Kasai Rinkai Power-Kiters

Mike GristJapan, People / Culture 3 Comments

At the edge of Kasai Rinkai park off Tokyo Bay there’s a narrow sliver of sand-bar land perfect for kiting. Stunt kites soar and rip through the air like carbon-fibre assassins, paper-kites ruffle and chuckle in the wind, ‘let’s go fly a kites’ sputter and trail their ribbon-dangled threads behind them as their owners race their dogs and kids against the wind.

Then there are the power kiters- packing the 2 and 6 meter squared kites- a rare breed in Japan where such goods can only be bought via the Internet, ordered from other countries, kites with enough drag to hoist you out of your boots and carry you sailing far out to sea.


6 meters square kite soars overhead.

This was the first time for me to use my huge 6 meter square kite. I bought it perhaps as long as a year ago- but never had any luck taking it out, as it’s quite heavy and requires a certain minimum wind force to hoist it up. Until Kasai Rinkai’s huffing wind, it had always lain lacklustre on the ground.

This time it had a chance to fly. I was nervous for sure- I knew the drag my much smaller 1.8 meter square kite could produce, and was imagining a kite so powerful it could rip my arms off, or at the least haul me half-conscious wrapped up in its lines over land and wires and gravel and out to sea.



As it turned out, it wasn’t nearly so bad. It was a briskly windy day, but not crazily so. I only got worried when handing off the four-line reins to the ladies, just as a matter of weight.

We weren’t taking photographs much that day- but here’s a video of the highlights:

Power Kiting from Michael John Grist on Vimeo..




You can see all MJG’s Tokyo content here:

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Comments 3

  1. Post

    Shane- It was great fun yeah- but for sure steering the kites takes a little practise, as well as the wind conditions need to be just right for your weight and kite-type.

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