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 with humid, busy streets. The 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!