Running Blind

Today in Yoyogi Park I saw a big group of runners warming up near the place where I regularly fall off the slackline. That’s not unusual – packs of them regularly lope through Tokyo, getting their exercise on.

What was different about this group is that half of them couldn’t see, and some couldn’t hear. The rest were guides. Volunteers are matched one on one with those who would otherwise have a bit of trouble navigating through the throngs of picnickers, costumed dogs and performers in the park.

As I walked home through the park later, I saw pairs like this, whose jerseys told me who they were, but their pace didn’t.

Jonelle Patrick is the author of the Only In Tokyo Mystery Series, published by Penguin/Intermix. If you’d like to visit Yoyogi Park the next time you’re in Tokyo, directions, maps, and more pictures are on my website, The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had.

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