Asia Pacific

Osaka, Japan

A Comprehensive Guide to the Best Places to Run in Osaka

Pedro Szekely

Osaka, capital of the Osaka Prefecture, is the second largest city in Japan — an important economic hub known for its foodie culture. Situated at the mouth of the Yodo River on the west-facing port of Osaka Bay, coastal Osaka is sometimes known as the “Water City.” Along with its many satellite cities, the metropolitan area of nearly 20 million is a flat sprawl where humid, busy streets. Your best bet for running in Osaka is to go to a specific spot, enjoying the manicured parks, beautiful waterfront paths, and colorful natural spaces.

Most runners flock to popular parks like the Osaka Castle, Nakanoshima, Nagai, and Tsurumi Ryokuchi to run in green spaces protected from traffic. Other runners put in their mileage along the long paths of the Yodo River, the Ibaraki River, or the waterfront of Osaka Port. Or, explore history and religion on a tour of the shrines of Tennoji. Near the airport, there’s wonderful waterfront running from Rinku Park, heading south with views to Osaka Bay.

Osaka has an extensive public transportation network, making it easy to get to favored running spots. For visitors, the subway/train is the easiest and most affordable method for getting around town. (Taxis are somewhat expensive, and the bus system is a bit difficult for non-locals to navigate). Get a prepaid stored value car for the train and make your way to all of Osaka’s great running routes!

Special thanks to the Kaizuka Running Club for their help with this guide. Be sure to check them out if you’re in town!

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Tennoji Nishisaka

Osaka, Japan

Explore 80 temples in an 8 km running route! Lovers of history and culture will delight in this 8 km one-way route, which explores the many temples of the Tennoji ward. Mix of paths and roads. Can easily do one-way using transport.
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Expo ’70 Commemarative Park

Osaka, Japan

Run through former Worlds Fair grounds in this 264 hectare park with beautiful gardens. A perimeter of the park is 5k, but there are also good interior options. There are numerous museums, a Japanese Garden, and other sites.
Explore

Rinku Park

Osaka, Japan

A perfect waterfront sunset run near the Kansai Airport in Izumisano City. Multiple options, including ~7 km or ~11 km routes along mainly waterfront paths.
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Rinku Park

Osaka, Japan

A perfect waterfront sunset run near the Kansai Airport in Izumisano City. Multiple options, including ~7 km or ~11 km routes along mainly waterfront paths.
Explore

Osaka has a humid subtropical climate, with hot summers and mild winters. Runners should be aware of summer’s are heat and humidity, with average highs of 33C (92F) and sultry nights. Winters are mild, with average high temperatures near 10C (50F), and lows dipping into the 30s. Fall and spring are warm. Osaka gets its share of precipitation, with June being the wettest month.

Osaka is a large and sprawling city, and popular as a business and visitor destination. For good routes right out your door, in central Osaka your best bet is to stay near Osaka Castle, where there are good park and path options. You can also try to stay near the Yodo River paths. The Ibraki area has good hotel options and nice running around a linear park and the Expo Park.

Find lodging info at osaka-info.jp/en/

Sporting goods stores are prevalent around Osaka. Check out Tiger, Bigstep, Nike, and ASICS.

The Kaizuka Running Club and Runnet Global are local running clubs with great route advice. We especially than the Kaizuka Running Club for their help in putting together this guide.

The Osaka Marathon, held in November, is by far the most popular race in the city, but a list of other events can be found at Runnet Global.