches and a lot of sand.

No one uses 90% of the park because nothing is permitted and the wind kicks up the sand making relaxing or playing there most uncomfortable.

I have seen this sort of place built over and over again throughout Tokyo.

How simple it would have been to put a skateboard area and BMX area.

I watched for 2 long noisy years the park being built and was shocked at the results.

Back home that would have taken 2 to 3 months to do the same especially since the only time available would be late spring to very early fall as winter would make it impossible.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Skateboarding is experiencing a boom all over the world. The problem in Japan is that there are very few places to do it without upsetting someone. If I remember correctly it was Japan who wanted skateboarding and surfing to be a part of the Olympics, but they’ve failed to provide even a minimal increase in the number of skateparks across the country. As others have commented, Japan has some of the top skaters in the world, especially girl park skaters, and it’s both surprising and embarrassing that the country fails to support them or their sport.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Skateboarders have taken over a quiet corner of a local park that has a couple of concrete benches and small steps. They are there almost every weekend and evening, practicing hard. They are polite, friendly and always stop when we need to pass through.

Personally I think it is good to see teenagers enjoying themselves outside and I think their dedication will probably benefit them in the long run.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

When I first came to Japan there were several free Skateboard parks in Tokyo including one good size one in Akihabara.

All were closed down by the cities (wards) with reasons ranging from danger of injury to noise, despite the fact these parks were gated and locked at night and no way could they be making any noise louder than the businesses in Akihabara.

Soon after closing these down private pay to use skate parks opened up very near these locations.

All failed because simply put the youth just don't have the money.

This became clear than certain business interests pressured certain people to close the parks thinking they will make money by opening paid parks.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

@Sven Asai

Wow do you stereotype all the time?

Perhaps you need to stop watching USA movies and YouTube?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I am far less worried about skateboarders than I am about the obasans, ojisan's and housewives on their bicycles especially those power assisted ones.

The number of times I have been ran into walking and had them run intoy car because they never stop at lights, stop signs, etc.. I have lost count.

Skateboarders are usually younger and mobile enough to avoid people and tend to understand that skateboard vs car doesn't work out well for the skateboarder.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Cycles on the sidewalk (especially alongside roads with a cycle lane) is indeed very infuriating, and dangerous to both parties.

Skateboarding is likely safer (and at least the chances of them doing it while carrying a 2-year old, or browsing Facebook on their phone is a lot lower)

They are loud though, so in peaceful parks it's a little more annoying than a cycle, which would be simply passing through; whereas the skateboard will be going up and down over the "no skateboard" signs pasted on the floor, over and over again.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

As a family we keep our inline skates in the car so we can skate anywhere anytime, but we do face hurdles.

No space, confused security who assume it’s dangerous and illegal because it’s something they’ve never seen . The skate parks are okay, but we prefer to cruise out in the open and take in the sights. Skating in a pack , Euro dad, Japanese mom and 2 hafu kids , you can imagine the attention we get.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

In typical fashion of Japan, fun is prohibited or profusely frowned upon by elders. Especially if it's the young generation enjoying it. A local park near my home stopped kids from playing ball sports. I can't think of anything more silly.

Meanwhile, in Japan reckless bicyclists are an epidemic. Not a day goes back where I have to play dodge the cyclist on the wrong side of the road.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Build skateparks Japan!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

This is rubbish reporting. For the most part, skateboarders are fine and cause no problems. Near where I live, is a long paved road with no car access that attracts skateboarders. It’s not near any houses or anything. I use it as a shortcut home sometimes. Often there are skateboarders there, but they always take care when people walk past. There are signs up saying no skateboarding, but where else can they go? You are more likely to get hit by a Mama chariot than a skateboarder in Japan. Besides, more skateboarding parks should be made available not closed down like they did with the one that used to be in Nakano-ku in Tokyo.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Some of our local farmers use those electric skateboards. Plenty of space for the kids playing. Some people need to move out of the big cities and have a better quality life.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Shirpwrecker: Tons of thumbs up for that. Build it, and they'll gather. Don't, and they'll gather elsewhere.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Skateboarders have taken over a quiet corner of a local park that has a couple of concrete benches and small steps. They are there almost every weekend and evening, practicing hard. They are polite, friendly and always stop when we need to pass through. 

Personally I think it is good to see teenagers enjoying themselves outside and I think their dedication will probably benefit them in the long run.

Absolutely!

As other posters have mentioned mamachari mavericks are far more dangerous.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The kids here use the two-wheel types which need balance.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Awaiting its Olympic debut in Tokyo this summer, skateboarding

One of the reasons why the Olympics became a complete disaster, the same will be with breakdancing. I look forward to the 2024 for the world famous hot dog eating competition..

0 ( +2 / -2 )

As an activity, it's fun and cool, and especially was back in the day. As a competitive sport in the Olympics etc., its basically just gymnastics on wheels, like snowboarding, ice skating, trampolining, high diving, and anything else that involves spinning and flipping, judges giving marks, and potentially bolshy coaches and pushy parents.

As soon as I saw the headline, I knew the Iwakuni bridge incident would be mentioned. I'm a British man in Japan, but I would hope people would be able to write a story about us without automatically mentioning the British guy who put his bento trash in the post box. I bet lots of drunks have spat, vomited or urinated on cultural properties too without them being mentioned in every story about alcohol.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

My eyes are opened, really, I didn't know skateboarding was such a big problem. I wonder if it's a real issue or just a storm in a teacup

0 ( +1 / -1 )

There is a lack of space to do anything in Japan. that's why everyone is so miserable. Time to reclaim the Akiya and build some more communal spaces.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

yes, the freedom and fun associated with skateboarding seems to be something that Japan Inc. would be very much against.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Don't feel intimidated by them ..Just tell them, shout at them if they get in your way .I do !

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

The problem is not that skateboarding itself, if done only as a sports or physical challenge, but the accompanying developments are the problems that surely also have to be expected. To name a few, rap and gangster ‘culture’, drug dealing, graffitis, robbing, raping, stabbing, shooting, looting, anything resistance and torching, destruction etc. Of course, not at all places and done by everyone, most of them are only kind of cute and cool pseudo ‘rebels’ , but at least it is quite countable as it has been in other countries already for many years. The coffins are full with young people out of that whole scene or their victims.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

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