Play!By Tyler Ensrude
Habitual overtime workers, serial early risers and rock climbing addicts: rejoice. You now have a place to call your own.
A new boulder has just rolled into Iruma, Saitama, and shaken up the climbing scene. Rock24 recently opened its doors (walls and ceilings) in Johnson Town, formerly the Johnson Air Base housing district. This stylish, yet quaint, neighborhood has wide streets and feels like a scene out of a 1950s American sitcom.
The rock climbing brings a radical new concept to climbing in Japan. As its name suggests, Rock24 is open 24 hours a day to members. You can literally climb there day and night. Rock24 team members can climb to their heart’s content after the daily grind, take a shower, watch a movie, chill in the hammock and crash on the climbing mats and not have to worry about catching that last train. It is a manga kisa for the hardcore climber.
Are you a first time climber? Casual climbers are also welcome on the weekends for a small fee with access to all areas of the gym and climbing shoes.
When I was a kid, I dreamed of having a basketball court and a swimming pool at my house. I never imagined a house with bouldering walls in every room. And not just walls – the roof rails, ceilings, corners, nooks and crannies are covered in holds of all shapes and sizes.
The routes and angles in the various rooms throughout the gym range from easy enough for the kids, to difficult mantling and multi-pitch rock routes that challenge even the most experienced climbers.
Jeff Jensen, a 20-year veteran alpine climber, and the brainchild of Rock24, was born in Edmonton, Alberta, but spent most of his adult life in Banff before moving to Japan. Jeff is a natural skier and he was previously co-owner of a rafting company along the Tama River in Mitake.
His dream was to create a place for rock hounds such as himself who are frustrated by the restrictive hours of most fitness clubs and climbing gyms. He has created a place you can climb any time, no matter the hour of day or how busy your work schedule. Climbers can come and just hang out with others who share the same 24/7 love of climbing.
Location Info: Rock24 is in Johnson Town, a 15-to-20-minute walk from Irumashi Station on the Seibu Ikebukuro Line out of Ikebukuro Station. (More details on the Website).
Address: 1-6-10 Azumacho, Iruma City, Saitama.
Hours: Open 24 hours a day
Tel: (0429) 37-6770