by Dan Harris
Summertime is vacationtime, and the hot-weather holidays are great occasions for playing some tennis. Many of us will go abroad for a summer respite; tennis is available at almost all resorts, so we’ll get a break.
Here’re two possibilities for when you’re NOT going abroad, but want some tennis in a resort atmosphere, not too far from Roppongi and with an English-speaking staff.
The following Suggestion No. 1 is probably most appropriate if a) you really don’t like traveling, and b) you have only one day to invest in your game. No. 2 is most appropriate if you have a full day or more and don’t mind a few hours travel each way.
Suggestion No. 1: The row of hotels next to Tokyo Disneyland. This area has a complete resort atmosphere to it, with Tokyo Bay on one side and Mickey and his chums on the other. When you are in the hotels, you truly feel as if you’ve been transported out of Tokyo into a vacation playground. And this area is less than an hour from Roppongi either by car or train. For the former, drive via the Shiba Koen ramp onto the Rainbow Bridge to Urayasu; on the train, take the Hibiya Line, a change at Hatchobori Station to the Keiyo Line and off at the Disneyland stop.
A large group of us furriners played tennis all day at this locale last spring and, blessed with good weather, such tennis buffs as the Brearton family remarked, “A great day! Let’s do it again soon.”
The Sheraton Grande has some indoor courts, which, of course, guarantees that you’ll have playing time regardless of heat or rain. The Tokyo Bay Hilton has four outdoor hard courts surrounded by greenery. Mike Goitein, the tennis pro at the Tokyo Bay Hilton, is a friendly soul and can give you details on the various ways to use the courts there: a room plus court time plus lesson package, for example. He’ll also provide details on how to get there. Call (0473) 55-5000 (the hotel switchboard) and ask for Mike.
And after you’ve served all those aces and blasted all those passing shots, you can then relax at the swimming pool, work other muscles in the fitness center and recharge with good food and drink at any of the numerous restaurants—all right there in these hotels.
Suggestion No. 2: The SAT Grand Hotel in Chiba sits amongst the hills and lots of greenery at the center of the Boso Peninsula, ie., on the other side of Tokyo Bay and up in the hills a ways. Allen Krissman’s tennis company, Krissman International, runs a program at this hotel aimed specifically at the foreign community. His staff is composed mostly of westerners with English as their lingua franca. During the year they conduct a number of fun tennis events for players of all levels. (I won a fine tennis bag at one event last year—and I didn’t even win one match!)
Tennis friends such as the Salvaggios and the Dieteries go back repeatedly. You’ll have to spend a few hours getting to this hotel, but the tennis facilities are good and the surrounding countryside is pleasant. Being at a hotel, naturally overnight stays are possible, although the rooms are, ah-hem, of modest siz Also, there is a golf course near at hand it you want ttr stray from the one true path of Tennis.
Call Allen’s company at 3325-0924 for further details and directions to the spot.