One of the reasons I began my Art of Running series, along with many of my other creative tech projects, was because of the release of the iPhone in Japan.

Within just a few hours of stepping off the plane upon arrival back in Japan in late 2008, I was in a local SoftBank store picking up my first iPhone, which had only just become available, thanks to the partnership between Apple and Softbank.

I loved it from the first swipe, and as newer models became available so I’d look forward to each release, attending the launch events headlined by SoftBank’s Masayoshi Son.


My current iPhone, the iPhone 5S, continues to delight, and is still my main tool when it comes to running projects. The rollout of SoftBank’s LTE network and the ability to tether has since enabled me to do a lot more with a single device.

In fact, just last week during the Tokyo Marathon (report coming soon), when my other mobile streaming devices went down it was the iPhone / Ustream that I was able to fall back on, keeping the stream going all the way to the goal.

I’m also a fan of SoftBank branding – and who could fail to love Otousan – the patriarch of an otherwise normal family, who has featured in a highly successful advertising campaign that has accompanied SoftBank’s rise over the past 6 years.

Seeing as how important Softbank has been to my projects I saw it as only fitting that I run an Otousan in the north of Tokyo, so here he is!

Due to the length of this course I split him up into several runs. I was particularly pleased the way I was able to use natural features of the north of Tokyo – particularly the branch off the Ara-kawa, to plot the running route I then took.


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