Before getting here, I took a sneaky look at the place on Google Street View. I saw a hill, but a relatively mild one. An incline I thought I could manage.
It's a bloody huge hill. And when you get to the building itself, the front door is up a set of steps and another hill. I was surprised there isn't a cable car up here.
Now, my fitness level is pretty appalling. You might have assumed this already about someone who sits at a desk all day for a living. I only run if it's the last bus/train of the day, or if I might otherwise miss out on free coffee.
On top of that, I've been taking full advantage of Japan's vast dining options. Stepping on the scales has become something of an adventure. What weight will I be today?
I've been taking it easy. And now I live on a hill.
Surprise! If I want to eat, travel and generally be outside at any point, I'm going to be permanently breathless.
Hills and I do not get on. Ditto staircases, broken escalators, pedestrian walkway bridges over major roads, and particularly steep ramps. Uphill is always the last direction I want to be going in.
I've known this for many years. Childhood asthma gave me plenty of excuses not to try too hard in PE. So if the stairs are the shortcut, you'll probably find me taking the scenic route.
Back to this hill. During my first trek up to this place, I was carrying a decent amount of luggage. I thought I might have a heart attack partway up. Because it will be either my heart or lungs that give out before my legs do.
"Hmmm, is that altitude sickness or exercise-induced asthma?"
Everyone I complain to about this points out I'll have enviable calf muscles after a few weeks. Sure, but do I want those? If there are any advantages I'm not seeing, please let me know...