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Jogging in Japan? 5 of the Best Running Routes in Tokyo!

Jogging in Japan? 5 of the Best Running Routes in Tokyo!

Date published: 24 August 2018
Last updated: 23 August 2018

From instagram-worthy color runs to the eco-minded trend of ‘plogging’, running is the popular choice of exercise around the world. And recently, this trend has really taken off in Japan. While Japan has quite a strong culture surrounding running, many Tokyo locals go to the track or the gym when they want to run. But don’t worry—if you were hoping to take a run and see more of Tokyo, you’re in luck. Lately, locals and visitors alike are hitting the streets to kick off their mornings. So here are five of the best running routes in Tokyo for you to check out while visiting the city.

Route overviews

Route overviews

We've listed up popular jogging courses on both sides of the city to keep your feet happy!

1. Central Tokyo: The Imperial Palace

1. Central Tokyo: The Imperial Palace

At a Glance
Starting point: Multiple starting points (circular course)
Distance: 2.5 km or 5 km
Difficulty level: Low-Medium
Crowd level: Medium-High depending on the time of day

Nothing says running in Tokyo like a run around the Imperial Palace. Perhaps Tokyo’s most famous running trail, this course is enjoyable for all levels with 2.5 kilometer and 5 kilometer options. The area is mostly flat but the north side of the course is an uphill run for a few hundred meters. The sidewalks here are wide, allowing others to easily pass. Located near Tokyo’s business and financial district, the trail is popular among those working in the nearby offices and gets crowded in the early mornings and during lunch hours.

The view around the Imperial Palace is beautiful. You can see sections of old Edo castle walls, the National Museum of Modern Art, the National Diet building and the British Embassy. Make sure to go in spring when the cherry blossoms are in bloom, especially around the Chidorigafuchi area on the west side of the course.

You can get to the Imperial Palace running trail from plenty of stations including Hibiya Station, Otemachi Station and Tokyo Station. Nearby hotels include the Palace Hotel, the Aman Tokyo, The Shangri-La Hotel Tokyo and the Four Season Hotel Tokyo at Marunouchi.

  • The Imperial Palace
    • Address 1-1, Chiyoda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, 100-8111
      View Map
    • Nearest Station Nijubashimae "Marunouchi" Station (Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line)
      10 minutes on foot
    • Phone Number 03-3213-1111

2. Western Tokyo: Yoyogi Park

At a Glance
Starting point: Inokashira Street
Distance: 2.2 km paved plus other path options
Difficulty level: Easy
Crowd level: Medium-High with weekends being more crowded

Enjoy a run at any hour in Yoyogi Park. Just a few minutes-walk away from Tokyo’s fashion hub, Yoyogi Park is open 24/7. This green space has countless paths so you can change up your routine. Yoyogi Park is the largest in the city, so you’ll have plenty of space and shade to go for a run anytime—day or night.

While on a run in Yoyogi Park you’ll see everything from cherry blossom trees to fountains to flowers. The area is a popular meeting place, and in the morning you might see groups of people doing yoga or locals taking their doggies for a walk. On the weekends, traffic really picks up and you can spot musicians, artists and dance groups. Nearby you can pay a visit to Meiji-jingu Shrine or go shopping along Takeshita Street. The closest stations are Meiji-jingu Mae, Harajuku and Yoyogi-koen Station.

3. Eastern Tokyo: Sumida River Terrace

At a Glance
Starting point: Azuma Bridge
Distance: 8 km
Difficulty level: Medium
Crowd level: Low

If you’re staying in Asakusa, take a run along the Sumida River Terrace. This riverside route is a gem, with relatively little traffic and great views. The flat path is clean and manicured and runs along both sides of the river. The path has little shade in the middle of the day, so run in the morning or at night to avoid getting overheated.

From Sumida River Terrace, you can get a beautiful look at the Tokyo cityscape with views of Asahi Beer Headquarters and Tokyo SkyTree. Cherry trees line the terrace, so visit in spring for some of eastern Tokyo’s best blossoms. Within walking distance is Sensoji Temple, Tokyo’s oldest temple and one of its most prominent. Stay nearby at the Gate Hotel Asakusa or Hotel Gracery Asakusa. You can also access Sumida River Terrace from Asakusa Station.

  • Kaminarimon
    • Address 2-3-1, Asakusa, Taitou-ku, Tokyo, 111-0032
      View Map
    • Nearest Station Asakusa Station (Tokyo Metro Ginza Line / Toei Asakusa Line / Tobu Isesaki Line (Tobu Sky Tree Line) / Tsukuba Express)
      1 minute on foot
    • Phone Number 03-3842-0181

4. Eastern Tokyo: Odaiba

At a Glance
Starting point: Odaiba Seaside Park
Distance: 5km or 7km marked course options
Difficulty level: Medium-High
Crowd level: Medium

Feel the ocean breeze with a run around Odaiba. Located on a man-made island, the trails are wide and flat. Here, you can enjoy a range of terrain by running in the lush green parks or along the sandy beaches.

Running in Odaiba, you can spot monuments like Rainbow Bridge, the Odaiba Statue of Liberty, the Fuji Television Building, the Palette Town ferris wheel and the life-size Gundam. The area also has plenty of shops, restaurants and activities to keep you occupied long after your run like the onsen theme park Oedo Onsen Monogatari.

You can stay in the area at the Grand Nikko Tokyo Daiba or the Hilton Tokyo Odaiba. Or, access from Daiba Station on the Rinkai Line. Other stations nearby include Tokyo Teleport Station on the Rinkai Line or Odaiba Kaihinkoen Stations on the Yurikamome Line.

5. Western Tokyo: Meguro River

At a Glance
Starting point: Naka-Meguro Station
Distance: 4 km
Difficulty level: Medium
Crowd level: Medium

For a more relaxing atmosphere, take a run along the Meguro River. About four kilometers long, this tree-lined running trail spans Shinagawa, Setagaya and Meguro Wards. The course is mainly flat with a few small hills. Set in a more residential location, the path can be a bit narrow and you many need to move to the side for cyclists. Avoid this by running early in the morning or later at night. The Meguro River is also one of Tokyo’s top cherry blossom viewing spots. During this time, you may only be able to run along the river early in the morning.

The area near Nakameguro Station is dotted with small shops, cafes and eateries. Pop into one of these local favs for a cup of coffee before or after your run. You can access this trail from Meguro, Nakameguro, Ebisu, Gotanda and Osaki Stations.

  • Meguro River
    • Address Meguro-ku, Tokyo Setagaya-ku, Shinagawa-ku, 153-0043
      View Map
    • Nearest Station Meguro Station (JR Yamanote Line / Tokyo Metro Namboku Line / Toei Mita Line / Tokyu Meguro Line)
      5 minutes on foot
*This information is from the time of this article's publication.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.

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