Where to Jog In Tokyo

ByMichael Stigall
Jul 25, 2022

Where to Jog In Tokyo

Summer in Japan is hot and humid, but it is also a great time to get in shape. There are plenty of ways you can do this. You could head to one of the city’s excellent public swimming pools, join a gym, or even climb mountains. But if going to the mountains is too far, and you still prefer some fresh air, then perhaps going for a jog will do the trick.

Sure, Tokyo is very much a concrete city, but there are still some lovely places where you can go jogging. Here are a few ideas for places at which to stretch your legs and shed those unwanted pounds or kilograms.

Yoyogi Park

Yoyogi Park is a great place to start if you enjoy people-watching as you run. It can be pretty busy on weekends, particularly in the summer months with picnickers, but aside from the no-running area surrounding Meiji Shrine, there is plenty of room to jog freely on the ground’s spacious, green lawns. On top of that, the large, leafy trees offer decent shade from the hot sun. Additionally, it’s easy to get to, and open 24 hours, meaning you can work up a sweat, no matter the time of year, and there are shower facilities should you want to head out into Harajuku after your workout.

Imperial Palace

The Imperial Palace is a great place to run for beginners. It has a 5km loop, and the route is well marked, meaning you can easily track your time and distance. Like Yoyogi park, there are facilities such as lockers and changing spaces surrounding the area, but it is pretty open to the elements, which makes it pretty hard going in the summer sun. Still, it’s a rather beautiful place to run.

Meguro River

There is something about running alongside a river that is just really relaxing. This four-kilometer-long route winds through the city, making it an excellent course for inner-city runners, particularly in the springtime when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom. However, be careful not to get too relaxed and run head first into a group of hanami-spotters!


Now we get to the experienced courses. Arakawa is the site of the Arakawa Marathon in March, meaning you can go on and on, should you wish. Arakawa is described as ‘pancake flat,’ and there are few obstacles other than fellow runners and the odd cyclist. For those wanting to challenge themselves for distance, this is a run for you.

Tamagawa River

Another lengthy run along a river, the Tamagawa stretch has a whopping 48km to its name. The scenery is stunning, and as there are no cars, you can fully enjoy the wide open spaces and admire the river. Another advantage is that there are plenty of train stations along the route, so should you get too tired, you can always take the train home.

Mt. Kumotori Ascent

Now, this route is a bit on the hardcore side. Okay, more than a bit. Mt. Kumotori is Tokyo’s tallest peak at 2,017 meters and is frequently used by mountaineers and animals such as deer, wild boar, monkeys, and bears. However, it has become popular for runners wanting to get right off the beaten track. Those who think they can take it should stay the night along the trail to get the most out of the experience. Also, it is essential to travel in a group, because should you get injured, it’s a long hobble back to the car. Should you feel you’ve got what it takes, the easiest access is from Omatsuri, at the intersection of Tokyo, Saitama, and Yamanashi Prefectures.

TheNickster, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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