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Japan Photo Journal: Tokyo hang-time

(Mainichi/Junichi Sasaki)

A young skateboarder appears to hang in the air above an about 4-meter-high ramp with the Tokyo Skytree in the background at Murasaki Park Tokyo in the capital's Adachi Ward in this recent photo. The skate park is crowded with children practicing on weekends after the sport was chosen for inclusion in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics as a new event. About 400,000 people skateboard in Japan, and public skate parks have been built in every corner of the country, according to the Japan Roller Sports Federation. A Murasaki Park Tokyo staff member told the Mainichi Shimbun that beginner lessons quickly fill up with children in the lower grades of elementary school. Koharu Kubara, an 8-year-old from Tokyo's Sumida Ward, started training with her father, himself an experienced skateboarder, in March this year. "Skateboarding is cool. I want to be a professional skater in the future," she said.

    (Japanese original by Junichi Sasaki, Photo Group)

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